Player of the Day: Bobby Gurney

by Sunderland AFC

All-time leading goalscorer profiled.

Bobby Gurney is Sunderland's all-time leading scorer having netted 228 times in his 388 appearances for the club.  

Silksworth-born Gurney could play as either a centre or inside-forward and has the honour of scoring Sunderland’s first ever goal at Wembley in the 1937 3-1 FA Cup final win over Preston.

He turned professional at 18, signing for Sunderland from Bishop Auckland in May of 1925. However, Gurney wouldn’t make his debut until the following April as he scored in a 3-2 loss away at West Ham - though he had already notched nine in his first game for the reserves at Roker Park.

Dubbed ‘Boy Gurney’ by his team-mates, he helped Sunderland to become the 1936 Champions of England with 31 goals which included five in a 7-2 win against Bolton Wanderers and four in a 7-2 win versus Birmingham City.

During the course of his career he returned from two leg breaks, showing no sign of deterioration in ability either time.

Gurney was Sunderland’s top scorer for seven consecutive seasons during the 1930s, though he shared the honour with Raich Carter in the 1936 championship-winning season.

After 22 years playing for Sunderland he retired to join the club's coaching staff in 1946 before later going on to manage several teams including Peterborough, Darlington and Leeds.