Carter leads SAFC to Wembley victory

by Kate Morton

77 years ago today Sunderland lifted the FA Cup.

Goals from Bobby Gurney, Raich Carter and Eddie Burbanks sent Sunderland on their way to their first ever FA Cup success.

It was a stereotypical old-fashioned game with both sides getting stuck into each other in the early stages.

Sunderland had to come from behind to win the game, though, Johnny Mapson, in the Black Cats goal, was beaten after good work between brothers Hugh and Frank O’Donnell, with the latter converting the former’s cross to give Preston a half-time lead.

O’Donnell’s goal was his 11th of the tournament and he became only the fourth player to score in each round of the tournament.

Six minutes after the restart, Gurney scored Sunderland’s first-ever goal at Wembley, the centre-forward headed Burbanks’ corner beyond Mickey Burns in the Preston goal.

Gurney’s goal calmed Sunderland’s nerves, and the passing football the Black Cats began to play was proving too much for Preston despite the best efforts of their stalwart right-half, Bill Shankly, who would go on to become the legendary manager of Liverpool.

Sunderland gained the advantage 20 minutes from time as Gurney won possession and crossed for Carter who made no mistake in slotting past Burns.

Preston pushed for an equaliser but a fine Sunderland performance was rounded off when Patrick Gallacher fed Burbanks who was cool in making it 3-1.

Sunderland had been champions of England six times, at the time of the final, but they were yet to win the game’s most glamorous trophy. So the 1937 win proved a fine moment for a club that holds the cup in such high regard.

Sunderland: Mapson, Gorman, Hall, Thomson, Johnston, McNab, Duns, Carter, Gurney, Gallacher, Burbanks.

Attendance: 93, 495