johnny crossan

Player of the Day: Johnny Crossan


Northern Irish international winger in the spotlight.

Johnny Crossan made 99 appearances for Sunderland between 1962 and 1965 and helped the club win promotion to the top flight in 1964.

The Northern Ireland international played an integral part in the ’64 promotion-winning side with 22 league goals in 42 games.

Crossan began his career with Derry City as a junior before joining Coleraine as a senior professional.

After a year with Sparta Rotterdam in Holland, Crossan moved to Standard Liege of Belgium where he reached the semi-finals of the European Cup and starred in against Real Madrid – marking the Santiago Bernabeu side’s legend Alfredo di Stefano.

Johnny signed for Sunderland in 1962, scoring 15 goals in 32 appearances during his debut season.

So prolific was Crossan’s nature, he scored two hat-tricks in that debut campaign against Walsall and Southampton respectively.

The following season proved to be 27 goals in 49 games in all competitions as Sunderland finished second to Leeds United and won promotion to the top flight.

Ably assisted by Scottish striker Nick Sharkey, who scored 17 league goals, the Black Cats recorded the best goal difference over the course of the season.

A further six goals followed in 18 top-flight appearances before Manchester City paid £40,000 for his services in January 1965.

He skippered City’s 1966 Division Two championship side alongside the likes of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison.

Crossan cost Middlesbrough their then record fee of £32,500 but illness cut his Teesside career short.

Capped 24 times by his country, Johnny scored ten international goals – half of which were during his time at Roker Park.