Tributes after death of Sunderland AFC legend George Mulhall

George Mulhall
George Mulhall

Tributes have been paid to the man who made more consecutive appearances for Sunderland AFC than anyone else.

Record holder George Mulhall died on Friday, less than two weeks before his 82nd birthday.

George Mulhall receives treatment for an ankle injury from physiotherapist John Watters in January 1968, as Gordon Harris looks on

George Mulhall receives treatment for an ankle injury from physiotherapist John Watters in January 1968, as Gordon Harris looks on

Rated by Echo readers as one of the club's top ten signings, the outside-left joined Sunderland in 1962 from Aberdeen, and was an ever-present in the team that secured promotion to Division One in 1964.

He played in 125 consecutive games for Sunderland and made a total of 289 appearances, scoring 67 times.

George's final appearance in red and white came in the same game as Charlie Hurley’s, an away win at Burnley in April 1969 after which he played for Cape Town City and had a single game for Greenock Morton.

He managed Halifax Town, keeping them in the league and in a second spell returning them to the Football League, his Conference win being the first time The Shaymen had ever won any league title.

The SAFC first team squad from the 1968-69 season, with Gorge Mulhall third from left in the front row

The SAFC first team squad from the 1968-69 season, with Gorge Mulhall third from left in the front row

He also managed Bradford City, scouted for Ipswich and was assistant manager at Tranmere, Huddersfield and Bolton, where he worked alongside his old Roker team-mate Stan Anderson and tutored a young Peter Reid who as Sunderland manager took a team to Halifax for a testimonial for Mulhall in 1999.

"Dad’s death came as a great shock to us” said eldest son Neil.

"He had fractured his hip a few weeks ago and was in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. He had been in good spirits although for many years he had been suffering from Alzheimer’s – something he attributed to heading so many heavy balls as a footballer.

"My dad loved playing for Sunderland and my mother, who had come down from Aberdeen, with him loved living there too."

Peter Reid paid tribute to George on social media, posting the message 'RIP George Mulhall, a great football man,' on his Twitter page.

SAFC Supporters' Association chairman George Forster said: "That promotion team was a really good side, with Charlie Hurley and George, who was a great winger.

"I remember him getting up at the Black Cats Club and singing The Lights of Old Aberdeen."

The youngest of eight children, George was the third brother to become a footballer, Martin playing for Falkirk, Albion Rovers and Cowdenbeath while Edward represented East Stirlingshire.