The 100 greatest Sunderland signings: 8 and 7 revealed

Gary Bennett
Gary Bennett
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THROUGHOUT January we have been counting down the 100 greatest ever post-war Sunderland signings and today we reveal numbers eight and seven.

After our judging panel whittled down the candidates to a top 10, we invited you to select the best via text or online, and thousands of votes were cast.

Kevin Ball

Kevin Ball

Voting is now closed.

Today we can reveal who came in eighth and seventh position.

Keep visiting the website all week as we continue the countdown to the best ever Black Cats signing.

8. Gary Bennett (pictured)

- Defender joined Sunderland from Cardiff City in 1984 for an initial fee of £65,000

- Scored two minutes into his Sunderland debut, against Southampton

- Played in 1985 Milk Cup final defeat to Norwich City, and captained Sunderland to promotion from the third tier in 1988, and helped them to promotion from the second tier in 1990.

- Played in 1992 FA Cup final against Liverpool, and had a testimonial match against Rangers before leaving in 1995

- Made 443 appearances for Sunderland, scoring 25 times, and is fifth on the club’s all-time appearance list

- Went on to play for Carlisle United, Scarborough and Darlington, and briefly managed Darlington.

- Bennett now works as a radio pundit and commentates on Sunderland games

7. Kevin Ball (pictured)

- Player who played in defence in midfield, joined Sunderland from Portsmouth in 1990 for £350,000

- Played in FA Cup final loss to Liverpool in 1992

- Twice won promotion to the Premier League with Sunderland, and captained the team in the heartbreaking play-off final defeat to Charlton Athletic in 1998

- Had a testimonial match against Sampdoria in 1999 before leaving to join Fulham later that year

- Made 388 appearances for Sunderland, scoring 27 times

- After retiring, Ball returned to the club on the backroom team, and has twice spent spells in caretaker charge. His current position is senior professional development coach

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.

* Click here for 15-11 - including Darren Bent.

* Click here for the top 10.