A LOOK at some of both teams’ derby day heroes:
Five Sunderland heroes
Kevin Phillips: One of the greatest partnerships Sunderland has ever seen was Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn. Working superbly together both players scored on August, 25, 1999 to lead the side to a 2-1 victory away at St James’ Park. Phillips scored the winning goal in the 75th minute and will be forever known with fans as Super Kev.
Niall Quinn: Apart from being an ex-Chairman and a current amabassador for the club Quinny is also known as a derby day hero. Scoring a winning header in the pouring rain, away from home against Ruud Gullits Newcastle side to seal a 2-1 victory cemented his legendary status with the Black Cats.
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.
Gary Rowell: the Sunderland cult legend became a wearside favourite and derby day hero in 1979 when he put three goals past the Magpies away at St James’ Park. Sunderland won the game 4-1 in the Division two clash that many older fans fondly remember.
Paulo Di Canio: Sunderland fans will always have mixed emotions of the short-lived manager but he will always hold a special place in fans’ memories purely for the ‘Di Canio knee slide.’ Sunderland’s first win at St James’ Park in 13 years culminated in a 3-0 win and the energy and behaviour of Di Canio on that day secured his place in derby day history.
Five Newcastle Heroes
Kevin Nolan: Scoring a hat-trick in Newcastle’s 5-1 drubbing at home to Sunderland secured his status as a Tyneside hero. The first Tyne-Wear derby hat-trick in 25 years will not be forgotten any time soon with Toon fans.
Shola Ameobi: Known as the ‘Mackem Slayer’ Ameobi earns his place as a derby day hero down to the fact he is second only to Jackie Milburn to score the most past Sunderland with 7 goals.
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.
Alan Shearer: 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 it difficult for the rivals through his style of play and leadership of the Magpies.
Michael Owen: Scoring twice on April, 20, 2008 in front of a home crowd of 52,000 Michael Owen single handedly beat Sunderland earning his derby day status on Tyneside.