Former Sunderland forward relishes new challenge as chief executive

Warren Hawke (left) helps celebrate Eric Gates' opener for Sunderland in the 1990 play-off semi-final second leg win at Newcastle
Warren Hawke (left) helps celebrate Eric Gates' opener for Sunderland in the 1990 play-off semi-final second leg win at Newcastle
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Former Sunderland forward Warren Hawke has begun a new challenge – as chief executive of Scottish Championship high-fliers Morton.

The 46-year-old, who had two stints as a player at the Greenock club after leaving Sunderland, says he will enjoy his new role at Cappielow Park, though he has been on the board since 2011 and developed the club’s academy.

Hawke told the Greenock Telegraph: “Ultimately I want long-term sustainability for the football club.

“I never want us to have those dark days again. I want everybody to know we are here and I think sustainability is the key.”

He added: “I was very lucky to get paid to play football from the age of 16/17 and then all the way through to now 30 years later on.

“On the business side, I’ve got a passion for it, I really enjoy it, and to actually have been given the honour of hopefully taking the club in a direction we’ve already started on and being given this position by the board makes me very proud.

“I’m sure working with them, all the staff and supporters we can continue to move the club in a positive direction.”

In his time on Wearside, Hawke came through the reserves to make 29 first-team appearances, scoring once in an opening day 2-0 Second Division win at Swindon in August, 1989.

His two biggest games were the 1990 play-off semi-final second leg at Newcastle, when Sunderland famously claimed a 2-0 victory to reach Wembley, with Hawke a surprise starter in the No 11 shirt.

Hawke also got off the bench in the 1992 FA Cup final against Liverpool at Wembley, coming on for Brian Atkinson for the final 13 minutes.