Review Reading's last visit to the SoL.
Sunderland last faced Reading at the Stadium of Light almost five years ago, on the day everyone associated with the club paid tribute to 1973 FA Cup Final goal-scoring hero Ian Porterfield.
Emotions were high prior to kick off as his team-mates from that legendary side took to the field to lead a rapturous and moving minute's applause in memory of the Scottish midfielder, who had tragically passed away a week earlier.
Roy Keane's side would have been forgiven for allowing the occasion to overwhelm them, but to their credit, the Black Cats dug deep to produce an outstanding performance against a struggling Reading side.
Striker Kenwyne Jones, who was signed from Southampton for a reported £6m, was handed his debut and got his Sunderland career off to an explosive start with an immense, unplayable display that his manager described as good a home debut as he'd seen.
The visitors had most of the possession in the early exchanges but it was the home side who had the clearest chances, with Jones and then Grant Leadbitter testing Marcus Hahnemann in the Reading goal.
Then, just before the half-hour, Jones collected the ball 25 yards out, turned a defender and unleashed a left-foot thunderbolt into the net.
The big Trinidadian could have had a hat-trick before half-time, heading wide from a Danny Collins cross and then lifting a shot over the bar from five yards out.
Jones was at it again after the break, evading three challenges down the right to cross for Ross Wallace to slide home on 47 minutes.
Being two goals down stirred Reading into life, substitute Bobby Convey shooting just wide before Dave Kitson nodded in Nicky Shorey's free-kick with 15 minutes to go, but Sunderland held out to take a deserved three points.
Sunderland: Gordon, McShane, Higginbotham, Nosworthy, Collins, Leadbitter, Etuhu, Yorke, Wallace (Stokes, 64), Jones (Murphy, 83), Chopra (Miller, 81).
Subs Not Used: Ward, Halford.
Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Bikey, Ingimarsson, Shorey, Rosenior (Convey, 78), Harper, Gunnarsson (Fae, 73), Hunt, Lita (Long, 67), Kitson.
Subs Not Used: Federici, De la Cruz.