Roker Park

Player of the Day: Reuben Agboola


Pacy full-back in the spotlight.

Reuben Agboola made 169 appearances for Sunderland in an eight-year stay on Wearside between 1985 and 1992.

Born in Camden to a Nigerian father, Agboola began his career with Southampton and spent five years as a professional at the Den before moving to Roker Park in 1985.

Reuben’s pace was a particular strong point and his whole-hearted performances endeared him to the Roker faithful.

Signed for £150,000 by Len Ashurst, Agboola took some time to settle into life on Wearside and made just nine appearances in his opening five months with the club as relegation to Division Two was confirmed in May 1985.

The following season saw Reuben make 16 appearances as Gordon Armstrong, Peter Daniel and Nick Pickering found themselves higher in the pecking order under Lawrie McMenemy.

A similar pattern followed during the 1986-87 season as the Black Cats were relegated to Division Three for the first time in their history despite the return of legendary manager Bob Stokoe.

Denis Smith led Sunderland to the Division Three title in 1988 and Reuben played an integral part making 46 appearances in all competitions.

Agboola continued to be a regular member of the side until promotion in 1990 whilst he was also rewarded with his first Nigeria cap in the same year.

On the Black Cats’ return to the top flight, Reuben moved to Port Vale on loan as Paul Hardyman became the club’s regular number three.

The Nigerian international would eventually move to Swansea City in November 1991 before spells with Woking and Gosport Borough.