vic halom

Cult Heroes: Vic Halom

by Ashley Houghton

Cup-winner is the latest terrace favourite to be profiled.

If ever a lesson was needed on how to make an impact, the professor would be Vic Halom.

Having joined Sunderland from Luton in 1973 Halom went on to play an integral part in the FA Cup succes of the same year.

Memorable goals against Manchester City and Arsenal in the famous cup run were particular highlights of Halom’s time on Wearside, though he was on the right track from the off with a goal on his Roker Park debut in a 4-0 Wear-Tees derby win over Middlesbrough.

His second game at Roker was, arguably, Halom’s finest moment in a red and white shirt as his blistering angled drive ended a quality move to not only knock favourites Manchester City out of the FA Cup but also to go down in club history as one of the greatest Sunderland goals.

Bob Stokoe’s side beat Luton in the quarter-finals of the cup before facing Arsenal at Hillsborough in the semi-finals where a Halom goal, followed by Billy Hughes’ strike, would send the Lads to their first cup final since they last won competition in 1937.

Halom’s physical and gutsy performances meant he was a perfect match for the Roker faithful and manager Stokoe.

The Derbyshire-born striker would partner Ian Porterfield in the famous win over Leeds United with Porterfield proving the match-winner.

In typical Halom style, the man who scored 40 goals in 134 Sunderland appearances gave the Leeds defence nightmares as the normally dominant Billy Bremner and Norman Hunter were worked over and over.

Halom continued his fine goal-scoring form in the 1973-74 campaign; most notably a hat-trick as Sunderland downed a solid Derby County side 3-0 at Roker Park.

The following season was another ‘nearly-men’ campaign for the Black Cats as Stokoe’s side finished fourth, just seven points behind second-placed Aston Villa.

However, Halom and the rest of the squad were ruthless during the 1975-76 promotion-winning campaign; Stokoe’s side didn’t lose a home league game all season as they ran away with the Division Two championship.

Halom left at the end of the season for Oldham Athletic where he spent four years, passing 100 goals in the Latics’ colours, before moving to Rotherham United where former teammate Porterfield was manager.

Injury ended Halom’s Rotherham career during his first campaign and he would go on to manage Barrow, Rochdale and Burton Albion before leaving football in the late 1980s.

Halom then stood for the Liberal Democrats in the 2002 Sunderland North election but finished third behind both the Labour and Conservative candidates.