James Allan is the Founder of the club.
He was the Scottish school-teacher who first introduced the round ball game to the people of Wearside.
He was also the leading figure behind this developing into the formal foundation of the football club that now 14 decades on continues to inspire such devotion.
Allan was a player too. He played in the first known Sunderland game and scored twice in the first game in which the Lads scored.
Four Sunderland players in history have scored five goals in a match with another scoring six in a war-time game – James Allan once scored 12 in one game.
That’s not 12 for the team, that’s 12 just by James Allan. The quadruple hat-trick came in a 23-0 win over Castletown in 1884 – not bad for a left winger!
In those early years of football, Allan later fell out big style with Sunderland, even setting up a rival but short-lived club called Sunderland Albion.