Happy birthday, Reidy!
Today, safc.com celebrates the birth of former Sunderland manager Peter Reid. Born in 1956, Reidy spent seven years on Wearside after taking charge of the Black Cats in 1995.
Upon his arrival in 1995, Reid successfully steered Sunderland away from relegation, amassing three wins and three draws from the final seven games of the season.
The following season, Reid re-signed Paul Bracewell as assistant-manager and player, which proved to be a masterstroke. The team went on to record nine straight wins in the New Year and secured the Division One title.
In the 1996-97 season, Reid signed Niall Quinn for a record £1.3m, but the Irishman suffered an injury early in the season and it was last-day heartbreak again for Sunderland, as defeat at Wimbledon sent the Wearsiders straight back down despite a healthy 40 points amassed across the season.
Reid’s side missed out on an immediate return to the Premier League in the play-off final the following year, with Kevin Phillips helping Sunderland to a 17-match unbeaten run in the latter stages of the season.
But the Lads bounced straight back from their play-off defeat in the 1998-99 season by winning Division One at a canter. With Phillips and Quinn up front, Thomas Sorensen employed between the sticks and Paul Butler as the rock at the back, Sunderland romped their way to a club record 19 league games unbeaten.
Promotion was secured with four games to spare.
The club’s return to the Premier League was emphatic with Reid’s side sitting proudly in second place during January 2001, but only 14 wins followed from the next 62 League games with new signings Tore Andre Flo and Marcus Stewart failing to make an impact.
Five weeks later Reid was sacked, but he left behind a lasting legacy of attractive football.
Also, on this day…
1964 – The birth of goalkeeper Alec Chamberlain in March, Lincolnshire.
1908 – England forward Arthur Brown signed from Sheffield United for a world record fee of £1,600.