Ha’way Back When: Sunderland fans’ memories of manager Howard Wilkinson

Howard Wilkinson
Howard Wilkinson
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Howard Wilkinson was appointed Sunderland manager 15 years ago, replacing Peter Reid. We asked what your memories of him were (we didn’t expect any gushing praise...).

Barry Marshall: I was told of the appointment by a friend by txt when I was away on a break in Dublin. Couldn’t believe it then, still can’t believe it now!

Shaun Sayers: My initial view was that a manager that could win the league with Chris Whyte and Chris Fairclough at the back, and Brian Deane and Lee Chapman up front must have something about him. Obviously I did change that view over time.

Gary Pearson: My favourite remark attributed to him was “as one door shuts, another one closes”. The man was a complete buffoon.

Steven Capper: Being away at bolton and the local coppers asking me why there were loads of safc fans in army hats chanting Sargent Wilkos red n white army!

Dave Mitcheson: Is he being lined up to replace Grayson? Nothing would surprise me anymore....

Ian Smith: HW wasn’t even amongst the top 100 betting, nor mentioned AT ALL in the run up to his appointment - total shock.

Phil Durham: Talking about Man U using nettle metaphors and Cotterill sounding like a shepherd with Tourette’s, whistling all the time!! Utter clowns.

Jim Milley: Not worth putting the memories into print. Waste of space.

Andrew Davis: He helped cure my insomnia! He was the dullest, least inspirational person that could have ever been chosen as a manager....ever!! Grey and dreary!

Terry Debbage: I was at work when the appointment was announced, the first person I saw said “see you have Howard the duck”

Billy Eyre: Him saying “there are 5 teams in this relegation battle but Sunderland aren’t one of them” We were rock bottom with no chance of survival.

Craig Turns: Sending me out on loan to Harrogate Town! ⚽️

Jason Halliwell: Cotterill writing the half time drinks orders into his jotter every match

Ian Carr: I liked his team talk before the Liverpool game with his nettle

Martin James Seed: Didn`t he say something like “we are top of the league if you turn the paper upside down”!

Graham Slesser: 2nd worst manager ever, behind mcmenemy

Rob Waugh: Typical of us. We signed him on world mental health day.

Michael Napier: Disaster of an appointment

Nigel Taylor: Let’s put it like this, if you think it’s bad now ...

Terry Ward: The shock through out the football world that he was appointed

Danny Hogan: One of my memories is of us scoring 3 own goals in a 1st half!!!

Phillip Healey: Had broken my neck but will never recover from his appointment

Zak Waters: I just remember dark clouds and a slight drizzle until he left.

Andrew Southgate: We should’ve never got rid of peter Reid

Andrew Malarkey: The memory that 15 years isn’t long enough for his reign to be etched out of folklore

Dave Garbutt: Fantatic appointment just came at the wrong time

Mark Bolton: Moyes gave him a run for his money in the charm steaks

Alan Stephenson: Alan Stephenson He was the worst manager we have had

John Pattison: John Pattison No memories...have eradicated from my consciousness

Malcolm Hewitt: It was a bad day when we swapped Peter Reid for HW and most of those who followed after him.

Philip Warren: Just how much of a disaster it was from first minute to last !!!!

Andrew Coates: Bag of nettles he took into the dressing room

Scott Arnott: Absolutely horrific!

Bill Luke: Boring, dreary, grey and they were his finest attributes. Forgettable!

Walter Weston: One word ... Arrogance !!!!.

Hamma Chapman: “BLUNDERLAND”

Les Cooper: Zonal marking