Malcolm Crosby: 30 December 1991 - 1 February 1993
A life-long Sunderland fan and South Shields resident, Malcolm Crosby was brought to Roker Park having played under Denis Smith at York City.
He was appointed youth coach in July 1988 before being promoted to reserve coach in 1989. After Viv Busby and Smith’s departure in 1991, Crosby was the obvious choice to take the reins on a caretaker basis.
Crosby enjoyed the best start to any Sunderland manager’s tenure to date, caretaker or otherwise, winning his first four games in charge and earning the January 1992 Manager of the Month award. He also led his side to the FA Cup final where they were denied lifting the famous trophy a third time by a strong Liverpool outfit.
Despite winning just three of the last 18 League fixtures, Crosby was awarded the job on a permanent basis after Sunderland’s Second Division status was secured with two games to spare.
After the departure of Paul Bracewell to Newcastle, Sunderland struggled the following year and failed to break into the top half all season. In February 1992, ‘Crossa’ was relieved of his duties with Sunderland sitting in 17th, the same position he had adopted the side in a year earlier.
Bobby Ferguson was placed in charge after Crosby’s dismissal, but this proved to be only for a matter of days.