Sunderland reached the FA Cup Final 25 years ago – the Red and Whites’ most recent run to Wembley in the oldest competition of them all.
The 2017 adventure begins today, with a home tie against Premier League rivals Burnley, just a week after losing 4-1 away to the Clarets in the Premier League.
How will David Moyes’ fare in his first FA Cup tie in charge of the Black Cats?
Here we look back at Sunderland’s last 25 third round matches.
Arsenal 3 Sunderland 1
January 9, 2016
Jordan Pickford made a promising debut in goal for Sunderland, despite the Black Cats’ FA Cup run ending at the first hurdle.
As the second half reached the midway point at the Emirates Stadium, Sunderland were firmly in contention against Premier League leaders Arsenal.
But when Sam Allardyce understandably decided to hand his two chief lieutenants, John O’Shea and Lee Cattermole, a breather ahead of the huge midweek Premier League relegation clash against fellow strugglers Swansea, it all began to fall apart for Sunderland.
Two goals in the final 20 minutes from Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud secured a 3-1 win for Arsenal over Sunderland for the second time in a month after Joel Campbell had cancelled out Jeremain Lens’ opener for the visitors.
For Sunderland’s goal, Laurent Koscielny was robbed by Lens on the edge of the Arsenal area. From the right of goal, just inside the area, Lens curled a first time right-footed shot around Petr Cech at his near post and into the net.
Allardyce’s side were competitive for large portions of the encounter, particularly the impressive Lens in the number 10 role, albeit they gifted Arsenal a soft equaliser.
But as the game entered its latter stages and it became increasingly open with neither side desiring a replay, Sunderland were unable to contain the reigning two-time champions as their defensive resilience fell apart.
Sunderland 1 Leeds United 0
January 4, 2015
Sunderland mirrored their 1973 cup-winning scoreline over Leeds United after a match-winning return to action from left-back Patrick van Aanholt.
Van Aanholt’s first goal in Sunderland colours proved to be sufficient for the Black Cats at the Stadium of Light, as Gus Poyet’s side progressed into the fourth round of the FA Cup.
The Dutch international had been a surprise name on the team-sheet after more than two months on the sidelines with a shoulder injury, but, after returning to training just 24 hours earlier, he broke the deadlock with a superb left-footed strike.
That came during a dominant opening 45 minutes from Sunderland, yet Championship visitors Leeds finally came to life after the break, with the visitors twice going close during the early stages of the second half.
However, Sunderland still had opportunities to put the game to bed, with Steven Fletcher spurning a couple of presentable chances to make the scoreline more comfortable.
Leeds almost Sunderland pay for that wastefulness in stoppage time, but captain Liam Cooper’s header crashed against the outside of the post.
Sunderland 3 Carlisle United 1
January 5, 2014
Beleaguered Gus Poyet was handed a boost as Sunderland eased past League One visitors Carlisle to book their place in the fourth round.
The relegation-haunted Black Cats headed in at 1-1 at half-time after Matty Robson had cancelled out Adam Johnson’s fine free-kick from 25 yards, following a foul on Craig Gardner.
Robson levelled, smashing in off the underside of the bar after Vito Mannone flapped helplessly at a David Amoo cross.
However, Sean O’Hanlon’s own goal, slicing a clearance past keeper Greg Fleming, and a late strike from substitute El-Hadji Ba, with a helping hand from Jozy Altidore, meant it ended 3-1 to the hosts, killing off any hope of an upset for the 5,631 travelling fans among a crowd of 21,973 and securing a fourth round home tie against either Kidderminster or Peterborough for Poyet’s men.
The fact that it was achieved without skipper John O’Shea, Italy midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini and main striker Steven Fletcher will have been a source of comfort for the Uruguayan amid a cluttered schedule.
Carlisle, struggling near the foot of the table, produced a creditable display after they more than made a fist of it against top-flight opposition.
Sunderland 0 Bolton Wanderers 2
January 15, 2013
Marvin Sordell’s double dumped Sunderland out of the FA Cup in a third round replay as the Black Cats suffered Stadium of Light humiliation to Championship side Bolton.
The Wearsiders were a shadow of the side who were impressive against West Ham three days earlier, as they produced a tepid performance in the third round replay.
Sunderland, who drew 2-2 in the original tie, enjoyed by far the lion’s share of possession in the first half, yet their best efforts came from free-kicks – Craig Gardner and Adam Johnson both drawing smart saves out of Bolton stopper Andy Lonergan.
Bolton grew in confidence in the second half and, after Sordell spurned a one-on-one against Simon Mignolet, he opened the scoring from the penalty spot when Jack Colback was harshly adjudged to have fouled Darren Pratley.
Sordell then doubled the advantage when he punished Matt Kilgallon’s mis-hit clearance to send Sunderland crashing out of the competition.
The one positive for Martin O’Neill was the return of Lee Cattermole, with the fit-again skipper enjoying a late cameo from the bench.
Peterborough United 0 Sunderland 2
January 8, 2012
Martin O’Neill’s Black Cats eased past brave Peterborough into the fourth round with a convincing performance.
The Wearsiders made it three wins in a row under O’Neill as they followed up the Ji Dong-won winner against Manchester City and a 4-1 midweek cruise at Wigan with another impressive display.
Winger James McClean, proving a big hit since being brought into the first-team squad by O’Neill, hit the bar, but Posh reached half-time at 0-0, helped by a series of fine saves by home keeper Joe Lewis.
The breakthrough finally arrived three minutes into the second half when Seb Larsson curled his free-kick in at the back post.
Ten minutes later, McClean ensured victory with a second goal, heading home a Larsson corner.
Sunderland 1 Notts County 2
January 8, 2011
Sunderland endured a dismal third round defeat to League One visitors Notts County.
Lee Hughes was the talisman for the Magpies, who deservedly became the first lower-league side to beat Sunderland for five years.
Home goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was culpable for Notts’ opening goal, failing to deal with a Craig Westcarr cross and dropping the ball finto the net in just the fifth minute,.
That set the tone for the afternoon and Notts capitalised on their feel good factor to make life tough for Steve Bruce’s side.
They eventually doubled their advantage with 15 minutes to go, when Hughes fired past Mignolet from an acute angle.
Sunderland rallied with a penalty from Darren Bent, after Andy Reid was felled by Ricky Ravenhill, but Notts saw out the remaining nine minutes and stoppage time to clinch a famous win.
Sunderland 3 Barrow 0
January 2, 2010
Non-league Barrow made life tough for Sunderland, but the Black Cats eventually ran out comfortable 3-0 victors.
Barrow had a couple of chances, thrilling their big travelling support, before falling behind to a Steed Malbranque goal in the 17th minute, the midfielder finishing well with a low shot into the bottom corner, from a flick by Fraizer Campbell.
Sunderland only breached the Cumbrians’ defence a second time in the 52nd minute, Campbell scoring his first goal for three months, heading home an inswinging Daryl Murphy free-kick.
Campbell set the seal on Sunderland’s win six minutes later, nodding home a right-wing Phil Bardsley centre.
Striker Ryan Noble and left-back Michael Liddle were both handed their debuts a second-half subs.
Sunderland 2 Bolton Wanderers 1
January 3, 2009
Sunderland reached the fourth round for the first time in three years, deservedly beating their Premier League rivals.
Kenwyne Jones headed home a Kieran Richardson cross to make the breakthrough on 35 minutes, and Djibril Cisse doubled the lead, volleying home Carlos Edwards’ centre before Ebi Smolarek came off the bench to throw Bolton a lifeline with a deflected strike.
Sunderland 0 Wigan Athletic 3
January 5, 2008
Roy Keane paid the price for a host of changes as Premier side Sunderland were well beaten by their First Division visitors.
Paul Schooner gave Wigan the lead on 18 minutes, with a Paul McShane own goal and a David Cotterill strike sealing a well-deserved away success, a disappointing first start to his second half-season loan for defender Jonny Evans.
Preston North End 1 Sunderland 0
January 6, 2007
A week after losing by a single goal to Preston in the league at home, Roy Keane’s Sunderland crashed unceremoniously out of the FA Cup at Deepdale.
On Jonny Evans’ debut, on loan from Manchester United, Sunderland fell behind to Brett Ormerod’s 31st-minute strike and were always up against it once Liam Miller was red-carded six minutes later.
Carlos Edwards made his debut as a second-half sub.
Sunderland 3 Northwich Victoria 0
January 8, 2006
Sunderland, on course for a dismal 15-point Premier League relegation zone, made hard work of knocking out non-league Northwich Victoria.
Kelvin Davis had to make three vital saves to deny the gallant visitors, but Neill Collins drove home the opener after a Tommy Miller shot was blocked.
Dean Whitehead and on-loan French man Anthony Le Tallec gave the scoreline a slightly flattering look.
Sunderland 2 Crystal Palace 1
January 8, 2005
Sunderland came from behind to see off their Premier League visitors.
Neill Collins put through his own goal in the 40th minute, knocking the ball past Thomas Myhre as Andy Johnson gave the home defence problems, but Andy Welsh’s excellent, curling free-kick soon levelled matters and Marcus Stewart confirmed the First Division hosts’ victory with a cheekily chipped penalty after being fouled by Fitz Hall.
Sunderland 1 Hartlepool United 0
January 3, 2004
Julio Arca was the Sunderland hero, hitting the only goal of a close-fought tie eight minutes into the second half to silence a 9,000-strong visiting support.
The Argentinian, who earlier hit the post, got on the end of a long ball forward and fired a low strike past keeper Jim Provett.
Eifion Williams and Paul Robinson both went close late on for Pools before the majority of a crowd of 40,816 could breathe easily.
Sunderland 2 Bolton Wanderers 0
January 14, 2003
Howard Wilkinson’s Black Cats were just about to embark on their 15-match losing streak to end the Premier League season.
After a 1-1 draw in the original tie at the Reebok, when Kevin Phillips levelled Michael Ricketts’ opener, Sunderland secured victory in extra time in the replay, with Julio Arca and Michael Proctor on target.
The game marked the debuts of Argentinian misfit Nicolas Medina, his only appearance after a £3.5million move from Argentinos Juniors, and youngster Sean Thornton.
Medina, almost needless to say, was substituted, albeit only at the end of 90 minutes.
Sunderland 1 West Bromwich Albion 2
January 5, 2002
Defeat was a big disappointment for Peter Reid’s Premier League side as First Division visitors West Brom eased to a surprisingly comfortable victory.
Kevin Phillips fired Sunderland in front on 12 minutes, but Neil Clement’s penalty and an Andy Johnson strike turned it around, with the hosts - on course for a second successive seventh-place finish in the Premier League - unable to cope with the power and desire of Albion frontman Jason Roberts.
Crystal Palace 2 Sunderland 4
January 17, 2001
Sunderland were poor in the original home tie, which ended goalless and saw Stan Varga sent off, along with Palace’s Hayden Mullins.
They fell behind to a Clinton Morrison goal in the Selhurst Park replay, but reliable Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips scored within a minute late in the second half to put Sunderland ahead.
Steve Thomson levelled to force extra time, but further efforts from Phillips and Kevin Kilbane sealed a fourth-round date with Ipswich.
Sunderland 1 Portsmouth 0
December 11, 1999
The third round was played in December, bizarrely, and First Division visitors Pompey put up a stuffy display to nullify Peter Reid’ top-flight high-fliers.
A single Gavin McCann strike, midway through the first half, proved decisive in front of a crowd of 26,535.
Lincoln City 0 Sunderland 1
January 2, 1999
Sunderland, enjoying their march to the First Division title, scraped past Lincoln City to reach the fourth round.
Peter Reid’s men never displayed their league form against a gallant home side, but a single goal saw off the Third Division side, midfielder Gavin McCann - an early replacement for injured left-back Martin Scott - netting in the 16th minute.
Sunderland finished with only 10 men, following a second yellow card for Darren Williams a minute from time.
Rotherham United 1 Sunderland 5
January 3, 1998
Kevin Phillips enjoyed a personal triumph in his first FA Cup tie as a Sunderland player, netting the visitors’ first four goals in a convincing win away to Ronnie Moore’s Millers.
Phillips netted on 15 minutes, then struck again on 55, 72 and 76, with Darren Garner having cut the deficit to 2-1.
Niall Quinn hit the fifth goal.
Sunderland 0 Arsenal 2
January 15, 1997
Dennis Bergkamp scored a fabulous opening goal, a minute into the second half, to set up Arsenal’s replay success in the last ever FA Cup tie at Roker Park.
Stephen Hughes added the killer second goal 20 minutes later, avenging a 1-0 league defeat four days earlier.
In the original cup game at Highbury, Sunderland were well worth their draw, with Michael Gray’s 20th-minute strike cancelling out John Hartson’s early opener.
Sunderland 1 Manchester United 2
January 16, 1996
Peter Reid’s gallant First Division fighters were cruelly knocked out by Manchester United, with Andy Cole grabbing a last-minute replay winner.
Phil Gray put Sunderland ahead midway through the first half, and the lead was held until Paul Scholes struck on 71 minutes.
underland had been even more impressive in the original game, leading 2-1 to delight a massive travelling support with memorable efforts from Steve Agnew and Craig Russell, after trailing to Nicky Butt’s early strike, before Eric Cantona equalised late on.
Carlisle United 1 Sunderland 3
January 17, 1995
Sunderland despatched the Cumbrians for the second year in a row, again winning the replay after a 1-1 Roker Park draw.
Gordon Armstrong struck twice inside 18 minutes to settle the Red and Whites’ nerves, and Phil Gray added a killer third soon after Dean Walling got Carlisle back to 2-1.
In the first game, Craig Russell’s opener was cancelled out by a 78th-minute Simon Davey strike.
Carlisle Utd 0 Sunderland 1
January 18, 1994
Lee Howey grabbed an extra-time replay winner as Mick Buxton’s First Division Sunderland were made to struggle for a second game against their lowly Cumbrian hosts.
Carlisle brought a big support of around 6,000 to Roker Park for the first game, in which Derek Ferguson’s opener was levelled by Darren Edmondson 10 minutes from time.
Notts County 0 Sunderland 2
January 12, 1993
Sunderland’s first FA Cup game since the previous season’s Wembley final defeat brought a comfortable 2-0 victory at Meadow Lane.
Shaun Cunnington made the breakthrough 12 minutes before half-time and Don Goodman sealed the deal for Malcolm Crosby’s side with a second goal on 70 minutes, clinching a fourth round date at Sheffield Wednesday.
The match was postponed until the midweek.
Sunderland 3 Port Vale 0
January 4, 1992
Sunderland’s run to the FA Cup Final began in convincing fashion as caretaker boss Malcolm Crosby oversaw a deserved three-goal home victory.
Crosby, appointed following Denis Smith’s dismissal after a 3-0 Second Division defeat at Oxford on December 30, had Sunderland in good spirits, having beaten Barnsley 2-0 on New Year’s Day in his first match in charge.
Against Vale in the cup, Brian Atkinson settled the Roker Park crowd with a ninth-minute opening goal, before Peter Davenport increased the lead just before the break.
Vale were killed off when John Byrne struck 18 minutes from time.