Malcolm Crosby: Gateshead promotion will be better than taking Sunderland to Wembley

Malcolm Crosby at Wembley in 1992
Malcolm Crosby at Wembley in 1992

Former Sunderland manager Malcolm Crosby says getting Gateshead promoted to the Football League would be his greatest achievement in football – eclipsing the 1992 FA Cup Final.

Crosby famously guided the Black Cats to Wembley 23 years ago in his short stint as caretaker boss.

He’s had a long and winding career ever since, but after quitting his job as Blackpool’s head of recruitment last week to take over at Gateshead, the 60-year-old wants to go out on a high.

Asked how ending the club’s 55-year-wait for a return to the Football League would rank alongside getting Sunderland to the ‘92 final, he said: “It would be better because we would have actually won something.

“It was great at Sunderland and it was a fantastic thing that the players did – but we lost.

“People forget who came second.”

It was great at Sunderland and it was a fantastic thing that the players did – but we lost.

Malcolm Crosby

Crosby’s appointment at Gateshead sees him link up again with old friend Graham Wood, who was a director at Sunderland in the early 1990s.

Wood stepped down as owner of Gateshead last month, but remained as chairman and had no hesitation in turning to the experience of Crosby to replace Gary Mills.

“It’s a great opportunity for me because I haven’t been coaching for a couple of years, I’ve been in the recruitment side,” added Crosby. ”But you don’t forget things what you do on the football field.

“It’s a good club and the progress it’s made over the last few years is fantastic and I want to finish the job off and get promoted.

“When the phone call came from Graham he had obviously been speaking to a lot of candidates for the job and he’s decided to give me the call which is nice.

“He was massively supportive when I took over as caretaker (at Sunderland), he was the biggest supporter. The other directors were fantastic but Graham used to come to games with me, go all over, and he was very good to me.

“It was very important, the friendship, but the bad thing about it is that we’re great mates but in football it might turn out badly but I just hope that’s not the case.”