Sunderland have faced local rivals Newcastle United in the Tyne-Wear derby many times down the years. In total, the teams have met 156 times, with the Black Cats leading the Magpies by 54 wins to 53. Here is look back at just six Sunderland classic derby victories against their old rivals.
Classic Derby Victories for Sunderland Against Newcastle
December 1908 Newcastle 1-9 Sunderland
The Black Cats travelled to St James Park and came away with a stunning victory. To this day, the result which happened in 1908 still stands as a record score between the two clubs. At half-time, the game was well balanced at 1-1 and was a true reflection of the 45 minutes that had been played. However, the second half was an entirely different story.
Sunderland returned for the second half and played 45 minutes that would be talked about forever. For United, it was game that they would never wish to remember but would go into the record books.
The Black Cats stunned the Magpies with attack after attack in a stunning 28-minute spell, Sunderland scored eight goals. George Holley hit a hattrick and captain Billy Hogg added two more to add to his eighth-minute opening goal. Arthur Bridgett scored twice and Jackie Mordue also netted. It is a result that is still talked about to this day and a record that is unlikely to be broken
February 1979 Newcastle 1-4 Sunderland
Sunderland forward and fan Gary Rowell had a day to remember on Tyneside in 1979. His display and goals ensured he would be forever a legend and fans still refer to him as ‘Lord’ Gary Rowell. The homegrown star scored a memorable hattrick on enemy soil and had a hand in the other goal as the Black Cats romped to a famous win.
Rowell took just six minutes to score the opening goal, tapping in a knockdown in the six-yard box. His second came after a through ball gave Rowell a one on one with the United keeper. However, Rowell drove the ball into the goal giving the keeper no chance. United pulled a goal back but in the second half Rowell extended the lead. A penalty was given in front of the home supporters but the local lad kept his cool to complete his hattrick. Rowell was not finished as it was his cross that set up the Black Cats’ fourth of the game.
Speaking about the game Rowell said:
“If someone asked if you could score a hat-trick, and granted you a wish to score it against any team you wanted, a hundred out of a hundred Sunderland fans would say they’d love to score it at Newcastle. I was fortunate enough to be able to do that.”
May 1990 Newcastle 0-2 Sunderland, Playoff Semifinal Second Leg
A bad-tempered first leg at Roker Park which saw Sunderland fullback Paul Hardyman sent off late on, the 0-0 final score gave Newcastle and their fans confidence that the second leg would be a formality. According to the club and the media, the Magpies were overwhelming favourites to go to Wembley for the final. Sunderland had different ideas. The Black Cats or the Rokerites as they were then known, were away game specialists and rarely beaten on their travels.
Sunderland’s G-Force, Marco Gabbiadini and Eric Gates scored a goal in each half to condemn United to another season in England’s second tier. Gates scored the first early in the first half that silenced the home crowd. Both teams had chances but late in the game, the Gates and Gabbiadini partnership finished off their hosts. Gates played an exquisite pass that sent Gabbiadini through on goal, the striker shot with precision into the bottom corner to send the away fans behind the goal wild.
This game is also unfortunately remembered for the pitch invasion after the second goal by the United supporters. Their intention was to get the game abandoned and then replayed; however, after a 20-minute delay, the players were informed to take to the pitch to play the remaining moments and finish the game. Sunderland were off to Wembley at the expense of their biggest rivals.
October 2008 Sunderland 2-1 Newcastle
Sunderland had struggled to beat Newcastle at home in recent times. The Black Cats last victory at home against the Magpies was back in 1980. This was the game that ended that run. A packed Stadium of Light would not only witness their team beat their rivals at home for the first time in 28 years, but also witness a stunner that would seal the win.
Sunderland started the brighter of the two teams and deservedly took the lead through Djibril Cisse. However, Newcastle would equalise on 30 minutes to make it level at halftime. Both teams chased the win in the second period but on 75 minutes the home side took the lead through a memorable freekick. Sunderland won a freekick on the edge of the box and Keiran Richardson scored with a thunderbolt which gave Shay Given in the United goal no chance of stopping it.
April 2013 Newcastle 0-3 Sunderland
Sunderland had appointed the controversial Paolo Di Canio to succeed Martin O’Neill as they attempted to survive in the Premier League. This was Di Canio’s second game in charge and it brought another memorable victory for the Wearsiders on Tyneside. Sunderland outplayed and outfought their hosts and deservedly led at the break.
Newcastle would have a goal ruled out for offside before the Black Cats extended their lead. David Vaughan scored an excellent third from outside of the box to seal the win and to send his new manager skidding down the St James Park pitch on his knees in delight. It was this game that began Sunderland’s winning streak against Newcastle.
April 2015 Sunderland 1-0 Newcastle
The Black Cats beat a poor Magpies side with a stunning volley from Jermain Defoe. The scoreline may indicate a close game; however, Sunderland were by far the better team against a United side that failed to turn up for this derby. Jermain Defoe‘s fabulous strike just before halftime sealed the win to give Dick Advocaat his first derby win and Sunderland’s fifth in a row.
Sunderland were indeed the better team on the day, but in truth, it was not the best derby game; however, the stunner from Defoe to seal this win makes this one of the classic derby victories and gave delight to fans on the day and will do for years to come. It also formed the platform for Sunderland to escape relegation for another year.
Other Classic Derby Victories
Newcastle 1-2 Sunderland, 1999. Niall Quinn and Kevin Philips scoring in torrential conditions.
Newcastle 1-2 Sunderland, 2000. Niall Quinn and Don Hutchinson scoring to give the Black Cats the win after Newcastle scored first. Alan Shearer missed a penalty for the home team
Sunderland 3-0 Newcastle, 2015. Sam Allardyce’s first home game in charge. United had a player sent off as Sunderland made it six wins in a row against their rivals.