Ken Knighton: 7 June 1979 - 13 April 1981
Kenneth Knighton became the youngest manager to take charge of Sunderland since Robert Campbell in 1896.
Aged just 35, Knighton managed to steer the Lads to immediate success as he prised Frank Clark away from Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest.
Knighton and Clark – who was Clough's assistant – together managed to pilot a successful promotion campaign which accelerated after Christmas due to the new additions to the side.
Stan Cummins, Chris Turner and Joe Hinnigan helped freshen the squad up and that saw the Lads go on an unbeaten 14-game run to seal second place and a return to the top flight.
However, after Tom Cowie took over the chairmanship Knighton was unable to impress the owner and that resulted in him and Clark both losing their jobs following a 17th place finish in 1981.