On October 17, 1879, a Sunderland resident school teacher James Allan founded the Sunderland District & Teachers Assosiation Football Club. The first officially registered game was played by the team on November 13, 1880 against Ferrichill Athletic and lost it 0: 1. The first home stadium for the team was Blue House Field, not far from the James Allan School in Hendon. The club replaced three more stadiums (Grove, Horatio Street and Abbs Field) before Newcastle Road became home in 1886. In 1881, the name of the club was changed to the Sunderland Association Football Club, after it was allowed to join people of other professions (not just teachers). This allowed to attract more players and improved the material base of the club. Allan was not pleased that the club was seeking to become professional. In 1888, he left the club and founded another – Sunderland Albion. Two clubs from Sunderland competed with each other until 1892, when Albion was disbanded.
The first coach of Sunderland was Tom Watson (he was appointed in August 1889). At this time, their matches consisted of local competitions, the FA Cup and friendly matches with the clubs of the Football League. Due to the growing popularity of the team applied for participation in the Football League. At a meeting of the League, which considered this application, the club offered to pay all the costs of other clubs associated with the road to Sunderland. In the 1890/91 season, Sunderland was admitted to the Football League. He replaced Stoke City, who finished last in the previous season and was not re-elected. Sunderland became the first club to join the League after its formation in 1888. At the end of the XIX century “Sunderland” was called the “Team of all talents.” This nickname was given to them by William McCregor, the founder of the League. Sunderland wins the championship in the 1891/92 season with 42 points and ahead of the closest competitor – Preston North End – by 5 points. The following season, Sunderland became the champion for the second time, and central striker Johnny Campbell scored more than 30 goals for the second season in a row. In the same season, Sunderland scores 100 goals. This record was only broken in the 1919/20 season, when West Bromwich Albion scored 104 goals.
In the 1893/94 season, Sunderland became the second after Aston Villa, but already the next season, for the third time, became the champion ahead of Everton by 5 points. After the championship of 1894/95, April 27, 1895, a match was held with the Scottish champion – the Hart of Midlothian. Sunderland won this game 5: 3 and was named World Champion. In August 1896, Tom Watson became Liverpool coach. New Camper Sunderland appointed Robert Campbell. In the 1897/98 season, Sunderland finished second, 5 points behind Sheffield United. This season was the last one that the team played at Newcastle Road Stadium. The following season, Sunderland held home games at Rocker Park (with an initial capacity of 30,000). In 1889, Alex Mackey became a new coach. In the 1900/01 season, Sunderland took second place, and in 1901/02 won its fourth league title, beating Everton by 3 points.
In 1904, Sunderland was involved in a scandal involving the prize to its player Andrew McCombie. It was argued that the club gave the player £ 100 to open a business, implying that he would return them after making a profit. McCombie refused to return the money, claiming it was a gift. An investigation by the Football Association found that the money was a premium for renewing a contract or winning / drawing, which was prohibited by the rules. Sunderland was fined £ 250, and 6 directors were suspended from 2.5 years for hiding financial relations in the club. For involvement in the case, the Sunderland coach Alex Mackey was suspended for three months.
In 1905, as a result of the McCombie affair, instead of Alex Mackey, Sunderland’s trainer was Bob Kyle. In the same year, Sunderland first paid £ 1,000 for a player’s transfer: Alf Common came from Middlesbrough. In the 1907/08 season, Sunderland won its biggest win in the highest English league. With a 9: 1 score, Newcastle United was beaten up at St. James Park.
In the 1912/13 season, Sunderland became the champion for the 5th time, ahead of Aston Villa by 4 points. In the same season, Sunderland could win the Golden Double. But in the final match on April 19, 1913, Sunderland lost to Aston Villa 0: 1. At that time, Charlie Bucken scored a lot in Sunderland, being the second best team performance in 2009 (after Bobby Garni) (224 goals in 411 matches)
n the 1935/36 season, Sunderland again, and for the last time today, became the champion of the highest division of English football, and in 1937 the club won the FA Cup (defeating Preston North End in the final of the tournament with a score of 3: 1).
In 1957, Sunderland was subjected to a series of sanctions and fined by the football league, because the club’s leadership had violated the salary ceiling adopted at that time. And the next season, in 1958, the club for the first time in its history left the top division of English football, which remained 68 years old. A curious fact is that right before the departure, the club earned the nickname Bank of England, for record transfers for that time, including the acquisition of playing coach Carlisle United Ivor Brodis, who actually sold himself.
Second Division and participation in European competition: 1959-1979
For the period of the end of the 50s and the end of the 70s, the last major success of Sunderland fell to this day – in the 1972/73 season the club won the FA Cup.
In 1985, Sunderland for the first, and today the last, time reached the League Cup final, but lost the Norwich City trophy. In 1987, for the first time in its history, the club ended up in the third division, but Sunderland did not intend to play there for long, and under the leadership of Dennis Smith won the 1987/88 season, again being in the second division of English football. By the beginning of the 90s, the team was able to reach the Premier League, but stayed there for a while. The only bright moment of that period was the release in 1992 to the FA Cup final, but Sunderland lost to Liverpool with a score of 0: 2.
The end of the 1990s, the club dedicated to the planned strengthening of the team. In 1997, Sunderland received a new forty-thousandth stadium, and in 1999, with a large margin won the second division (the future Football League Championship), receiving the right to play the Premier League. At first, the game in the elite division was quite successful, mainly due to Kevin Phillips’s bombing talent, the club finishing twice in the seventh and started already striving for more.
The team in tandem to Phillips was bought for a large amount by top-level attacker Toure Andre Flu, but he and the whole team failed the season, scoring only 4 goals in 29 games, however, again, Kevin Phillips became the top scorer in the team. After the 2002/03 season, the team left the Premier League, gaining only 19 points by the end of the championship, which was an anti-record at that time. After replacing the coach, the team repeated the success of 1999. Under the leadership of Mick McCarthy in 2005, the club won the Champion’s gold, but in the Premier League Sunderland again waited shame (the team finished the season with 15 points, beating its own anti-record). Despite the disastrous season, the team managed to achieve a sensational draw on the road in the game with Manchester United 0-0, a number of players of that roster remained in demand in other teams of the Premier League and the prestigious European championships for a long time. Julio Ark, Grant Leadbeater – Middlesbrough, John Steed – Sheffield United, Kelvin Davis – Southampton, Anthony Le Tallec – Saint-Etienne. Ben Allnvik, who fired a penalty in a 2 lap game with Tottenham Hotspur, joined this team as a backup goalkeeper.
In 2006, Sunderland changed its leadership; the team was bought by an Irish consortium headed by the recent striker Neil Quinn. He also invited his comrade Roy Keane, the former player of the Irish national team and the captain of Manchester United, to the post of head coach of the team. Subsequently, several footballers from Ireland appeared in Sunderland (David Connolly, Liam Miller and Graham Kevenagi). It was even bought the best player in Trinidad and Tobago at the World Cup – Dwight York. At first, after 4 matches, the team occupied the last place in the Championship, losing all of them. However, the Irish replenishment helped the club. In the first season, Roy Keane led Sunderland to the championship in the Championship. Once in the Premier League, the team played significantly better than in its previous seasons in the elite division, and eventually finished the championship in 15th place. But three years after the change of leadership, the team changed its owner again. On May 27, 2009, American businessman Ellis Short bought out 100% of the club’s shares and became the sole owner of the team. Sunderland became the fifth club of the Premier League, owned by the Americans, after Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Aston Villa. The new management shook up the club again, as a result of which Roy Keane left, and English specialist Steve Bruce was invited to take his place. With the new coach, “Sunderland” in the 2009/10 season took 13th place.
The following season, on November 15, 2010, the team issued a magnificent match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, beating the hosts leading by that moment in the championship with a crushing score of 3: 0. The team brilliantly spent the first part of the season and claimed a place in European competition, but due to injuries leading players failed the second part, ending the season in 10th place. It was in this season that the star of Jordan Henderson, the future midfielder of Liverpool and the national team of England, revealed.
The team spent most of the 2013/14 season in the relegation zone, but made a real feat by issuing a series of 3 victories in a row from 35th to 37th round – having defeated Chelsea and Manchester United with the score 1: 0, defeating Cardiff City ”4: 0, which allowed the club to become the first since the formation of the Premier League in 1992, not departing from the Premier League from the last place where the team was located in the middle of the championship.
In the 2017/2018 season, the “black cats” left for League 1 ahead of schedule, losing to “Burton” with a score of 1: 2.
The team started the season 2018/19 with the transfer company, during which Jack Baldwin and one of the best assistants of Max Power, who had gone on promotion at the Wigan Championship, were bought. This midfielder in starting 4 games scored 2 goals for Sunderland. In the five starting matches of the season, the team scored 4 wins and 1 match tied.