They currently reside in League One of English football but many fans will know that the club historically enjoyed a period of dominance, winning the league six times and the FA cup twice. They are famously known as the Black Cats due to the club’s adoption of a stray black cat in the ’60s. The supporters eventually made the black cat their emblem, and history was made.
There is no doubt that Sunderland is a club that has a rich history, but some might be interested to know exactly why fans love the Lads so much.
The club was formed in 1879 in Sunderland, in the North of England. Some younger football fans will be wondering what the AFC part of the club’s name stands for, which means Association Football Club.
It was in Sunderland’s early years when the club dominated English football, along with Preston and Aston Villa. During the 1890s. Sunderland managed to win the First Division three times across this period, establishing them as one of the best teams in England at the time.
Analysts have identified that one reason why Sunderland was able to consistently beat the opposition was because they favoured a passing game, something that directly opposes the dribbling games that English players preferred at the time. This was no doubt encouraged by the sheer number of Scottish players that played for Sunderland at the time.
Many fans of football will be aware that the Sunderland side of today calls the Stadium of Light their home, but fewer might be aware that this was not always the home of the Black Cats.
Their ancestral home was Roker Park, a stadium that served Sunderland for nearly a century. However, many will remember that the Football Association implemented the all-seater rule in the 90s as a response to the Hillsborough disaster of 1989. This meant that the capacity of Roker Park was decreased to 22,500 people. This is why the Stadium of Light was constructed, to provide a stadium capacity beyond 40,000 people and has been the home of Sunderland since 1997.
The Sunderland of today are a far cry away from the side that managed to win the First Division three times in one decade. They currently are in League One, representing a dramatic fall from grace since the 2016/17 season where they enjoyed status as a Premier League club.
They could not even manage to stay up in the Championship, but there is a chance they could return there this season, considering that they are placed fourth in the table. The odds of Sunderland winning promotion are currently 9/4, which means that they are the favourites and players can use 22bet to access these great odds and more. Only time will tell though if the Lads have what it takes to start the climb back to the Premier League though.
Sunderland has enjoyed a long, rich history and it should now be clear to lovers of football why Sunderland fans love their club so much.