Sunderland AFC are one of a select group of clubs whom we have met on over 100 occasions in the Football League, this being our 54th visit to Wearside.
However, our record is far from being as good as we would hope, with only five victories and 16 draws in the credit column.
The more numerate North End fans will have worked out that means 32 defeats, with a 2:1 ratio in goals with 50 for North End offset by 101 for our hosts.
From our first visit to Roker Park in 1891, we lost our first six games and only took four points from the first 29 matches. During this time we lost 6-3 in 1894 and conceded four goals on four other occasions before turning previous form on its head from 1938 onwards.
We won all four fixtures either side of the Second World War and drew eight of the next nine games, but 19 games passed before our next and most recent victory.
This came in 2006 on what proved to be our last game in Sunderland before this weekend, as we recorded a single goal win thanks to David Nugent’s first half strike on the last matchday of 2006.
A week later, we repeated the score-line at Deepdale as we progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup, completing a full house of victories over the Mackems that season. Apart from that 6-3 defeat, we have only scored three goals in a match on two other occasions and we failed to win either of these, losing 4-3 in 1971 and drawing 3-3 in 2004 on our first visit to the Stadium of Light.
Ross Wallace, Brian Mooney and of course Aidan McGeady are all ball-playing crowd pleasers to have played for both clubs, whilst at the other end of the pitch, Sam Allardyce, Jim McNab, Neill Collins, Billy Jones and Joe Hinnigan have featured in defence for each.
On This Date
We managed a 2-2 draw at Roker Park on this date in 1923, only our fourth point on Wearside. Tommy Roberts and Roland Woodhouse were our scorers, with the legendary Charlie Buchan scoring both Sunderland’s goals.
Kelham O’Hanlon made his debut as caretaker manager in a 2-1 defeat at Turf Moor on this date in 2002. Kel was in charge for the final nine games of the season after David Moyes left for Everton, overseeing five wins and a draw before handing over the Craig Brown in the summer.
Thorsten Stuckmann is 37 today, having returned to Germany last summer after leaving Chesterfield. Stucki gained a reputation for saving penalties after marking his debut at Rochdale by seeing us into the next round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy with his ability against opponents from 12 yards. He spent four seasons at Deepdale before joining Doncaster and spending time with Partick Thistle. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Stucki!
Last Five Games At Sunderland
Sunderland 0 Preston North End 1 (Nugent), 30th December 2006
Sunderland 3 (Elliott, 2; Carter) Preston North End 1 (Alexander (pen)), 18th September 2004
Sunderland 3 (Mears (og), Thornton, Stewart (pen)) Preston North End 3 (Healy, Mears, Lewis), 10th March 2004
Sunderland 3 (Howey, 2; Kidd (og)) Preston North End 2 (Bryson, Cartwright), 23rd August 1995
Sunderland 1 (MacPhail (pen)) Preston North End (Jones), 28th December 1987