Where are they now? Sunderland's 1998 play-off final team in profile

It's just over twenty years to the day since the Black Cats played their part in one of Wembley's greatest ever games.

Sunderland v Charlton - 1998 play-off final
Sunderland v Charlton - 1998 play-off final

With a place in the Premier League up for grabs, Sunderland faced-off against Charlton in the First Division play-off final at the twin towers.

A thrilling 4-4 draw after extra time took the final to penalties where Michael Gray's missed spot kick meant that Sunderland made the journey back to the North East empty handed.

Sunderland v Charlton - 1998 play-off final

We take a look at where Peter Reid's starting line-up are now...

Goalkeeper - Lionel Perez

The flamboyant Frenchman brought some continental flair which had rarely been seen on Wearside, and featured prominently in the run to the play-off final.

At Wembley, he conceded all seven of Charlton's penalties and left later in the year as he teamed up with local rivals Newcastle United.

Sunderland v Charlton - 1998 play-off final

Spells at Scunthorpe, Cambridge, Enfield and Stevenage followed - with the Hertfordshire club his final calling point before he retired in 2004.

He spent time as Stevenage's goalkeeping coach before dropping out of football.

Defender - Darren Holloway

A product of the Black Cats' youth system, Holloway made the right back spot his own during the 1997/98 campaign.

He fell out of favour slightly the following season as Peter Reid brought in some more experienced heads and left the club in 2000.

Holloway's footballing career ended in 2009 at Gateshead and he moved into coaching.

The former Black Cat is now assistant manager at Blyth Spartans and Head Coach at the East Durham College football academy.

Defender – Michael Gray

Another homegrown youngster, Gray burst onto the scene in 1996 and was a key component of this Sunderland side.

Having made the left back spot his own, Gray went on to make almost 400 appearances at the Stadium of Light before he made the move to Blackburn in 2004.

Gray retired from professional football in 2010 following spells at Leeds, Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday.

He now works for BT Sports, Bein Sports and TalkSport as a pundit, while also appearing on Channel 5’s football coverage.

Defender – Jody Craddock

Craddock only joined Sunderland at the start of the 1997/98 season, but quickly became a fans' favourite.

His commanding performances at centre back were key to Sunderland's fine form during the season and continued to be until he left the club in 2003.

A ten-year stint at Wolves followed for Craddock who, having retired in 2013, is now pursuing his interest in art and painting.

Defender - Darren Williams

After coming through the ranks at York, Williams joined Sunderland in 1996 and cemented his place in the backline.

He left the Stadium of Light in 2004 and spent time at Cardiff, Hartlepool and Bradford before turning out for several non-league clubs.

Williams tried his hand at management at Whitby Town but was dismissed in 2015.

As of last year, Williams had taken up a job as a regional manager for Stockton-based company Car Loans Express.

Midfielder – Allan Johnston

Allan ‘Magic' Johnston moved to Sunderland after a spell in France with Rennes and he quickly made an impression at the Stadium of Light with some action-packed displays on the flanks.

He fell out of favour after promotion to the Premier League in 1999 after contract negotiations fell apart and later spent time at Rangers, Middlesbrough and Kilmarnock.

He joined Queen of the South as Player/Manager in 2012 and led the side to a historic double in his first season of management.

This attracted the attention of Kilmarnock who appointed Johnston as manager in 2013 before walking out of Rugby Park in 2015, later taking up the reigns at Dunfermline where remains today.

Midfielder - Kevin Ball

One of the most recognisable names in Sunderland history, Ball joined the club in 1990 and captained the side in this Wembley visit.

A real fans' favourite, he left for Fulham in December of 1999, before ending his playing career at Barnsley.

Ball spent two brief spells in the dugout at the Stadium of Light in 2006 and 2013 as he took caretaker charge of the club, and was previously Sunderland’s senior professional development coach under Martin O’Neill in 2012.

Ball remains at the Black Cats today, where he holds the role of club ambassador - although new owner Stewart Donald has hinted that he may be in for a bigger role.

Midfielder – Lee Clark

A former Newcastle midfielder, Clark joined Sunderland at the start of the 1997/98 season and was a regular starter in the centre of midfield during the run to Wembley.

He left under a cloud and was sold to Fulham in 1999 following an incident at the FA Cup final, where he was supporting Newcastle.

Clark moved into management and most recently took charge of Bury – where he was sacked in 2017.

He is currently out of work having previously been in the hotseat at Huddersfield, Birmingham and Kilmarnock.Midfielder – Nicky Summerbee

Summerbee made the move to Wearside in 1997, with the right-sided midfielder enjoyed some of his finest moments in a Sunderland shirt.

He reflects on his time at Sunderland as one of his best in football and netted the Black Cats' fourth goal during this action-packed game.

The winger left the Stadium of Light for Bolton in 2001 before calling time on his career after a spell at Tamworth in 2006.

Having retired, the 46-year-old has now moved to Qatar where he is a regular pundit for the Al Kass network in Doha.

Striker – Niall Quinn

Part of a lethal front pairing with Kevin Phillips, Quinn netted twice in the final and converted his spot-kick in the final.

The former Manchester City and Arsenal striker was pivotal to Sunderland's success as he netted 17 goals during the season.

Quinn later took over the club in 2006 and was briefly manager, with the Irishman then selling the club to Ellis Short in 2011.

He still holds business interests as a director of Fleet Street Sport & Media Group and was a regular pundit on Sky Sports until 2017.

Striker – Kevin Phillips

The other half of the ‘little and large’ partnership with Niall Quinn, Phillips remains a cult hero on Wearside.

He also found the net under the Twin Towers which topped off a remarkable season which saw him net 35 times as he stole most of the headlines.

Phillips left the Black Cats in 2003 and, having previously been assistant first team coach at Leicester City, he is currently a first team coach at Derby County.