The 100 greatest Sunderland signings: 70-66

Tommy Wright
Tommy Wright
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OUR countdown of the top 100 post-war Sunderland signings continues today with numbers 70 to 66.

Stars from the 1940s feature today along with a Welsh international who helped Sunderland survive in the top flight.

Alex Rae

Alex Rae

Our judging panel has selected the 100 greatest signings and the criteria was very simple.

Players had to have played after World War II, and those who had come through the ranks were not eligible.

Read on to see who made it into positions 70 to 66.

70. Tommy Wright (pictured above)

George Aitken

George Aitken

- Forward joined Sunderland from Patrick Thistle in 1949

- Club finished eighth in his first season, and he was an ever-present the next year as they finished third in the top tier

- Made 180 appearances for Sunderland, scoring 54 times.

- Highlights included a match-winning brace against Manchester United and a hat-trick in a win over Everton

Leighton James

Leighton James

- Left the club in 1955 to join East Fife, and also had a spell at North Shields before retiring

69. Alex Rae (pictured)

- Midfielder joined Sunderland in 1996 from Millwall for £1m

- Scotland international helped Sunderland to promotion in 1998, and was a key part of the side which twice finished seventh in the Premier League

Barry Siddall

Barry Siddall

- Made 136 appearances for Sunderland, scoring 15 times

- Left the club in 2001 to join Wolverhampton Wanderers, and later played for Rangers, Dundee and MK Dons

68. George Aitken (pictured)

- Wing half joined Sunderland in 1951 from Third Lanark

- Scotland international helped the club finish in the top 10 of the top tier three times

- Made 167 appearances for Sunderland, scoring three times

- Left the club in 1958 to join Gateshead

67. Leighton James (pictured)

- Winger joined Sunderland from Swansea City in 1983 on a free transfer

- Welsh international helped Sunderland survive in the top flight

- Made 57 appearances for Sunderland, scoring four times

- Left the club in 1984 to join Bury

66. Barry Siddall (pictured)

- Goalkeeper joined Sunderland from Bolton Wanderers in 1976 to replace Jimmy Montgomery

- His debut was Bob Stokoe’s last game in charge of the club

- Made 192 appearances for Sunderland, without scoring

- Left the club in 1982 to join Port Vale, and later played for a host of clubs, including Blackpool, Hartlepool United and Carlisle United

Our panel also selected a top 10 – but the order of those players will be up to Echo readers, who can vote for who they believe is the greatest signing in the club’s post-war history.

We’ll reveal the top 10 in a couple of weeks, and you will be able to vote either online or by text.

You can also tweet your views on the countdown by using the hashtag #SAFC100.

The countdown:

* Click here for 100-96 - including Phil Gray.

* Click here for 95-91 - including Steven Fletcher.

* Click here for 90-86 - including David Connolly.

* Click here for 85-81 - including Alex Chamberlain.

* Click here for 80-76 - including Fred Hall.

* Click here for 75-71 - including Mart Poom.