Michael Gray

Player of the Day: Michael Gray

by Will Martin

We profile long-serving star.

A local lad through and through, Michael Gray signed for Sunderland as a youth at the age of 15 and stayed with the club for 13 fruitful years, going on to make 410 appearances for the club, scoring 17 goals.

Gray made his debut against Derby County in November 1992 before scoring just a minute into his first start for the club against Barnsley with a long-range strike.

Equally as capable at both left back and on the left side of midfield, Gray gained a reputation for his pace, trickery and impressive stamina during his time on Wearside.

Following his debut season, Micky would go on to establish himself as an indispensable resource for the Black Cats.

Gray suffered heartbreak in the 1998 Division One play-off final, missing the decisive spot-kick in the penalty shootout against Charlton.

However, he bounced back brilliantly in the following season, playing 43 games for the club and attracting the attention of England manager Kevin Keegan.

Gray earned three caps for the Three Lions, making his debut against Hungary, and subsequently appeared against Bulgaria and Sweden.

It was following the Black Cats’ promotion back to the Premiership that Gray really made a name for himself, missing only eight games in two seasons as Sunderland secured consecutive seventh-place finishes.

Gray played his final season for Sunderland in 2002-03 and was once again integral as he made 32 appearances in the Black Cats’ ultimately unsuccessful fight for top-flight survival.

After leaving Sunderland in 2003, he enjoyed spells at Blackburn, Leeds, Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday, before retiring at the end of the 2009-10 season.

Now 38, Gray works as a commentator and pundit for a variety of television and radio stations.