Sunderland AFC players of the past: Monty, Super Kev, Shack and Cloughie in the same line-up

Well what a response we got to this question!

Tuesday, 4th December 2018, 10:03 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th December 2018, 10:05 am
Brian Clough was in your top three of your favourite stars.

We asked the members of the new Sunderland Echo nostalgia page on social media, ‘If you could bring back one Sunderland player from the past, who would it be?’.

And oh how it divided opinion on the page which is called Wearside Echoes.

Jimmy Montgomery, the '73 hero.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

However, we have compiled the results and what a line-up this would make.

In goal, and second in the overall poll, was the fantastic Jimmy Montgomery, FA Cup Final hero and still held in the highest regard by fans.

One Wearside Echoes follower hailed his 1973 save at Wembley as not only the best by a Sunderland keeper but the best ever by any keeper.

Another put it up there with the Gordon Banks save in the 1970 World Cup against Brazil.

Charlie Hurley just topped the poll.

There were plenty of options for the defence with Charlie Hurley leading the way. He also topped the overall poll ahead of Monty.

The Irish centre back played more than 400 times for Sunderland.

Echoes follower Ron Chisholm had plenty of suggestions for the defence, and among them was the ‘raw-boned centre half Ray Daniels’.

Malcolm Watson highlighted Colin Todd, who he described as the ‘best home grown outfield player.’ He made 173 appearances for Sunderland before moving on in 1971 to Derby County, and eventually he won 27 caps for England.

Another 1973 hero Dave Watson gets the backing of Joan and John Allan. Dave was the centre forward who made the move to centre half after Bob Stokoe arrived on Wearside. He too went on to play for England.

The choices for the midfield slots were vast and dozens of you had your say.

But who could overlook Stan Anderson. Certainly not Peter Whillians, who said: “After a lot of thought it has to be the captain of the North. Stan Anderson. Captained all three North East clubs. Will never be done again. Rip Stan.”

Joining Stan in midfield are Len Shackleton, often referred to as the Crown Prince of Football, and who got the vote of Freda Fairley.

Scottish left half Jim Baxter was the choice of Carol Yeats. Jim appeared 87 times for Sunderland and scored 10 goals between 1965 and 1967.

Your votes meant a 4-3-3 line-up with three famous forwards in our starting 11.

One was Brian Clough, who scored 54 times in 61 appearances before cruciate ligament damage ended his career. David Griffiths, Eileen Watson, Steven Ross and Les Mitchell were among his fans and he finished third in our poll.

Joining him is Trevor Ford, the Welshman who netted 67 times in 108 games between 1950 and 1953. Tony Flynn and Ron Chisholm were among his fans and Ron said: “I was in the Fulwell End when Mr Ford smashed the crossbar from about 30 yards out.”

And to complete an amazing front three, we have Kevin Phillips. Super Kev wins the vote of Karla Stobbart and Ray Dugdale for a career which saw him net 113 times in 208 games.

That’s a front line with 234 goals between them!

But there were plenty of other options too including Gary Rowell, George Herd and Stan Cummins.

Irishman Billy Bingham, another 1973 FA Cup Final hero Micky Horswill, and Nicky Sharkey also made the list.

Others including Ann Storey said there were too many good players to narrow the list down to just one.

We thank everyone who responded to the question and those who liked it including Kath Russell, Isabel Cummins, Julie Cheal, Peter Woodhill and David Griffiths.

We would love to hear from more people interested in joining the Wearside Echoes page on Facebook. We are rapidly closing in on the 900 members mark and you could help us boost the total to 1,000.

The page is described as ‘A place to share your memories of growing up on Wearside and in County Durham, brought to you by the Sunderland Echo.

We’d love to hear the tales you’ve got to tell of life in and around Sunderland – so feel free to share your stories and photographs here and contact our nostalgia correspondent directly on [email protected]

Get in touch and share those memories of times gone by.

Is there a former pub, club, restaurant, shop or store you would like us to reflect on.