marcus stewart

Retro Red and White

by Kate Smith

A look back on the programme from the home win in 2002.

Striker Marcus Stewart adorned the cover of what would prove to be Peter Reid’s final home game in charge of Sunderland.

Graham Taylor’s Villans were 10th in the league and four points above Sunderland, who had yet to secure a home win.

However,  David Bellion would prove the difference maker in his first start for the Black Cats and his strike sealed maximum points for the Lads.

In his final programme column, Reid reflected on how disappointed he was on the back of three consecutive defeats.

He said: “This afternoon we will come out fighting. The very best teams in the world come out fighting.

“Any player at any level – be it Premiership or Sunday League - can give 100% at all times and that’s what supporters deserve, demand and have the right to.”

These comments were backed up in Michael Gray’s Captain’s Column, the skipper promised fans the team would roll their sleeves up and take the game to Aston Villa.

Red and White also caught up with unknown teenager Sean Thornton.

The Irish youngster had made a summer move from Tranmere Rovers and was waiting for his first team break.

“I like to get forward, create stuff and get goals myself.” Thornton revealed.

“I see myself as an attacking midfielder who can score and link up with the forwards.”

Elsewhere, there was an article about the progress of the club’s new training ground, the Academy of Light and the announcement that the Stadium of Light would host England’s high profile Euro 2004 qualifying clash with Turkey in April 2003.