The 100 greatest Sunderland signings: 85-81

Adam Johnson at the end of the Sunderland game at Newcastle. Picture by FRANK REID
Adam Johnson at the end of the Sunderland game at Newcastle. Picture by FRANK REID
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THE countdown to the 100 greatest Sunderland signings continues today as we reveal who made it into positions 85 to 81.

This section features a couple of Black Cats stars from the 1940s and one from the current starting line-up.

Sunderland 100. Alec Chamberlain

Sunderland 100. Alec Chamberlain

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 85 to 81.

85. Adam Johnson (pictured above)

Arthur John Hudgell.   Arthur Hudgell Sunderland player Safc old ref number sport 1 16 date unknown 'Retired 1958

Arthur John Hudgell. Arthur Hudgell Sunderland player Safc old ref number sport 1 16 date unknown 'Retired 1958

- Winger joined Sunderland from Manchester City in 2012 for £10m

- Signing caught the imagination, and he was part of the side which reached the League Cup final in 2014

- Scored a late winner at Newcastle United in December 2014 – making it three successive victories at St James’s Park Johnson had scored in

- Has made 103 appearances for Sunderland, scoring 19 times

Sunderland football player John Graham Stelling.  Jack Stelling  August 1956 old ref number sport 1 21  safc Retired May 1958

Sunderland football player John Graham Stelling. Jack Stelling August 1956 old ref number sport 1 21 safc Retired May 1958

84. Alex Chamberlain (pictured)

- Goalkeeper joined Sunderland from Luton Town in 1993

- Was part of the team which won promotion to the Premier League in 1996

- Made 108 appearances for Sunderland, without scoring

Stephen Elliott.

Stephen Elliott.

- Left the club in 1996 to join Watford

83. Arthur Hudgell (pictured)

- Full-back joined Sunderland from Crystal Palace for £10,000 in 1947 – a record fee for a defender

- Was part of the side which finished third in the top tier in 1950

- Made 275 appearances for Sunderland, without scoring

- Left the club by retiring in 1957

82. Jack Stelling (pictured)

- Full-back joined Sunderland from non-league Usworth Colliery in 1946

- Was part of the side which finished third in the top tier in 1950

- Made 272 appearances for Sunderland, scoring eight times

- Left the club by retiring in 1956

81. Stephen Elliott (pictured)

- Striker joined Sunderland from Manchester City in 2004 for an initial fee of £125,000

- Scored 16 goals in debut campaign as Sunderland won promotion to the Premier League, and also helped the club to promotion in 2007

- Republic of Ireland international made 88 appearances for Sunderland, scoring 23 times

- Left the club in 2007 to join Wolverhampton Wanderers, and later played for the likes of Preston North End, Hearts and Coventry City

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.