Player of the Day: John Kay


Popular full-back in the spotlight.

County Durham-born full-back John Kay made 236 appearances for Sunderland between 1987 and 1994.

Despite being born in the north-east, John began his career with Arsenal as a schoolboy and went on to represent the Gunners’ first-team for three seasons before joining Wimbledon.

Whilst with the Dons, Kay spent time on loan with Middlesbrough before he permanently returned to the north-east with Sunderland in July 1987 for a fee of £22,500.

An immediate success at Roker Park, the Black Cats won the Division Three title in style during his debut campaign.

An ever-present member of the squad as Denis Smith led Sunderland back to the top-flight; the popular full-back was unlucky to miss the 1992 FA Cup final through injury.

He remained a mainstay of the side under both Malcolm Crosby and Terry Butcher until he broke his leg in October 1993.

Fondly remembered for rowing off the pitch on a stretcher following his broken leg, Kay is ranked by Sunderland fans as one of the toughest players to wear the red and white stripes.

John played at Wembley during a loan spell with Shrewsbury Town at the end of his Sunderland career as the Shropshire outfit met Rotherham United in the Auto Windscreens Shield final.

Spells with Preston North End and then Scarborough followed for John before he retired following the Boro’s relegation to non-league in 1999.