Player of the Day: Ross Wallace

by Ashley Houghton

Diminutive Scot takes today's spotlight.

Scotland international Ross Wallace joined the Black Cats from Celtic on transfer deadline day in 2006.

Wallace, who made 52 appearances at Parkhead in a four year stay, was one of a flurry of players brought in by manager Roy Keane as the Irishman took over from Niall Quinn in August 2006.

The Dundee-born winger began life with the Black Cats in spectacular fashion as he scored the winning goal on his debut in Keane’s first game in charge at Derby County.

Wallace’s half-volley hit the back of the net only a matter of minutes after Chris Brown had earlier levelled for Sunderland.

It was to be a goal that would set the tone for the rest of the campaign as Keane’s side went from 21st to league winners in the space of eight months.

Switching between left-back and left-midfield Wallace proved to be a valuable asset to his manager and his winnings strikes against Hull City, Cardiff City and Wolverhampton Wanderers were the difference between the play-offs and automatic promotion.

In total, Wallace played 33 times during the 2006-07 campaign, scoring six goals.

The following campaign also started in fine fashion for Wallace as he provided the assist for Michael Chopra’s 93rd minute winner against Tottenham Hotspur on the opening day of the season.

Wallace was also the supplier for Stern John to grab a later equaliser at Birmingham City the following week as Sunderland went to fourth in the Barclays Premier League.

Three weeks later, Wallace scored another winner for the Black Cats, this time against Reading at the Stadium of Light.

Injuries curtailed Wallace’s season and he was restricted to just 28 appearances, including his return on the final day of the season against Arsenal at the SoL – a game that would turn out to be his last in a red and white shirt.

Wallace joined Preston North End ahead of the 2008-09 season, initially on loan, though the move would be made permanent halfway through the campaign.

After two years in total at Deepdale, Wallace joined Lancashire rivals Burnley for an undisclosed fee.

Now approaching his fourth year with the Clarets, Wallace has played 132 times and scored 12 goals for the Turf Moor outfit.