Roker Park

Player of the Day: Shaun Elliott

by Stuart Vose

Popular defender in today's spotlight.

Fourteenth on the list of number of appearances for Sunderland, Shaun Elliott was one of the most gifted defenders in the club’s history.

Pacey, mobile and skilful, Elliott proved to be an automatic selection for the majority of his decade on Wearside.

The Haltwhistle-born defender began his Sunderland career during a relegation season in 1977 making 20 appearances as a last-day defeat at Everton cost Jimmy Adamson’s side their top-flight status.

The following season Elliott began to find his feet and made 31 appearances whilst also chipping in with three goals to add to his first strike the season as Sunderland finished sixth in Division Two.

The 1978-79 season proved to be another successful one for Elliott as he missed just one league game in a season in which the Lads missed out on promotion by just two points.

Elliott was finally part of a promotion winning-side in the 1979-80 season as he made 51 appearances in all competitions, again missing just one league game, as Ken Knighton’s side finished second in Division Two.

Another 40 appearances were added to Elliott’s growing tally during Sunderland’s return to the top flight as a last-day win at Liverpool ensured safety.

Sunderland left it late to ensure survival the following season too as Elliott added a further 42 appearances to his tally.

Elliott scored the winning goal in a 2-1 win at Everton in November of that season before he turned in a lion-hearted performance in the final-day victory over Manchester City.

The fair-haired defender was limited to just 25 appearances during the 1982-83 campaign with injury causing him to miss the first three months of 1983.

Sunderland were beginning to become a more established Division One outfit by the time of Elliott’s sixth year on Wearside and he added 38 appearances as Len Ashurst steered the club to 13th in the top flight.

The 1984-85 season saw suspension rule Elliott out of the League Cup final defeat to Norwich City before relegation was confirmed in a defeat at Leicester City on the penultimate weekend of the season.

The following season turned out to be Elliott’s last at Roker Park as he joined Norwich following 35 appearances and two goals in Division Two.

Elliott played 31 league games in his two years at Carrow Road before moving to Blackpool. He then helped Colchester United to the Conference title in the 1991-92 season before he finished his career with Albany Capitals in New York.