Sunderland relegated to football's third division after late defeat to Burton Albion

A brave young fan tries to come to terms with Sunderland's relegation.
A brave young fan tries to come to terms with Sunderland's relegation.

Sunderland have been relegated to football's third tier for only the second time in their proud history after a crushing 2-1 home defeat to Burton Albion.

Leading with just four minutes to go, manager Chris Coleman's side conceded two late goals to their fellow strugglers to fritter away three vital points.

The equaliser was even scored by former Black Cat striker Darren Bent.

With victors Burton still to play fourth-bottom Bolton in next week's penultimate round of fixtures, Sunderland, on 34 points, cannot now reach the 41 points minimum requirement needed to stay up.

They will instead begin life in League One for only the second season in their history come August and for the first time since 1987.

Our in-depth coverage of Saturday's dramatic events includes the following:

Full match report as Sunderland squander first-half lead

Manager Chris Coleman "devastated" after Sunderland's relegation

Club statement pledges to "re-build and re-invigorate" SAFC

Analysis: Shambolic drop stems from owner Ellis Short and more shambolic recruitment

Fans leaving ground are "absolutely devastated" by relegation

Watch tension and torment unfold on the terraces as victory slips away

"Shame on you Ellis Short": Sunderland fans react on social media to relegation

Player ratings as old boy helps send Sunderland into League One