WEAR-TYNE rivals faced off on the golf course as the countdown to Derby Day intensified.
Former Sunderland players Gordon Armstrong, Richie Pitt, Micky Horswill and Martin Smith as well as ex-Newcastle stalwart John Anderson were at a windy Houghton Golf Club for the Konect Cup.
All proceeds from the day, which saw the lads pair off into foursomes, are going towards supporting the work of the Teenage Cancer Trust.
As they teed off, the former pros looked forward to Sunday’s crunch encounter at the Stadium of Light, which will see the Wearsiders look to record a fifth win in a row over the Magpies for the first time.
“It’s always good to get one over them on the golf course so we’ll enjoy today,” said Gordon, who made more than 400 appearances for the red-and-whites in the 80s and 90s.
“Looking at the game, it’s between two teams who are really struggling for form at the minute, so the first goal is going to be massive.
I think it will be a close game though and it will be 1-0 to Sunderland, Connor Wickham will get the goalFormer Sunderland AFC midfielder Gordon Armstrong
“I think it will be a close game though and it will be 1-0 to Sunderland, Connor Wickham will get the goal.”
Former Magpies defender John said: “Both sides aren’t in great form at the minute so it’s hard to pick out who will do well.
“I think Ayoze Perez is key for Newcastle and he might score.”
Ex-striker Martin, who went on to play for Sheffield United after leaving the Stadium of Light, said: “I’m trying not to think about the game!
“I always think we can be confident going into it but we know what derby games are like. Newcastle haven’t been doing so well but neither have Sunderland so it’s probably got a draw written all over it and everyone can be happy.”
Speaking about the decision to appoint Dick Advocaat as head coach until the end of the season, Martin added: “He could be a mistake or it could go the right way.
“Whatever happens I think a change needed to be made.”
Konect managing director and Sunderland supporter Gavin Brown said: “We’ve had the golf day at the Ramside in Durham for the last few years and we always look out for the football fixtures in the summer so that we can arrange the day around the warmer derby match.
“We’ve got teams of four, two Sunderland fans and two Newcastle fans, going out and hopefully they’ll enjoy the competition while raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.”