Free transfers for five

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THERE were no surprises when Sunderland’s retained list for next season was announced today, writes Dave Bowman.

Twenty-nine professionals have been retained and free transfers go to five players, Derek Forster, John Tones, Don Rankin, John Blyth and David Shannon.

Only two of the five, Forster and Tones, have first team experience.

Two other players who have been available for transfer since January, striker John Lathan and defender Keith Coleman will be released if there are any acceptable offers.

And manager Bob Stokoe announced that former Scottish international striker, John Hughes, who received a knee injury in his first match for Sunderland would be released from his contract. Mr Stokoe said that the club’s insurance claim had been met in full so that the club would be receiving £25,000 – the fee paid for Hughes when he moved to Roker from Crystal Palace.

Mr Stokoe added that Hughes was having another cartilage operation today and that he hoped he would be able to play some sort of football next season, possibly in Scotland.

There may be some changes in Roker’s back room staff later in the year. With Arthur Cox promoted to assistant manager, there are still three others on the training staff, Billy Elliott, Ray Yeoman and Martin Harvey and Mr Stokoe feels that his may be one too many.

However, no decision have been reached and Mr Stokoe commented: “If the Board feels we can carry this training staff, that’s OK by me.

Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on May 16, 1973.