Stan Anderson

Player of the Day: Stan Anderson

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Black Cats legend in the spotlight.

Stan Anderson is the second most capped outfield player in Sunderland history with 447 appearances to his name in a 12-year stay on Wearside.

Born in Horden, Co. Durham, Anderson progressed from his school team to East Durham Schools from where he progressed to schoolboy international status.

After captaining England’s schoolboy side, Stan signed Amateur terms with Sunderland two years prior to turning professional at the age of 17.

Anderson made his debut in October 1952 against Portsmouth and made a further nine appearances in his first campaign under the stewardship of Bill Murray.

The following campaign saw the consistent Anderson feature prominently and he scored his first goal for the Lads in a 1-1 draw with Newcastle United at Roker Park.

In the 1954-55 campaign, which included a run to the semi-finals of the FA Cup, Anderson missed only one game and scored four goals, including a strike in a 4-3 win over Manchester United – a game in which Ken Chisholm scored a hat-trick.

The following season would see the Black Cats reach the FA Cup semi-finals again but a 3-0 defeat to eventual runners-up Birmingham City at Hillsborough prevented Sunderland from picking up their second FA Cup.

Anderson rarely missed a game and scored three goals from right-half as the Lads finished ninth in Division One.

The 1956-57 season wasn’t as successful for Bill Murray’s side as the Lads only just escaped relegation due to Cardiff City and Charlton Athletic, who Sunderland had beat 8-1 earlier in the campaign, struggled to compete in the top flight.

Anderson bagged seven goals during the campaign; including three in four games at the start of April as a seven-game unbeaten run ensure he Black Cats’ survival.

However relegation was confirmed the following season as the 97 goals the Wearsiders shipped proved too many and they would finish below Portsmouth on goal difference.

Again, Anderson was a consistent performer and missed only three games, even scoring the winner against Manchester City in a 2-1 victory at Roker Park.

After dropping out of the top flight for the first time, ending a 68-year membership in the highest division of English football, Alan Brown’s Sunderland side pursued a return with Anderson proving prominent in his plans.

Stan, as a local lad, felt the relegation more keenly than most and was determined to drive his side back amongst the country’s elite.

He became vice captain to Charlie Hurley after Don Revie relinquished the captaincy in 1958 and the generous Hurley suggested that Anderson should maintain the captaincy following Hurley’s injury such was the job he did.

Despite multiple close attempts, Anderson couldn’t steer the side to Division One, though, he was the star man as Sunderland knocked Arsenal out of the FA Cup in third round in 1961 – his two goals ensuring a 2-1 win in front of 58,575 at Roker Park.

Anderson remained a regular through to the promotion season of 1963-64 when, after ten league outings, he was replaced at right-half by Martin Harvey.

Harvey was a great prospect at the age of 22 and a full Northern Ireland international meaning Sunderland felt they could part company with one of their biggest players.

Anderson moved to Newcastle United, a move which caused major furore, and he starred as the Magpies won promotion with the Second Division title in 1965.

He completed his appearances for the trio of north-east clubs when he joined Middlesbrough, where he had been rejected as a youth, and became ‘The Captain of the North’ after skippering all three sides.

After playing and coaching on Teesside, Anderson was appointed manager as the Boro were relegated from Division Two. He did, however, spark a revival and gained promotion back to the second tier in 1967.

He managed in Greece for AEK Athens FC and in England, where he became boss at QPR, Doncaster Rovers and Bolton Wanderers before giving up management after resigning in 1981. He continued as a scout for various clubs including Newcastle.