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Wednesday, April 14, 1999 Published at 09:06 GMT 10:06 UK


Sport: Football

Sunderland soar into the Premiership

Sunderland boss Peter Reid salutes his fans


Sunderland back in the big time: click here

Sunderland's 5-2 victory over Bury has put the north-east club into the Premiership after a disappointing past two seasons.

The runaway first division leaders, denied promotion on penalties by Charlton in last season's play-offs after finishing third in the league, had stormed to a 4-1 lead within the first 33 minutes to spark wild celebrations.


Peter Reid talks to 5 Live's Dave Woods
After the final whistle blew, the Sunderland fans were in raptures and manager Peter Reid was lucky to get to the dressing room with any of his suit intact as supporters sought a memento of their hero.

Reid was not upset at the boisterous behaviour and saluted the 40,000 who come to nearly every home game at the Stadium of Light.

"The supporters are top draw. I couldn't ask for anything better.

"We have 40,000 in every week, a fantastic stadium, the challenge now is to stay up this time."


[ image: Kevin Phillips scored four fine goals]
Kevin Phillips scored four fine goals
In the game, Kevin Phillips scored three in the first half to leave Bury near the relegation zone.

Phillips hammered home a 10th minute penalty only for Bury to equalise in the 23rd through Darren Bullock.

Niall Quinn set Sunderland back on track a minute later and Phillips completed his hat-trick in the 31st and 33rd minutes.

Bury fought back with a Nick Daws goal in the 65th minute but Phillips had the last word with his fourth just before the final whistle.

The win left Sunderland, one of the best-supported sides in England, with 95 points from 42 matches and well beyond the reach of third-placed Ipswich.

'Keegan for Fulham'

At Craven Cottage the Fulham fans toasted their success with chants of "Keegan for Fulham" whilst Keegan was showered with champagne on a lap of honour alongside chairman Mohammed Al Fayed.

Their 3-0 victory against Gillingham has capped a season of success for the west-London club.

The former Newcastle boss hugged his players one by one, waved to the crowd and took the trouble to shake hands with many supporters as he tore himself away from centre-stage.

He has declared his determination to see out the 15 months remaining on his contract at the club and, having led them into the First Division for the first time since 1986, he may find it just too hard to leave them now.

In the game itself, goals from Barry Hayles, Chris Coleman and Geoff Horsfield sealed the victory.

Fulham never really looked threatened and there will be many First Division sides that will be worried by Fulham - particularly with Keegan at the helm.



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