Sunderland Betting

Founded in 1879, Sunderland Association Football Club was for many decades a feared powerhouse in British football circles. They got their start as “Sunderland and District Teachers” but were known simply as Sunderland after their first season of play.

The team’s first ground was the Blue House Field, followed in 1882-84 by moves to Groves Field in Ashbrooke, Dolly Field across the River Wear, and then Abbs Field in Fulwell, nearby what would become Roker Park. In 1886, they settled at Newcastle Road.

Sunderland’s initial application to join the newly formed Football League in 1889 was denied, but when the League was expanded to 14 teams a year later, entry was granted. Although they lost their inaugural game to Burnley 3-2, they were more than a match for top level competition and won the League Championship in 1891-92. Fans took to calling them “The Team of all the Talents.”

In 1892-93, Sunderland retained the League title to become the first champions of Division One after the League divided into two tiers. They were also the first team to score 100 League goals in a season. After finishing runners-up in 1893-94, the Club stormed to the top of the table once again for an unprecedented third title in 1884-95.

The year 1898 brought the much-anticipated move to Roker Park, a facility Sunderland would call home for 99 years. A crowd of 30,000 watched as they downed Liverpool 1-0 in their opening game.

By the end of the 1901-02 season, the “Rokerites” had gained their fourth League Champions trophy. In 1912-13, they would take a fifth League title and narrowly miss grabbing their first FA Cup when Aston Villa beat them 1-0 in the Final at Crystal Palace before a crowd of 121,919.

The period between the two World Wars was marked by three significant achievements. In 1935-36, the Roker Men led the Division One table once again to add a sixth League trophy to their collection. Next, they won the 1936 Charity Cup, their first.

Then, in May 1937, the team headed to Wembley Stadium to face Preston North End in the FA Cup Final. More than 93,000 spectators were in attendance as Sunderland overcame a one goal deficit to emerge triumphant by a final score of 3-1.

Following World War II, the Club fell onto hard times. Financial scandals involving the overpayment of players occurred in 1949 and 1957, tarnishing the Sunderland reputation. They were jokingly called “The Bank of England Team.” Sapped of competitive spirit, after 68 continuous years in the top flight of football, Sunderland were relegated to Division Two following the 1957-58 season.

Promotion back to the top ranks was achieved in 1964, but the revival was short lived. By 1970 they were back in Division Two, where they would remain until winning the Division title in 1975-76. A bright spot in that dark period arrived in 1973, as the Rokerites delivered one of the biggest shocks in football history. They captured their second FA Cup by defeating the previous year’s champions, Leeds United, by a score of 1-0 at Wembley.

Unfortunately for Sunderland fans, that would be their last major trophy to date. They would ride the rollercoaster of relegation and promotion up and down for the next three and a half decades, dropping as low as Division Three in the late 1980s.

A third tier title in 1987-88 allowed them to escape the dungeon, and they managed to return briefly to Division One in 1990, but lost their grip just before the Premiership was formed in 1992. Detractors took to calling Sunderland the “Yo-Yo- Club” over the next decade, as they won three separate Championship titles in 1995-96, 1998-99 and 2004-05.

The team’s move from Roker Park to the new Stadium of Light occurred in 1997, the same year in which the Club was rechristened “The Black Cats” by a vote of their fans. Their latest Premier League fall and return was punctuated by yet another first place finish in the Champions League in 2007-08. Since then, the Cats have scrambled to 16th, 13th and 10th on the table. Odds are they will avoid relegation again on 2011-12, en route to erasing a reputation for inconsistent play.

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