Gary Rowell column - Thrashing West Ham 6-0 was one of my favourite games for Sunderland

Gary Rowell
Gary Rowell
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ONE of my favourite games for Sunderland at Roker Park was a 6-0 thrashing of West Ham in 1977.

As a team performance, it was as good as it gets and the only surprise was that we didn’t get more goals.

We were in the middle of a really good run which gave all of us great confidence and belief, and we went for West Ham’s throat right from the start.

Manager Jimmy Adamson had given younger players Shaun Elliott, Kevin Arnott and myself a chance and we played with no fear, but with absolute determination.

West Ham were a good team and had players of the calibre of Trevor Brooking, Billy Bonds and Alan Devonshire, who are all regarded now as Hammers legends.

But they couldn’t cope with the intensity and pace we played at that day.

Mel Holden and Bob Lee, both of them 6ft-plus, were playing up front for us and West Ham struggled with their physical presence, and that helped me get a couple of goals which was the first time I’d ever scored twice in the same game for Sunderland.

Bobby Kerr also got on the scoresheet with Holden and Lee bagging the others and at the end, West Ham couldn’t wait to get off the pitch.

I’ve experienced some great victories at Roker Park and of course, nothing tops beating Newcastle there.

Wins over the likes of Man United, Arsenal, Man City and Everton were also special.

But I can’t recall playing in many better team performances than the day we put six past West Ham.