Where are they now? Sunderland AFC's 1998-99 record breaking team in profile
On this day in 1999, Sunderland's 2-1 victory over Birmingham City saw them tear up the record books.
The triumph over the Blues saw Peter Reid’s side secure a then-record points haul of 105 in the second tier having picked up 31 league wins along the way
Goals from Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn saw Sunderland come from behind against the Midlanders – but where are the Sunderland starting line-up from that day two decades on?
We take a look at where the record-breakers are now…
Goalkeeper – Thomas Sorensen
The Dane was a popular figure between the sticks during his time in English football, going on to represent Aston Villa and Stoke after leaving the Stadium of Light in 2003.
Sorensen made 171 appearances during his time at the Black Cats after joining from Odense and kept a club record 29 clean sheets during the title campaign.
His career ended at Melbourne City in 2017 and he still resides in Australia now, where he has just completed a 3500km bike ride in aid of the Starlight Foundation and occasionally offers expert analysis for Fox Australia.
Defender – Michael Gray
A product of the Sunderland system, Gray burst onto the scene in 1996 and was a pivotal part of the side that strolled to the league title three years later.
Having made the left back spot his own, Gray went on to make almost 400 appearances at the Stadium of Light before he made the move to Blackburn in 2004.
Spells at Leeds, Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday followed before Gray retired from professional football in 2010. He now works for BT Sports, Bein Sports and TalkSport as a pundit, while also appearing on Channel 5’s football coverage.
Follow our live SAFC blog here:Defender – Andy Melville
A Welsh international centre back, Melville joined Sunderland in 1993 having racked up over 300 appearances at Swansea and Oxford.
And he spent a successful seven years in the North East, making over 200 appearances for the Black Cats with his powerful and commanding displays at the back making him a firm fans’ favourite.
After retiring in 2005, Melville moved into coaching and was assistant manager to Chris Wilder at Oxford United and has worked in various roles at several clubs.
The 49-year-old is currently Head of Recruitment at League Two side Northampton Town.
Defender – Chris Makin
The right back swapped the Mediterranean for the North Sea when he joined Sunderland from Marseille in 1998, and he enjoyed the best years of his career in the North East.
Makin made 121 appearances for the Black Cats during his five years at the club and was a regular in the team that romped to the league title.
His career came to an end at Southampton in 2008 with Makin, now 45, working as a Property Manager in Cheshire.
Defender – Paul Butler
A commanding centre back, Butler was brought to the club ahead of the 1998/99 season and proved to be a valuable signing.
Having built up a solid partnership with Melville, Butler helped the Black Cats to a record number of clean sheets during the title campaign.
He stayed at Sunderland at 2001 and later represented Wolves, Leeds United, MK Dons and Chester.
Butler is still working in football now, as he helps with the recruitment of 14-18-year-olds at Manchester City while also running his own scholars’ programme and offering analysis for local radio stations.
Follow our live SAFC blog here:Midfielder – Allan Johnston
Nicknamed ‘Magic Johnston’ by the Sunderland faithful, the winger moved to Sunderland after an unsuccessful spell in France with Rennes.
And he quickly made an impression at the Stadium of Light as he played a starring role in the promotion season - before falling out of favour the following year after contract negotiations fell apart.
Johnston later spent time at Rangers, Middlesbrough and Kilmarnock among others before joining Queen of the South as Player/Manager in 2012.
He led Queens to a historic double in his first season which attracted the attention of Kilmarnock who appointed Johnston as manager in 2013.
But he walked out of Rugby Park in 2015, later taking up the reigns at Dunfermline where remains today.
Midfielder - Kevin Ball
One of the most recognisable names in Sunderland history, Ball joined the club in 1990 and made over 300 appearances for the Black Cats.
The record-breaking season was his last full campaign on Wearside as he left for Fulham in December of 1999, before ending his career at Barnsley.
Ball spent two brief spells in the dugout at the Stadium of Light in 2006 and 2013 as he took caretaker charge of the club, and was previously Sunderland’s senior professional development coach under Martin O’Neill in 2012.
Ball remains at the Black Cats today, where he holds the role of club ambassador.
Midfielder – Lee Clark
A former Newcastle midfielder, Clark joined Sunderland in 1997 and was a regular starter in the centre of midfield during his time at the club.
He racked up just shy of 75 appearances for the club before he was sold to Fulham in 1999 following an incident at the FA Cup final, where he was supporting Newcastle.
Clark moved into management upon his retirement and has taken charge of Huddersfield, Birmignham, Blackpool, Kilmarnock and most recently Bury – where he was sacked in 2017.
He is currently out of work.
Follow our live SAFC blog here:Midfielder – Nicky Summerbee
After forming part of a swap deal which saw Craig Russell join Manchester City, Summerbee made the move to Wearside in 1997.
And the right-sided midfielder enjoyed some of his finest moments in a Sunderland shirt, contributing 7 goals in 90 appearances for the Black Cats and laying on countless chances for others – he recently described his time at Sunderland as his fondest period in football.
Having retired in 2006, the 46-year-old has now moved to Qatar where he is a regular pundit for the Al Kass network in Doha.
Striker – Niall Quinn
Sunderland was the final stop of Quinn’s career after spells at Manchester City and Arsenal, and the frontman was pivotal to this league success.
His 21 goals in the record-breaking campaign helped fire Sunderland up the table and ensured he became a favourite with the Black Cats’ faithful.
Quinn later took over the club in 2006 and was briefly manager, with the Irishman then selling the club to Ellis Short in 2011.
He was a regular on Sky Sports until 2017 when he left the broadcaster, and he still holds business interests as a director of Fleet Street Sport & Media Group.
Striker – Kevin Phillips
The other half of the ‘little and large’ partnership with Niall Quinn, Phillips remains a cult hero on Wearside.
Despite missing almost four months of the season, Phillips netted 25 times as Sunderland strolled to the title.
He left the Black Cats in 2003 and, having previously been assistant first team coach at Leicester City, Phillips is currently a first team coach at Derby County.