Young signs, but flu holds up Guthrie deal

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SUNDRLAND manager Mr Bob Stokoe completed the first leg of a bargain deal with Newcastle United today when he signed 26-year-old defender David Young, who had a full session with his new team-mates at the Washington New Town training complex before putting pen to paper. He was to have been partnered in the deal by 28-year-old Ron Guthrie at the joint fee of £35,000, but Guthrie is down with flu and the second leg of the deal will have to wait.

After reaching agreement with Mr Joe Harvey on his visit to Newcastle yesterday, Mr Stokoe had both players at Roker Park last night. He was confident of having both of them signed in time for the registration of their transfers with the Football League this afternoon to enable them to be eligible for Saturday’s game against Brighton. But Guthrie’s illness provides an unexpected hitch.

“I’m sure Guthrie’s signing is just delayed,” said Mr Stokoe. “We will get things moving when he is fit.”

Agreement on the double signing helped to offset the disappointment of failure in the attempt to bring John O’Hare back into the fold five years after transferring him to Derby County.

Young made his debut for Newcastle in the Fairs Cup tie at Southampton on January 14, 1970, and later won fame by subduing Inter-Milan’s Mazzola in a 1-1 draw in Milan and again in a 2-0 victory at St James’s Park.

Guthrie made his debut in an away game against Aston Villa which marked the opening of the 1966-67 season. Like Young, he has been compelled to play a waiting game behind an extremely strong first team pool.

Both players have been on offer since the close season and in fact, Guthrie was all lined up to join Cardiff City after a £30,000 fee had been agreed, but turned down the chance of a move. Northumberland-born, both players are delighted at the prospect of continuing their careers in the North-East with the prospects of first team football on a more regular basis.

News that Derby County had rejected Sunderland’s substantial offer for Scottish international centre forward John O’Hare was relayed to Mr Stokoe through club secretary Mr Ron Linney.

Naturally I was disappointed, because I think this is a player who can do a very good job for us. I could not get in touch with Brian Clough, who had flu, so I put our offer in writing and it has been turned down. I will try to find out what the gap was and we will then consider making another offer.

I was hoping that we might have three new players this week to give the team a boost after the lay-off through flu, but with O’Hare out of it and Guthrie down with flu, we are left with just one of the three,” said Mr Stokoe.

“I am grateful to Joe Harvey for being so helpful. This deal over Young and Guthrie will fill an experience gap and could be of the greatest value to Sunderland.

“We are not finished at that though. I could be signing another couple of players in the next week or fortnight, one of them probably a centre forward. We will try to do these things as cheaply as possible, but it seems that everybody has centre forward problems. Astronomical figures are being asked but we will keep on looking.

“Charlie Ferguson will be in Scotland again at the weekend keeping up the search.”

Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on January 4 1973.