Andrew Smithson says…
I love going to the match over Christmas and two of my favourite ever Sunderland games were on Boxing Day, so I’m pleased to have a game lined up after two years without one.
We played Derby County during our final season at Roker Park and the place was jumping, but seeing as we are welcoming Blackburn Rovers to the Stadium of Light on Monday, I’ll focus on the trip to Ewood Park in 2001.
Everybody was in good spirits so I remember having a laugh on the coach with my mates, and when you throw a fantastic win into the bargain, away trips don’t come much better.
Our form wasn't great that season but this display was reminiscent of our very best under Peter Reid.
We outplayed Blackburn for most of the game and by half time we were cruising at 2-0, despite hitting the woodwork several times.
Niall Quinn scored both goals and during the second half, the Lads knocked the ball around without a care in the world as the away end went through the full repertoire of chants.
Towards the end of the game, Kevin Kilbane rounded things off nicely with a late strike.
It was a complete performance and a great day out, so give me that over a white Christmas any year!
Kelvin Beattie says…
I went to a cracking Boxing Day game in 1975.
Our home form that season was scintillating, as we only lost one game at Roker Park, in the sixth round of the FA Cup in front of 50,000 fans against Crystal Palace. I digress, though, so cue Hull City on Boxing Day and 35,210 festive souls inside the old ground.
Promotion was in the air and we turned in some dominant displays at home that season.
Our defence was rock solid with Jimmy Montgomery in goal, Dick Malone and Joe Bolton at full-back, Jeff Clarke and Bob Moncur. Our midfield was full of energy, skill and goals with Bobby Kerr, Tony Towers and Ian Porterfield for the first half of this season, then Ray Train for the second half of the season.
Vic Halom started off in the number nine position but Mel Holden had eased him out by Christmas. Pop Robson and Billy Hughes started the season, then Roy Greenwood was bought to play one wing, and the delightfully-named Tom Finney forced his way into the squad, along with Jackie Ashurst and Mickey Henderson.
For this fixture, Bob Stokoe dropped Porterfield and Halom for Henderson and Holden, and Hull had three future Sunderland players in their first eleven, John Hawley, Peter Daniel and Roy Greenwood.
We were 2-1 up by half-time with goals from Holden and home debutant Finney, and Hawley scored a Christmas cracker for the visitors, with two dummies and a sidestep past Monty.
In the second half, Henderson scored the best goal of the game with a trademark thunderbolt of a shot from thirty yards, shortly after Robson had cracked a shot against the crossbar.
The final score was 3-1 and we retained our position at the top of the division, sending us all merrily on our way home.