THE QUINN YEARS AT SUNDERLAND

Niall Quinn makes history as Sunderland's first scorer at the Stadium of Light

Niall Quinn makes history as Sunderland's first scorer at the Stadium of Light

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NIALL Quinn’s association with Sunderland stretches back 15 years ...

1996: AFTER starting his career at Arsenal and then moving to Manchester City, Quinn signs for Sunderland in 1996 in a £1.3million move from Manchester City but misses months of his first season after suffering a knee injury.

Niall Quinn and manager Peter Reid on the day he signed for Sunderland in August 1996.

Niall Quinn and manager Peter Reid on the day he signed for Sunderland in August 1996.

1997: In Sunderland’s last season at Roker Park, the Black Cats are relegated from the Premier League. As they move to the Stadium of Light however, Quinn – Sunderland’s first scorer at the venue – forms a devastating partnership with forward Kevin Phillips.

1998: Peter Reid’s side reach the Play-Off final but are beaten in an epic encounter with Charlton Athletic.

1999: Quinn wins North East Football Writers’ Player of the Year award as Sunderland gain promotion with a then record points total.

2000: Quinn and Phillips’ red hot partnership continues as Sunderland finish 7th, their best finish in more than 50 years.

2001: Sunderland finish 7th again.

2002: Shortly before playing in the World Cup in Japan and South Korea for the Republic of Ireland, Quinn holds his testimonial match at the Stadium of Light, raising over £1million for worthy causes. Later that year at the age of 36, Quinn decided to retire from playing. He scored 69 goals for Sunderland in 220 appearances.

2006: With Sunderland enduring a dismal Premier League season, Quinn announces his intention to takeover. In June of that year, backed by the Drumaville Consortium, Quinn bought a controlling stake in the Black Cats, formally taking over in July. Quinn initially manages Sunderland, before Roy Keane is hired and Quinn reverts to the chairman’s position.

2007: Despite being bottom when he took over, Keane leads Sunderland back to the Premier League. In a notable incident, Quinn spends several thousands of pounds on getting taxis home for SAFC fans after they are ejected from their flight from Cardiff following an away win.

2008: After a 15th-placed finish in their first season back in the top-flight, Texan billionaire Ellis Short buys a significant stake in the Black Cats. Keane resigns from Sunderland in late 2008 after a poor run of results, with coach Ricky Sbragia taking over the reigns.

2009: Following a near miss with relegation, Ellis Short buys a majority stake in Sunderland, making him the club’s owner. Steve Bruce is appointed manager.

2010: Sunderland finish 13th in the Premier League.

2011: Bruce’s side manage a top-half finish of 10th in 2010/2011, but endure a bad start to the following season, winning only one of their opening eight games. Quinn steps down as chairman on October 3 as it is announced he is to “spearhad International Development” at the club.