Obituary: Allan Gauden

20 November 1944 – 29 April 2020
Sunderland: 1 July 1961 – 15 October 1968
SAFC career 45+6 appearances / 7 goals

Club historian Rob Mason pays tribute to Allan Gauden. 

We were saddened to learn of the death of former Sunderland AFC winger Allan Gauden at the age of 75. The first substitute ever to be used by Sunderland in both the league and the FA Cup, Allan went on to have a career that spanned 329 league games and 75 goals, a cracking record for a winger.

Goals were always part of Gauden’s game. As a boy, he once scored 105 goals in a season for Esh Winning Juniors.

“He was a good player who didn’t get as much credit as he deserved,” according to his former team mate, Jimmy Montgomery.

“He was a smashing lad who came to America with us in 1967,” recalled the goalkeeping legend of the summer trip of 1967 when while representing Vancouver Royal Canadians, Sunderland played in the North American Soccer League.

Gauden grabbed a couple of goals in his six games, in addition to the seven he scored in 51 games for Sunderland. His debut against Aston Villa in 1965 made him the first substitute ever used by the club after they were allowed in competitive games.

After leaving Sunderland, Allan played for Darlington before being bought by Lawrie McMenemy for Grimsby Town, with whom he won a Division Four Championship medal in 1972.

Former Sunderland team-mate Len Ashurst then signed him for Hartlepool United and subsequently Gillingham where club secretary Malcom Bramley, who is now secretary of the Sunderland Senior Supporters’ Association, remembers him as a lovely man.

Allan went on to play for Bishop Auckland and Blyth Spartans before managing Durham City for a short spell. Following his football career, he worked on building sites prior to joining the fire brigade having moved back to his native north east.

Speaking in an interview with Red & White in 2012, he made it clear: “I always enjoyed playing for Sunderland. I’ve always been red and white, and I always will be.”

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