James Adamson: 30 November 1976 – 25 October 1978
Ashington-born James Adamson has ripe North East roots following his upbringing prior to becoming a professional footballer.
Adamson was a miner when he signed for Burnley in 1947 and then went on to developing into one of the finest wing-halves the country has ever seen.
After a pleasant playing career, Adamson went into management in 1970 and had a short spell at Sparta Rotterdam before joining Sunderland.
He experienced the worst start of any Sunderland manager up to then with the first seven league games lost without a goal scored.
In response Adamson blooded youth products Shaun Elliott and Kevin Arnott and gave another, Gary Rowell, a regular berth.
The subsequent dramatic resurgence in form was top-six standard but not quite enough to avoid relegation.
There was a hangover after the heroic attempt to avoid the drop and only one of the first 12 games back in Division Two was won, and although there was a recovery as the Lads finished sixth, crowds slipped away and there was little improvement during the 1978-79 campaign.
That spelled the end of Adamson's reign and he later resigned to become the manager of Leeds United.