Roker Park

Player of the Day: Wilf Rostron


Local winger in the spotlight.

Wilf Rostron made 87 appearances for Sunderland between 1977 and 1980 after returning to his local club having initially moved to Arsenal from Wearside as a youngster.

A forward-thinking winger, Rostron’s eye for goal was a prominent feature during his three years on Wearside.

After making his Sunderland debut in a 3-0 defeat at Hull City, Rostron went on to make 37 appearances in his debut campaign, scoring six goals.

Particular highlights for the local lad included his match-winning double in a 2-1 success at Mansfield Town as well as strikes in wins over Sheffield United and Notts County.

Rostron notched 11 goals in 39 appearances over the course of the 1978-79 campaign, including a hat-trick against Sheffield United to send the Black Cats top of Division Two with only two games remaining in the season.

However, a home defeat to Cardiff City would mean that Billy Elliott’s side would lose out on promotion.

Wilf had earlier scored in wins over Burnley and Oldham Athletic whilst he also earned Sunderland a point with a double in a 3-3 draw at West Ham United.

Rostron made 13 appearances at the start of the 1979-80 season under new boss Ken Knighton and he scored in a 2-2 home draw with Newcastle United in the League Cup.

However, he left for Watford in October 1979 and would go on to spend ten years at Vicarage Road – winning the Hornets’ Player of the Year award in 1983 and 1984.

Spells with both steel city clubs, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday, followed before he moved to Brentford where he would finish his playing career in 1991.