on 17 November 2005
The centrepiece of this book is each season's statistical record set out over two pages. For each match it gives date, score (full-time and half-time), venue, Sunderland scorers, Sunderland team, and attendance. Also the full final League table for the season together with information on which player played his first or last game for Sunderland in a particular match.
The book is produced by the team who do the matchday programme, which has been widely admired for many years. Their new research has produced far and away the most authoritative statistical book ever produced on the club.
A list is given of every player to have played for the club showing appearances made and there is a short biographical note on each of the top 100. These are all the 80 who played 200 games or more and 20 others selected by the authors.
The authors also select 20 games from the club's history. Some of these selections are unusual,to say the least however, e.g. including a second division relegation play-off with Gillingham, while ignoring Sunderland's first FA Cup Final at Crystal Palace in 1913 against Aston Villa before a then world record crowd of over 120,000 in a season Sunderland won the League.
There is also a fairly short narrative history of the club whose great days are mainly in the past. Six times Champions, most recently in 1935-36. Never out of the top division till 1958 but, since then, yo-yoing between the top two divisions, with one season in the third division, and only twice finishing in the top half of the top division.
Much else in the book and some very interesting photos.
Sunderland are again struggling on the field - at the time of writing bottom of the Premiership. A pity League points are not awarded for quality of statistical books published!
Of interest to all Sunderland supporters and, I would say, also to football fans generally.