Polish defender in the spotlight.Polish right-back Dariusz Kubicki spent four years on Wearside between 1993 and 1997 and became an instant hit with the Roker Park faithful.
Kubicki, who was capped 47 times by Poland, joined the Black Cats on loan from Aston Villa in 1993 before making the move permanent in 1994.
Ron Atkinson had paid £200,000 for the defender to join Villa Park two years prior to his move to Wearside, though, multiple injuries, coupled with the arrival of Earl Barrett, limited the Polishman to just 34 appearances for the Villans.
Prior to his loan spell with Sunderland, Kubicki hadn’t played much first-team football so it was even more impressive when he impressed not only his manager, Mick Buxton, but also the Black Cats’ supporters.
Kubicki signed permanently in 1994 and he went on to play a key role under Peter Reid as Sunderland confirmed their promotion to the Premier League, as champions, in 1996.
He was named in the PFA’s Team of the Year for the 1995-96 campaign alongside Michael Gray who was the only other Black Cats player to feature in all 46 league games.
It looked as if the full-back would go on to break George Mulhall’s post-war record of 125 consecutive appearances, though, when he was one game away from equalling the record, he was controversially dropped for the clash with Derby County and replaced by Gareth Hall.
The Poland international also missed the home clash with Coventry City before he eventually returned in a 1-0 defeat against Arsenal at Highbury.
Kubicki went on to make 32 appearances in the 1996/97 campaign with his final match being a 2-1 home defeat to Liverpool.
He was released at the age of 34 and went on to play for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Tranmere Rovers, Carlisle United and Darlington before returning to Poland.
In 1999, Kubicki became manager at Legia Warsaw before taking the reins at seven other Polish clubs, including his current club FC Sibir Novosibirsk.