Michael Gray

Ha'way the yellows

by Ashley Houghton

We look at how the lads have fared in yellow away kits from years past.

After last week's revealing of the brand new 2013-14 away kit, we've looked back at previous away kits of a similar colour.

Away jerseys from the 1988-89, 1995-96 and 1997-98 seasons were of a similar colour to the kit that was unveiled ahead of the upcoming campaign.

In the 1988-89 campaign Denis Smith’s Sunderland finished 11th in Division Two with Eric Gates and Marco Gabbiadini continuing their flourishing partnership.

Smith’s side recorded away victories over Watford, Bournemouth, Plymouth Argyle and Oxford United.

The next time Sunderland turned to a yellow/gold away kit was the 1995-96 championship winning campaign.

Peter Reid’s first full season in charge resulted in a first return to the top flight for five years.

Reid’s Black Cats lost only five of their 23 away league games during the campaign as a memorable 2-0 win at Birmingham City sent Sunderland top in March, a position they would maintain for the remaining ten games of the season.

The Wearsiders’ biggest win on the road came at Grimsby as Kevin Ball, Craig Russell, Philip Gray and Michael Bridges scored to give Reid’s side a 4-0 win.

After a year playing in all white with red sleeves, the Black Cats changed back to a yellow/gold kit for the 1997-98 campaign as Reid’s side looked to return to the top flight after the disappointment of relegation the season before.

Sunderland lost their two opening away league games at Sheffield United and Port Vale before they thumped Bradford City 4-0 at Valley Parade. Michael Gray, Lee Clark, Kevin Phillips and Allan Johnston got the goals to move the Black Cats sixth in Division One.

The Wearsiders only lost four more games on their travels as they finished third in Division One.

Wins at Manchester City and Nottingham Forest and Wolverhampton Wanderers were particular highlights as well as the 4-1 win at Portsmouth which ended a run of 104 away games since Sunderland had won on their travels after conceding the first goal of the game.

After defeating Sheffield United over two legs, Sunderland set up a play-off final clash with Charlton Athletic at Wembley and the Black Cats would play in their golden away kit.

The game was famously tied at 4-4 after extra-time before Gray’s missed spot-kick gave the Addicks the victory in the penalty shootout.

Paolo Di Canio’s side will now look to replicate some of the famous wins in the yellow kit in the 2013-14 Barclays Premier League campaign.