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Soccer - FA Carling Premiership - Sunderland v Middlesbrough

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What are your favourite Sunderland v Boro memories?

Our clashes with Boro have provided plenty of memorable moments over the years, so ahead of this weekend’s game, asked our writers to choose their personal favourites

Photo by Steve Morton/EMPICS via Getty Images

Joseph Tulip says…

There have been some difficult encounters with Middlesbrough over the years, both at home and away.

I remember leaving the Stadium of Light as a disappointed teenager after our trip to Teesside was shown on the big screen via ‘beam back’ in March 1998, when we suffered a 3-1 defeat.

However, one of the players who featured that day enjoyed some better fortune three seasons later. That man was Michael Gray, who scored the winner in a 1-0 home victory in 2000/2001 as we continued to prove our credentials as a top eight side in the Premier League.

A lofted ball into the box was cleared into the path of the advancing Gray, and he fired in a low shot that beat the goalkeeper at his near post.

It’s one that always sticks in my memory and I remember Gray being understandably chuffed in his post-match interview.

Soccer - FA Carling Premiership - Sunderland v Middlesbrough Photo by Steve Morton/EMPICS via Getty Images

Andrew Smithson says…

I think a lot of fans my age will remember a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough in April 1992.

We were preparing for the FA Cup final so it was a special time for the club, but there was a backlog of fixtures to get through and still a chance of the team being relegated, so every game mattered.

I think ‘Boro were going for promotion too, so this was a tough match which was settled by a fantastic shot from the edge of the box by Peter Davenport, and the win went a long way towards keeping us up.

We then beat them the next time they came to Roker Park, when the pitch had a covering of snow and the orange ball had to come out.

Victories have been a lot harder to come by of late however, so hopefully we excel in the cold weather on Sunday!

Michael Dunne says…

The game when we beat them 3-2 to stay up is one I always remember fondly.

Under Roy Keane, we were competing well but languishing close to the bottom three, while Middlesbrough were managed by Gareth Southgate at the time and had some talented players- but were also struggling.

It was a nightmare start when Tuncay finished smartly to give the visitors the lead inside the opening ten minutes.

I remember the atmosphere being tense but we equalised through a Danny Higginbotham header, which marked two goals for the club- against Newcastle and Boro. Our second goal came from Michael Chopra, putting us into the lead just before half-time to settle any nerves.

However, as was the case with us that year, we never did things easily and Afonso Alves scored a rare goal for the Teessiders to make it 2-2.

A draw wasn’t a great result for either team going into the final few games of the season, but we continued to push and grabbed one of our trademark late goals through Daryl Murphy (although it was probably an own goal).

I remember the noise and the sense of relief around the stadium as the result ultimately kept us up and pushed Middlesbrough closer to the drop zone.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Sunderland v Middlesbrough - Stadium Of Light Photo by Owen Humphreys - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images


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