THE MANAGERS: Billy Elliott

Billy Elliott: 1 November – 29 November 1972

Former Sunderland player Billy Elliott took charge of the club in November 1972 as the Black Cats searched for a long-term replacement for Alan Brown.

Elliott made a reputation for himself as a determined left-winger who played for Bradford Park Avenue, Burnley and Sunderland.

Having won five England caps in the early 1950s, Elliott took charge of Sunderland as caretaker manager before the eventual appointment of Bob Stokoe.

During his caretaker period he switched centre-forward Dave Watson to centre-half, a remarkable transition which saw Watson go on to become Sunderland’s most capped England international.

After his initial caretaker spell at the club came to an end at the end of November 1972, he later returned for a second crack in December 1978 following a four-year stint managing Norwegian club Brann.

Elliott’s return saw him become the second caretaker manger, after David Merrington, to take charge of the club’s proceedings following James Anderson’s departure in October 1978.

Merrington was initially put in charge before Elliott took over to oversee the club's on the field activities until the summer of 1979.

Despite a poor start, Elliott soon turned around the fortunes of the club and took them to within a whisker of securing promotion.

Elliott inspired Sunderland to their record unbeaten away run of 14 games even though he was denied the services of top scorer Gary Rowell for the latter part of the campaign.

At the end of the season Elliott left the club and moved to Darlington where he managed until June 1983.

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