Sunderland boss Denis Smith completed his mission to get the Rokermen promotion out of Division Three at the first attempt on this day – April 30 – back in 1988.
Roared on by a vociferous travelling support at Vale Park 28 years ago, the blue-shirted visitors completed a double against Port Vale, with Eric Gates grabbing the only goal 11 minutes from time to seal promotion.
Sunderland went on to clinch the title, beating Northampton 3-1 three days later.
PORT VALE: Grew, Webb, Hughes, Walker, Hazell, Sproson, Ford, Earle, Riley (Maguire), Beckford, Mills
SUNDERLAND: Hesford, Kay, F Gray, Bennett (Agboola), MacPhail, Doyle, Lemon, Pascoe, Gates, Gabbiadini, Armstrong