Gavin McCann

Player of the Day: Gavin McCann

by Ashley Houghton

Popular figure is latest in daily spotlight.

Gavin McCann made 135 appearances for Sunderland between 1998 and 2003 during some of the most successful top-flight seasons in the Black Cats’ history.

The Blackpool-born midfielder joined from Everton after progressing through the Toffees’ youth ranks to make 11 league appearances.

McCann moved to Wearside in December 1998 before making his debut in an away win at Sheffield United as Sunderland recorded a record-breaking tally of 105 points.

They also reached the semi-finals of the League Cup before losing to Leicester City – a game in which McCann notched his second Black Cats goal.

The England international added 27 appearances in Sunderland’s return to the top flight in 1999-00 as the Black Cats finished seventh; his match-winning strike in a 3-2 win at Watford proved to be amongst his most memorable moments of the campaign.

Injuries prevented McCann completing a full season in 2000-01 but he did rack up 28 appearances in all competitions and a wonder strike in a 2-2 draw at Arsenal was a particular high.

Sunderland narrowly avoided relegation the following campaign as McCann made 32 appearances.

McCann’s final season on Wearside saw the Black Cats relegated and his goal in a 2-1 victory over Liverpool at the Stadium of Light was one of few highs during a tough campaign.

He left Wearside for Aston Villa at the end of the season and spent four years at Villa Park, making over 100 league appearances before joining Bolton Wanderers in 2007.

And, after four years with the Trotters, where he made 75 league appearances, he retired due to injury in 2011.

McCann revealed to that he is keeping his hand in coaching, while he is also assistant manager at Conference National side Hyde.