Len Ashurst: 8 March 1984 - 24 May 1985

Len Ashurst has made more appearances than any outfield player and was first choice left back at Sunderland.

With that in mind, it was fitting that one day he would return to the club as manager.

Ashurst’s move into management started with Hartlepool United before he had spells at Gillingham, Sheffield Wednesday, Newport County and Cardiff City.

Ashurst then turned down the opportunity to take over at Ninian Park and moved back to the north east to take control of Sunderland.

Buoyed by nine new players including Gary Bennett, initial results were promising with the club in seventh place by November.

But while momentum was sustained in the League Cup with a first final contested, league form declined sharply and following just three victories in the New Year the Lads suffered relegation in their penultimate game of the season.

As a result Ashurst was relieved of his duties at Sunderland and he moved out to the Middle East to coach Kuwait and Qatar.

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