Rowell Report: Sad to hear of Buckley’s passing

Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell.

Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell.

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I WAS shocked and saddened to hear of the death of my former team-mate Mick Buckley last week.

Our older fans will remember Mick, pictured right, as a whole-hearted and committed player who never gave anything less than 100 per cent.

Mick Buckley.

Mick Buckley.

He was a bubbly and positive character, the type that was always good to have around the dressing room and always willing to give advice and encouragement.

I first came across Mick when he was in the Everton team the night we were relegated at Goodison Park in controversial circumstances back in 1977.

He played on the right-hand side of midfield for Everton that night while I played on the left for Sunderland so we came into contact quite a bit in that game.

But typically, even though Everton had nothing to play for, Mick gave everything and that summed him up.

When he joined Sunderland, his most memorable moment would have to be scoring the goal against Man City which confirmed our status in the top flight in the early 80s.

But he also had many more fine games and was always a player appreciated by his team-mates.

Whenever we were on tour or travelling for away games, Mick was never anything but good company and you rarely heard him complain about anything.

My thoughts go out to Mick’s family and friends and I’ll remember him as a team-mate who rarely let the side down and a friend who I shared many happy times with.