Sunderland pre-war legends can now be viewed in full colour, thanks to new book

Sunderland legends including Raich Carter and Bobby Gurney can be viewed in a new book – and in a completely new way.

Some of the Black Cats’ most famous yesteryear players can be seen in full colour thanks to the painstaking work of SAFC memorabilia collector Paul Days.

He has come up with a book which he describes as a ‘first’ because it includes hundreds of pre-war postcards and original photos which have been colourised by Paul.

Hide Ad

His work is about to become available in a new book which will be available to buy from November this year.

Some of the newly colourised images from the book.

In 2016, Paul put the wheels in motion for the ‘biggest football colourisation project in the UK’, he said.

The aim was to colourise over 500 original pre war postcards and original photographs of Sunderland AFC and football stars of the time, drawn from Paul’s personal collection which was gathered over a 40-year period.

Hide Ad

His first book - which is called In Colour; A History Of British Football, 1863 to 1930 – was published early in 2021 by World Vintage Colours and it was an ‘instant sell-out’ with more details at

Now, a second book in the series is being designed and Sunderland supporters should love it, he said.

Hide Ad
The team of 1886.

Paul said the new book – called In Colour; Sunderland AFC 1880 to 1945 – was a 200 page full colour, high quality book that will be out in November 2021.

Hide Ad

It features 100 coloured images, resulting from the colourisation project, of pre-war Sunderland AFC footballers, teams and action shots, tracing the pre-war history of the football club.

“The legendary Ned Doig, ace 1890’s striker Johnny Campbell, the iconic Charlie Buchan, Bobby Gurney and Raich Carter feature. The 1912/13 and 1935/35 league championship winning teams are brought to colourful life.”

Hide Ad

“Rare coloured images of Roker Park feature as well as action from the 1942 War Cup final and 1913 FA Cup Finals.”

A 1900 image of Sunderland taking on Blackburn Rovers at Roker Park.
Hide Ad

Among those rare pictures will be the 1900 meeting with Blackburn Rovers. On top of all that, there are write-ups, and ‘a host of other incredible coloured images dating back to the formation of the football club.’

“The publication is unique as it is the very first pre-war full coloured book on any football club anywhere in the world. It is incredible to remember that every single image started out as black and white.”

Hide Ad

Paul is the author of a number of books about Sunderland Football Club and has also seen more than 1,000 games involving SAFC since his first match experience in 1967.

Some of the club’s lesser known pre-war players will also be covered in the new book.

Hide Ad
The 1913 team in full colour.

The latest publication is limited to just 100 luxurious hard back copies, which includes 2 x free A4 SAFC player colour images with each purchase.

Hide Ad

The book will be boxed and wrapped in special SAFC wallpaper and will be despatched before Christmas, said Paul.

Each copy is priced at £39.99 plus £4 P&P. The copies are only available via the SAFC related historical Ryehill Football website at -

Hide Ad
Read More
12 pictures show what was happening in Sunderland the last time England beat Ger...

Support your Echo and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to all of our news and sport, see fewer ads, experience faster load times, test your brain with daily puzzles and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. The Sunderland Echo has been on Wearside since 1873, and your support means we can continue telling your stories for generations to come. Click here to subscribe.

Hide Ad
A team photo underneath the Roker End in 1932.
Raich Carter in 1935.
Hide Ad
Action from the 1942 War Cup Final in which Sunderland took on Wolves.