Former Sunderland captain Micky Gray comes face to face with play-off nemesis

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FORMER Black Cats skipper Michael Gray has been squaring up to his old nemesis.

It was all in good fun though as footballer-turned-pundit Micky took on former Charlton Athletic goalkeeper Sasa Illic and former SAFC team-mate Chris Makin.

Micky was devastated when, in 1998, he missed the decisive penalty during a shoot-out in the First Division play-off final after a 4-4 draw with Charlton, which could have taken Sunderland back into the Premier League.

The epic clash – in which Sasa saved the Wearsider’s spot-kick – has been hailed in the footballing history books as one of the most thrilling matches to have been played at Wembley.

The trio of ex-players involved in the big match reunited once more for a talk-in at the Corner Flag bar, in High Street West.

It was held to celebrate the launch of this month’s Seventy3, the Sunderland retro football fanzine.

Editor-in-chief Mal Robinson said: “It was disappointing Saturday’s game was called off, and I think a bit of the water from the pitch got into the PA system as we had a slight hiccup.

“But soon the banter flowed between the two Sunderland players and of course Sasa from Charlton.”

He added: “Sasa really got the crowd behind him and it’s the first time I have heard a Sunderland pub sing ‘There’s only one Sasa Illic’.”

The next Seventy3 talk-in will take place at the Corner Flag and will feature former Black Cats Alex Rae and Nicky Summerbee.

It will be held following SAFC’s clash with Wigan on September 29.

Twitter: @SunechoKaty