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Roker Roundtable: Picking four iconic Sunderland goals from four different competitions!

The Lads have scored plenty of memorable goals in league and cup over the years, so we asked our writers to choose their personal favourites!

Photo by Owen Humphreys - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

Ewan Bowman says...

Premier League

Many derby day winners are contenders here, such as Kieran Richardson in 2008 and Fabio Borini in 2013, but for me it would be Jermain Defoe’s goal against Chelsea in the 2015/2016 season.

We were gathering momentum in the push for survival but when that goal was scored, the roof came off the Stadium of Light.


There could’ve been a conveyor belt of ‘goal of the season’ contenders last season, but Jack Clarke’s goal against Reading was a thing of footballing beauty that made the rest of the Championship take note that we’re a very good team.

League Cup

A bit closer to modern times, and although Fabio Borini’s goal at Wembley stands out, for me it was Phil Bardsley’s goal at Old Trafford in 2013/2014.

The celebrations were the best I’ve ever experienced- until we won the penalty shootout that same night!

FA Cup

Only one goal springs to mind: Ian Porterfield’s winner to clinch the FA Cup in 1973.

A goal that’s still talked about today after one of the biggest upsets in cup final history.

Soccer - FA Cup - Final - Sunderland v Leeds United Photo by PA Images via Getty Images

Gary Engel says…

Premier League

Many fans may be able to guess which goal I’m thinking of from the fact it was featured on the opening credits of Match of the Day.

We’d returned to the big time with an opening-day thumping from Chelsea, so once the return fixture rolled round we were in the mood for revenge, although quite how sweet that would be, no one could predict.

We were already one goal to the good when Kevin Phillips took advantage of a ball dropping just in front of him for a half volley from twenty five yards out.

It was going in from the moment he spotted the opening, although its beauty seemed to take him by surprise, hence the knee slide celebration.

Sunderland would finish the first half 4-0- astonishing!

League Cup

It’s Chelsea on the wrong end again, as we’d taken the 2013/2014 quarter final to extra-time and were getting better as the game went on.

Gus Poyet certainly had the lads playing well and Ki had been a revelation, so it was fitting that he’d calmly pop up with the winner.

I remember that time seemed to stand still as he took one touch, then another before passing it inside the near post.

FA Cup

My first real glimpse of the FA Cup as a youngster was also one of the most gruelling ends to a match.

It all started so well, as Phil Gray toe poked through the legs of Peter Schmeichel to put us into a shock lead going into half time. It was a special occasion, the magic of the cup, and the first time Sky featured a match from Roker Park after Man Utd forced a replay at Old Trafford days before.

Again, there would be late heroics needed to burst our bubble and knock us out of the cup.

League One

It has to be the second goal in our playoff final win in 2022, from the now departed Ross Stewart.

Sunderland seldom give the fans an easy time, especially in the important games, and there were none more important in the club’s recent history. But when the net bulged, the that knowledge we’d won the match, as virtually confirmed by Stewart’s late strike, was something else!

It felt like a new beginning, but as with many new dawns, it didn’t play out as we expected.

Sunderland v Wycombe Wanderers - Sky Bet League One - Play Off - Final - Wembley Stadium Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images

Kyle Garrett says...

Premier League

I’m going to have to say the same as Ewan for this one!

The Jermain Defoe goal against Chelsea in the 2015/2016 season is undoubtedly my favourite Premier League goal from my years of following Sunderland.

That feeling, if it could be bottled up, would be worth millions.


I was only young and I don’t even think I’d been to the Stadium of Light at this point, but Carlos Edwards’ goal against Burnley in the Roy Keane promotion season, with Simon Crabtree’s commentary alongside it, is my favourite Sunderland Championship goal.

League One

In terms of the goal I celebrated the most, it would easily be the Patrick Roberts goal against Sheffield Wednesday, because the away end that night was indescribable.

As for my ‘favourite’ goal, I’m going to pick Nathan Broadhead’s goal away at Cambridge, simply because of how good it was, and the fact that it slightly made up for how cold it was that day.

League Cup

Fabio Borini’s goal in the final and Phil Bardsley’s goal against Manchester United are the obvious ones from recent times, but I have a fond memory of Ki’s goal against Chelsea in the quarter final in 2013/2014.

Added time in extra time just made it even sweeter.

Soccer - Capital One Cup - Quarter Final - Sunderland v Chelsea - Stadium of Light Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images


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