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Last Updated: Friday, 18 March, 2005, 14:54 GMT
Sunderland's cult heroes

This vote is now closed.

Gary Rowell has been voted Sunderland's all-time cult hero by Football Focus viewers.

Rowell won with 65% of the votes, ahead of fellow Sunderland favourites John Kay and Jim Montgomery.


Gary Rowell carved out a half decent career for himself at Roker Park. For younger readers, he was the Kevin Phillips of his day. Rowell's breakthrough season was the relegation campaign of 1976/77. However, he helped the club bounce back with two top six finishes and eventually promotion in 1979/80, although injury restricted his contribution. Many of his 102 goals for the club kept Sunderland in the top flight for the following four seasons - and kept supporters living in a Gary Rowell world.
Nick Capeling

An amazing striker who is one of us - a Sunderland daft lad! He also scored a hat-trick against N*******e as Sid James' Park.
Peter Forster

For his hat-trick v Newcastle in Feb 1979.
A Blacker

Goalscorer and penalty taker supreme with a hat-trick away at Newcastle in 1978/9 - this feat is legendary with Sunderland supporters of 30-something.
Robert Crosby

Hat-trick v NUFC, say no more!
Bill McGill


The ultimate hard man of football and an excellent full back, John played 199 league games for Sunderland and never scored once and even missed a penalty!!
Peter Forster

No-nonsense player who earned cult status after a challenge on a Leeds Utd player. The Leeds physio said after the incident that his lad "looked like he'd been run down by a combine harvester" (cue loads of Wurzels renditions from the terraces at Roker each time Kaysie got the ball or chased his man!)
Darren Dix

Johnny Kay, the Red and White Tractor. A totally wholehearted player, who got better as he got older. One of the most crazy tacklers I've ever seen. I remember in one of his early games for us, against Port Vale, he ended up with his shirt ripped to shreds and his side was gashed open with long, raking stud-marks. He just played on as if nothing had happened. John will also be fondly remembered for the time he broke his leg and was stretchered off. Did he writhe around like players today would? No, instead he sat upright and pretended he was rowing as the stretcher was carried off. The fans loved it.
Johnny Gip, England

What a right back! Stretched off with broken leg and pretended to row the stretcher off the pitch!
Bill McGill

Right back, only little but hard as nails, savage tackler, not always clean tackles either. Wouldn't like to meet him in a dark alley.
Steven Hails


The most famous keeper in the club's history, Sunderland lad Jimmy Montgomery produced the greatest double save of all time. First the double handed block from Trevor Cherry's diving header; then the impossible parry onto the cross bar from Peter Lorimer's powerful shot. This moment from 1973 maintained Sunderland's lead and ultimately won them the FA Cup. Bob Stokoe knew exactly who to thank at the final whistle. Running onto the pitch in alarmingly bright red trousers, Stokoe made a beeline to Monty and embraced him. They had led Sunderland to their greatest ever triumph. Apart from the FA Cup final, Monty was an unbelievable servant to the club, racking up a record 623 appearances.
Nick Capeling

His magnificent goalkeeping skill thrilled many fans, but what can we say about his display in the FA Cup final in 1973 against the mighty Leeds? Bob Stokoe was a very proud man that day.
Dennis Mercer

For the double save in the '73 Cup final. Simple as that.
David Barrington, UK

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