The 100 greatest Sunderland signings: 15-11

Neil Martin
Neil Martin
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THESE are the five players that narrowly missed out on making it into the top 10 of our countdown of the 100 greatest Sunderland signings.

Our judging panel has selected the greatest post-war signings and the criteria was very simple.

Len Ashurst

Len Ashurst

Players had to have played after World War II, and those who had come through the ranks were not eligible.

15. Neil Martin

- Forward joined in 1965 from Hibernian for £45,000

- Scored 26 goals in the 1966-67 season, and scored in five successive league games in 1968

Darren Bent

Darren Bent

- Made 99 appearances for Sunderland, scoring 46 times

- Scotland international left the club in 1968 to join Coventry City for £90,000

14. Len Ashurst

- Defender joined in 1957 from Prescot Stables after earlier being released by Liverpool, although he had not yet played a game at senior level

Trevor Ford

Trevor Ford

- Went on to spend 14 years at Roker Park

- Made 458 appearances for Sunderland, scoring four times. Only Jimmy Montgomery has played more times for the club

- One of only two outfield players to have played more than 400 league games for Sunderland

- Had a testimonial in 1971, the same year he left to join Hartlepool United as player-manager

Ian Porterfield

Ian Porterfield

- After spells in charge at clubs such as Sheffield United and Cardiff City, he took over as Sunderland manager between 1984 and 1985

13. Darren Bent

- Striker joined Sunderland in 2009 from Tottenham Hotspur for a fee worth up to £16.5m

- Scored a flurry of goals in red and white, including the infamous ‘beach ball’ winner against Liverpool in October 2009

- Made 63 appearances for Sunderland, scoring 36 times

- Goal for England against Switzerland in 2010 was the first goal a Sunderland player had scored for the Three Lions since Len Shackleton in 1954

- Made an acrimonious departure from Wearside in January 2011 when he joined Aston Villa for a fee rising to £24m – a club record sale for Sunderland

- His career has since drifted, taking in loan spells at Fulham and Brighton and Hove Albion

12. Trevor Ford

- Striker joined Sunderland from Aston Villa in 1950 for £29,500

- Scored a hat-trick on his home debut, and regularly hit the net during his time on Wearside

- A highlight was a hat-trick in a 7-1 win over Arsenal at Roker Park in 1954

- Welsh international made 117 appearances for Sunderland, scoring 70 times

- Left the club in 1953 to join Cardiff City, and later played for PSV Eindhoven and Newport County

11. Ian Porterfield

- Midfielder joined in 1967 from Raith Rovers for £45,000

- Scored winner in 1973 FA Cup final against Leeds United. Played every minute of the cup run

- Stayed at Roker Park until 1977

- Made 269 appearances for Sunderland, scoring 19 times

- Later managed clubs including Sheffield United, Aberdeen, Chelsea and Trinidad and Tobago

Our panel also selected a top 10 – but the order of those players will be up to Echo readers, who can vote for who they believe is the greatest signing in the club’s post-war history either online or by text.

You can also tweet your views on the countdown by using the hashtag #SAFC100.

The countdown:

* Click here for 100-96 - including Phil Gray.

* Click here for 95-91 - including Steven Fletcher.

* Click here for 90-86 - including David Connolly.

* Click here for 85-81 - including Alex Chamberlain.

* Click here for 80-76 - including Fred Hall.

* Click here for 75-71 - including Mart Poom.

* Click here for 70-66 - including Alex Rae.

* Click here for 65-61 - including Eric Gates.

* Click here for 60-56 - including John O’Shea.

* Click here for 55-51 - including Don Goodman.

* Click here for 50-46 - including Simon Mignolet.

* Click here for 45-41 - including Dick Malone.

* Click here for 40-36 - including Lee Clark.

* Click here for 35-31 - including Willie Watson.

* Click here for 30-26 - including Charlie ‘Cannonball’ Fleming.

* Click here for 25-21 - including Chris Turner.

* Click here for 20-16 - including Paul Bracewell.