Now, I did aim for five former players because it’s a much nicer number. However, there isn’t exactly a wealth of quality to choose from. There is no way I’m advocating ‘the Curse of Kilbane’ or Michael Bridges being part of a ‘top players list’. So, here are our top four players who have represented both Sunderland and Hull City…if I’ve missed anyone who was actually good – please say so!
4 – Michael Turner
Overrated at Hull City, perhaps underrated at Sunderland. His biggest probably up here, other than distinct lack of any pace, was the complete inconsistency regarding his partner in defence. I’d like to know just how many players he did partner at the back, but I’m too lazy to do the legwork for what would be a pretty low-impact statistic. So I’ll make it up and say he had at least six. He looked a possible England international during his some 150 appearances for the Tigers, unfortunately he never kicked on and his level certainly seems to be battling against Premier League relegation.
3 – Micky Horswill
Horswill was just 20 when he played in the immortal 1973 cup final. His career peaked at that point as he didn’t make it after his ‘big’ move to top flight Manchester City. Later on in his career he ended up at Hull City before leaving for Hong Kong after the club fell into receivership. Perhaps better known these days for being part of the ‘Three Legends’ phone-in which has recently been resurrected.
2 – Tony Norman
Norman was a deceptively tall keeper, but didn’t exactly fill the goal. Not that this would prove to be a problem for him, making 226 consecutive appearances for Hull City (a club record) and exceeding 600 appearances for both clubs. Norman helped us to promotion in 1990 (which subsequently ended in agonising relegation the following season) and excelled in the 1992 FA Cup run, which ultimately ended in defeat. We would not have made that final if it wasn’t for his brilliance. His move from Hull to Sunderland was in exchange for Iain Hesford, who exceeded 100 appearances for both clubs.
1 – Raich Carter
Could there have been anyone else at number 1? Granted, he was of an era far too long ago for the majority of Sunderland fans to have any memories of his playing career. In his eight years on Wearside he became the youngest captain to win the top flight division (just 22 years old) in 1936 and was part of our 1937 FA Cup winning side too. He amassed an incredible 129 goals for us. Carter didn’t fair too badly with the Tigers either, scoring 57 league goals before ending his career with them and taking over as manager – where he went on to sign Don Revie, who later also played for Sunderland. Both cities have acknowledged the supreme feats he reached for their local clubs, in Sunderland we have the Raich Carter Centre whilst Hull named a road after him. Carter died in 1994 after a stroke.