Sunderland are one of the most traditional clubs to grace the English Premier League.
Formed in 1879, they are officially nicknamed ``The Black Cats’’ and their slogan is ``In Pursuit of Excellence.’’
Since joining the English top flight, Sunderland have been champions six times -- in 1892, 1893, 1895, 1902, 1913, and 1936 -- a total only surpassed by six other clubs. The Black Cats have also wound up runners up in 1894, 1898, 1901, 1923 and 1935. (Check out the Roll of Honour for more details.)
Sunderland have lifted the FA Cup on two occasions, in 1937 by beating Preston North End 3-1 and in 1973 by defeating Leeds United 1-0. They were runners-up in 1913 and 1992. The squad also ruled the FA Community Shield in 1936, while finishing second the next year. They lost to Norwich City in the final of the Football League Cup in 1985 and Manchester City in 2014.
The 49,000-capacity all-seater Stadium of Light serves as the team’s homeground after moving from Roker Park in 1997.
Sunderland’s numerous matches with neighbours Newcastle United are among the noted rivalries in the league. Both clubs have faced each other in the Tyne-Wear Derby since 1898.
After their most recent promotion to the Premier League in 2007, Sunderland have risen to emerge as one of the world's wealthiest football brands valued at US$93 million in 2014, 31st in the world overall.
Legend has it that Sunderland got the nickname ``The Black Cats’’ because many years ago, a black cat crossed their pitch during a bad spell and that altered the club’s luck.
The club’s motto which is "Consectatio Excellentiae" in Latin typifies the Black Cats’ resolve as they strive for the best behind the inspiration from the team itself and their ardent supporters. The motto is entwined with the club crest’s colliery wheel which honours the mining traditions of County Durham and serves as reminder that the Stadium of Light lies on the land once occupied by Wearmouth Colliery.
Among the notable Sunderland players were goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery who made a record 627 appearances from 1960 to 1977, and Len Ashurst who had 459 appearances.
Bobby Gurney holds the goalscoring record with 227 goals in all competitions (in 390 appearances), scored between 1925 and 1950.
The most goals scored in a season is held by Dave Halliday set in 1928-29 in the First Division, while defender Charlie Hurley was voted as ``Player of the Century" in the club's centenary season in 1979.
A total of 189 players have reached the milestone of 100 senior appearances for the outfit as of the end of the 2010-11 season, among them current player, defender John O’Shea.
The present head coach of the club, which has Ellis Short as owner and chairman, is Sam Allardyce.
The Black Cats finished 16th in the last 2014-15 season.