Sunderland v Man City sparked excitement in 1997 too!

Flashback to 1997 and the fixtures announcement
Flashback to 1997 and the fixtures announcement
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Sunderland start the coming Premier League season with a trip to Manchester City.

But it was a visit from City - and a first league game at the newly-built Stadium of Light - which was the talk of fixtures day in 1997.

On fixtures day ten years ago, the focus was more on Niall Quinn's takeover bid

On fixtures day ten years ago, the focus was more on Niall Quinn's takeover bid

The Black Cats had just been relegated but there was still excitement about starting a new era in a new ground - despite the sadness of leaving Roker Park.

The Echo’s headline was It’s Man City For Openers, explaining that was the first home game, with Sunderland heading to Sheffield United for the season opener (which they lost 2-0).

Of course, the City game will long be remembered with Niall Quinn getting the honour of being the first scorer at the stadium.

Giorgi Kinkladze scored a second half equaliser but Kevin Phillips and Lee Clark struck in the last 10 minutes to seal a 3-1 win.

Bob Murray backs Niall Quinn to take Sunderland forward

Bob Murray backs Niall Quinn to take Sunderland forward

Ten years ago, Quinn was again the talk of Wearside on fixtures day.

Only this time, he was in the process of buying the club!

There were a few tense weeks, but finally a deal was done with Bob Murray, who then hailed Quinn as part of a Dream Ticket to take Sunderland forward.

Five years ago, the fixture list handed Sunderland a trip to Liverpool, with the Echo hailing Cats Kop Cracker!

Five years ago, Sunderland were handed an opening day trip to Liverpool

Five years ago, Sunderland were handed an opening day trip to Liverpool

The game ended 1-1. Luis Suarez scored for Liverpool with Seb Larsson getting the equaliser - in a game where Jordan Henderson made his Reds debut having been signed from the Black Cats.

Sunderland's opening game five years ago brought a 1-1 draw at Anfield

Sunderland's opening game five years ago brought a 1-1 draw at Anfield