Sunderland host Newcastle United this weekend in the first derby of the season, an intense and passionate occasion that can create club legends.
But who has stood out the most over the years?
In the run-up to the Premier League clash at the Stadium of Light, we have delved into the archives to bring you the 26 biggest heroes in the history of Wear-Tyne matches.
We kick off with Sunday’s hosts, Sunderland AFC:
14) Don Hutchison:
Boyhood Newcastle fan Hutchison scored the equaliser against the Toon in November 2000, a game which Sunderland went onto win 2-1. Gary Speed gave Newcastle a fourth-minute lead, but Sunderland scored twice in the second half through Hutchison and Niall Quinn, before Thomas Sorensen saved Shearer’s late penalty. Drama!
13) Paulo Di Canio:
A fiery and controversial character but he will always hold a special place in Sunderland fans’ memories purely for the ‘Di Canio knee slide.’ Sunderland’s first win at St James’s Park in 13 years culminated in a 3-0 win. His energetic behaviour on the touchline secured his place in derby day folklore.
12) Len Shackleton:
A true North East hero. His two-year stay at Newcastle was followed by nine long and successful years at Sunderland. In the years after his move, he famously said: “I’m not biased when it comes to Newcastle. I don’t care who beats them!”
11) Gus Poyet:
The former Black Cats boss had some record in derby matches against Newcastle United - boasting a 100 per cent record in the three derbies he managed in. His tenure as Sunderland boss ended in March this year.
10) Niall Quinn:
Who could forget Quinn scoring a header in the pouring rain, away from home against Ruud Gullit’s Newcastle side to help seal a 2-1 victory in 1999? The former striker, manager and chairman securing his legendary status when he scored at SJP again a year later.
9) Stan Cummins:
‘Little Stan’ was a player known for his exceptional skill and he scored the winner against Newcastle in 1980. Mind, his importance has more to do with subsequent failure as Sunderland were not to beat the Magpies at home again for 28 years.
8) Thomas Sorensen:
The giant Dane stopper was the hero when he saved an Alan Shearer penalty in November 2000 to ensure the Black Cats won at St James’s Park for the second successive season. Goals from Don Hutchison and Niall Quinn had overhauled Gary Speed’s opener before the save.
7) Arthur Bridgett:
Bridgett has 10 derby day goals, an astonishing record.He captained the Black Cats for 10 years and gained 11 England caps, making him Sunderland’s second most-capped England international behind Dave Watson.
6) Kevin Phillips:
It wouldn’t be a list of derby day heroes without Super Kev being on there, would it! He forged one of Sunderland’s greatest partnerships with Niall Quinn. And both scored on August, 25, 1999 to lead the side to a 2-1 victory away at St James’s Park.
5) Gary Rowell:
Club legend and Echo columnist Rowell became a wearside favourite and derby day hero in 1979 when he put three goals past the Magpies away at St James’s Park, Sunderland winning 4-1 in the Division two clash.
4) Marco Gabbiadini:
Playing the Division Two play off semi-final, Gabbiadini scored in the 86th minute to clinch Sunderland’s place in Wembley and ultimately a First Division place. Newcastle fans tried to have the game abandoned by invading the pitch but they didn’t succeed as the game was only delayed for 20 minutes.
3) Kieran Richardson:
Who could forget his rocket of a free-kick past Shay Given in October 2008? It proved to be the winning goal and a fine way to win a derby. It also ended his club’s remarkable 28-year wait for a home win over their neighbours.
2) Adam Johnson:
Easington-born winger Adam Johnson’s last-minute winner in December 2014 secured a record fourth successive victory over Newcastle United at St James’s Park for the Black Cats. They of course made it five straight wins under Dick Advocaat. Johnson also scored in both 3-0 away wins in the two seasons before too. Some record!
1) George Holley:
Holley scored three of the nine goals that brought an astonishing 9-1 victory at St James’s Park in 1908. Even more remarkably, it was a championship-winning season for the Magpies. Billy Hogg (three), Arthur Bridgett (two) and Jackie Mordue got the others. Holley has 15 derby goals, incredible!
And now it’s the turn of Newcastle United:
12) Nikos Dabizas:
The Greek international was a hero on Tyneside back in February 2002 when he headed past Thomas Sorensen to secure a 1-0 victory. Afterwards, Dabizas revealed that is all Toon fans want to talk about whenever he is back on Tyneside.
11) Michael Owen:
Scoring twice on April, 20, 2008 in front of a home crowd of 52,000, Owen single handedly beat Sunderland earning his derby day status on Tyneside.
10) George Robledo:
Five goals in the fixture for the Chilean in the mid 1950s as he forged a potent partnership with Jackie Milburn.
9) Ryan Taylor:
Taylor’s place in Geordie folklore was secured in August 2011 when he curled a 62nd-minute free-kick past Sunderland stopper Mignolet to seal a 1-0 victory at the Stadium of Light.
8) Michael Chopra:
Chopra scored his only Premier League goal for Newcastle in the 4-1 win in 2006 then infamously appeared to shun the opportunity to score the winner for Sunderland in the 2009 derby at St James’s Park when playing against his boyhood team.
7) Liam O’Brien:
O’Brien scored in two derby day fixtures including a famous free-kick winner in 1992.
6) Alan Shearer:
Shearer is deemed a derby day hero purely for the fact he played so many of them! He only scored three goals past Sunderland in his career but always made life difficult through his style of play.
5) Kevin Nolan:
Recently linked with a Bosman move to the Black Cats, Nolan scored a hat-trick in Newcastle’s 5-1 drubbing at home to Sunderland to secure his status as a Tyneside hero. The first Tyne-Wear derby hat-trick in 25 years will not be forgotten any time soon.
4) Shola Ameobi:
The Mackem Slayer! Ameobi came alive in derby day fixtures. In March 2012 after Stephane Sessegnon had been sent off and Simon Mignolet had saved Demba Ba’s penalty, Ameobi levelled in injury time to spare his team’s blushes. Second only to Jackie Milburn to score the most past Sunderland, with 7 goals.
3) Albert Shepherd:
Shepherd scored eight derby goals between 1908-1913 including on his home debut in the 9-1 defeat. He went on to help Newcastle win league title.
2) Peter Beardsley:
Played on New Year’s Day 1985 at St James’s Park, this derby was a real firecracker with Pedro banging in a hat-trick. The game also featured two red cards and a missed penalty.
1) Jackie Milburn:
The player to score the most past Sunderland with 11 is not only a derby day hero but a Newcastle United hero. Although a boyhood Sunderland fan and making guest appearances for the rivals he will always be remembered as ‘Wor Jackie’ on Tyneside.