Cult Heroes: Nicky Summerbee

by Ashley Houghton

Fan favourite in the spotlight.

Pacy winger Nicky Summerbee was an integral part of the 1998-99 championship winning campaign, providing many of the goals for the deadly strike partnership of Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips.

Along with Allan Johnston on the opposite flank, Summerbee became renowned for the ability to plant balls onto the head of Quinn and into the feet of Phillips – in a season where the Black Cats scored 108 goals in all competitions.

Summerbee signed for Sunderland as part of an exchange deal with Manchester City worth £1m, with Craig Russell moving in the other direction.

The Cheshire-born winger went on to make over 100 appearances for the Black Cats in a four-year spell at the Stadium of Light.

He made an instant impact as well, scoring on his debut as Sunderland hammered Portsmouth 4-1 at Fratton Park.

Summerbee scored the fourth goal in the famous Wembley play-off final to Charlton Athletic, whilst also scoring his penalty as the Black Cats suffered penalty heart-break.

Running out onto the pitch at the SoL remains Summerbee’s fondest memory and he holds the fans in the highest regard - still attending matches when work commitments allow.