Where are they now? Eleven years on, the last SAFC eleven to beat Coventry

Sunderland are heading to Coventry this weekend to take on the Sky Blues, followed by a very impressive 5000 fans.

by Molly_Burke Wednesday, 26 September 2018 12:43 PM Comments

Jack Ross will be hoping for another victory for his side after smashing Rochdale 4-1 last week, but what happened last time the two sides clashed?

The last time Sunderland took on Coventry was eleven years ago at the Stadium of Light, in a Championship fixture that saw the home side come out on top.

Sunderland sat in 7th place, while Coventry were struggling ten places below. The Black Cats were looking to move closer to a play-off spot and managed to beat managerless Coventry 2-0, thanks to goals from Dwight Yorke and Carlos Edwards. 

As this new-look Sunderland team will look to replicate the side that beat Coventry in 2007, I take a look at that starting XI and where they are now.


Darren Ward

Darren Ward signed for Sunderland in 2006, but didn't make his debut in red and white until October. Following Roy Keane's appointment as manager Ward become the number one keeper for the remainder of the 06/07 season.

However, once Sunderland returned to the Premier League he was replaced by Craig Gordon and found himself spending most of his time on the bench. Ward later had an unsuccessful spell with Wolves in which he made zero appearances, before being released by the Black Cats in 2009.

Following Ward's retirement after his release, Ward became the new goalkeeping coach for Peterborough United. Fast forward nine years and he has now taken up the same role for Championship club Sheffield United.


Danny Collins

Danny Collins is a very well-known name on Wearside, having spent five years at the club. He signed for the club in 2004 and went onto win two Championship medals and won Fans' Player of the Year award twice.

Following his departure from Sunderland, Collins signed for Stoke City, and the 38-year-old now plays for League Two side Grimsby Town. 


Stanislav Varga

Stanislav Varga had two spells with Sunderland, spending five years in total on Wearside but only making 41 appearances. 

The defender was originally signed by Peter Reid in 2000, claiming the man of the match award on his debut in a 1-0 victory over Arsenal. Varga later signed for Celtic, but made the move back to England three years later under Roy Keane. 

Varga became a fan favourite because of his strong and powerful presence, but found himself stuck behind Nyron Nosworthy in the pecking order and was released by Sunderland in 2008. 

The centre-back retired after his second spell in the North-east and returned to Slovakia to have a go at coaching. Varga spent two years as manager of SK Odeva Lipany, before moving to FC Tatran Presov. 


Carlos Edwards

Carlos Edwards signed for Sunderland in the new year of 2007 for a cool £1.5 million and went on to grab five goals in the remainder of the campaign. Edwards became a hero with his late winner against Burnley which saw Sunderland promoted to the Premier League.

However, Edwards' first season in the top flight was ruined by injury, with the right-back suffering a hamstring injury as well as a leg fracture. The following season saw Edwards mostly dropped to the bench, so the Trinidadian international joined Wolves on a three-month loan. 

In 2009 Ipswich Town signed Edwards, and he went on to enjoy spells with Millwall, Ma Pau Stars and Central FC. Edwards now plays for Woodbridge Town FC, who compete in the Eastern Counties League Premier Division. 


Nyron Nosworthy

Nyron Nosworthy signed for Sunderland in 2005 and started his time on Wearside as a full back. Roy Keane opted to play Nosworthy at centre-back upon his arrival, and he went onto become a vital part of Sunderland's defence, claiming the Player of the Season award for the 2006/07 season. 

Nosworthy played regularly for Sunderland until Steve Bruce arrived and his appearances became more and more limited, before he was loaned out to Sheffield United in 2010.

The defender was sent out on loan to United the following season too and went on to spent the 2011/2012 season with Watford, before they signed him permanently shortly after his loan ended.

Nosworthy went onto play for Bristol City, Blackpool, Portsmouth and Dagenham & Redbridge, before retiring in 2016.


Grant Leadbitter

Grant Leadbitter was born in County Durham and came up through the academy ranks at Sunderland, making his professional debut in a substitute appearance against Huddersfield Town in 2003. Leadbitter became an important part of Sunderland's revival under Roy Keane and played a part in every single one of the Black Cat's games in the 06/07 season. 

Leadbitter continued to feature regularly upon their return to the Premier League, but made the move to Ipswich Town in 2009, alongside team-mate Carlos Edwards.

The midfielder later moved back up North to Middlesbrough, and has spent the past six years there. However, with Leadbitter now on the wrong side of 30, his appearances for Tony Pulis' side are limited. Leadbitter was rumoured to be making a return to Sunderland over the summer following their relegation, but unfortunately nothing came of it.


Ross Wallace

Ross Wallace enjoyed a successful three years on Wearside, after signing for Sunderland alongside Celtic teammate Stanislav Varga in 2006.

Like many others, Wallace was in delightful form during Sunderland's 06/07 season which saw them promoted to the Premier League and continued to impress in the top flight.

The Scotsman suffered an anterior cruciate ligament knee injury in January 2008 and after finding himself too far down the pecking order once the season came to an end, he signed for Preston North End.

Since then Wallace has played for Burnley and Sheffield Wednesday, and only last week signed for Joey Barton's Fleetwood Town. 


Dean Whitehead

Dean Whitehead made over 200 appearances for Sunderland and became a key member of the team very soon after signing for Sunderland in 2004. He helped the Black Cats to a Championship medal in 2004/05 and was chosen as Players' Player of the Year.

Whitehead also played a big part in Sunderland's second promotion two years later and was included in the PFA Team of the Year.

However, the midfielder sustained a cruciate knee ligament injury in August 2007, which ruled him out for six months. Whitehead still had a spot in Roy Keane's starting XI after right-back following their return to the top flight, however he was later replaced when Keane signed Phil Bardsley and Pascal Chimbonda.

Whitehead swapped Sunderland for Stoke in 2009, before returning to the North for a spell with Middlesbrough, and then Huddersfield Town.

At the end of the 2017/18 season Whitehead retired to take up a coaching role with the club, opting to take charge of The Terriers' under-17 side in January.


Stern John

Following Stern John's move to Sunderland in 2004, he managed five goals in 16 appearances, but was soon forgotten after he signed for Southampton in a deal that saw Kenwyne Jones move in the opposite direction.

The forward went on to play for Bristol City, Crystal Palace and Ipswich Town. John is currently a player-coach for Central FC, who play in the TT Pro League in Trinidad and Tobago.


Daryl Murphy

Daryl Murphy signed for Sunderland in 2005 and enjoyed a successful season in the Championship, netting 10 goals despite being used sparingly early on. 

Murphy went on to make 110 appearances for Sunderland, but only managed another four goals for the club, before he swapped England for Scotland and signed for Celtic. 

Murphy spent the 2016/17 season with Newcastle United, as Rafa Benitez looked to add more goal threat to his limp looking attack, however the striker joined Nottingham Forest the following summer and is still currently playing for Aitor Karanka's side.


Dwight Yorke

Dwight Yorke ended his football career with Sunderland, signing for the club in 2006. The midfielder made 59 appearances for the Black Cats and scored six goals. Following Roy Keane's departure from Sunderland in 2008, Yorke and Neil Bailey were named as assistants to Ricky Sbragia. Yorke was then released by the club at the end of the season.

In 2011 Yorke signed a two-year deal to become a Sky Sports pundit.


Sunderland, coventry