Home » ARTICLES » Club Connections – Sunderland

Club Connections – Sunderland

published :

Of course on Saturday, Manchester United host Sunderland at Old Trafford where they will be looking to win to ensure there’s no surprise on Guy Fawkes night. With that in mind it’s worth looking at 8 individuals who have both spent time at United and Sunderland in their careers in the game.

Phil Bardsley

At the start of the 2005/06 season, injuries allowed a previously unknown and uncompromising full-back a run in the United team. Whilst the team were not playing scintillating football, nobody can say that Bardsley let himself down as he impressed.

Sadly though when the regulars returned, Phil never got another run in the team and was quietly sold to Sunderland in 2007 after being sent out on loan to Rangers and Aston Villa. He has became a key member of the Black Cats’ defence making over 100 league appearances and has become Scotland’s first-choice right back as well after impressing Craig Levein.

Steve Bruce

In his prime there were few better defenders in England than Bruce, who ridiculously never won an England cap. After emerging as a talented youngster for Gillingham, Bruce joined Norwich in 1984 and in three and a half seasons developed further into a top, brave and young centre-back

Steve joined United midway through the 1987/88 season and quickly became a key part of United’s defence going onto form a legendary central defensive partnership with Gary Pallister. After winning 11 major honours at Old Trafford, he forged a career in management and after impressive spells at Birmingham City and Wigan joined Sunderland in the summer of 2009.

Frazier Campbell

After impressing in season-long loan spells at both Royal Antwerp and Hull City there were high hopes that Campbell, a product of United’s academy might be able to break into the first team and make a name for himself not just in the Premier League but in Europe.

Sadly Frazier never got the chance really to prove himself as after his successful loan spell at Hull, he moved to Spurs on-loan as part of the deal that saw Berbatov join United. He found life tough at Spurs and he moved permanently to Sunderland in 2009 where after missing the majority of last season is focused on getting his career back on track.

David Healey

Northern Ireland’s leading scorer joined United in 1999 but only made 3 appearances for the club in two seasons before being sold to Preston North End midway through the 2000/01 season. Healey quickly settled at Preston and it wasn’t long before he was a regular for his country.

In between five successful years at Deepdale, David spent half a season out on loan at Norwich before joining Leeds. Despite doing well personally for the Whites, he could not stop them being relegated to League One and soon joined Sunderland. His time there under Roy Keane was frustrating and he was never able to adjust to the demands of the Premier League.

Danny Higginbotham

Versatile defender Higginbotham started his career at Old Trafford but due to the competition at United was not able to break into the team and left after making only 7 appearances to join Derby for £2m. In a struggling team at Pride Park he impressed before joining Southampton in 2003.

Danny became a key member of ex-Red Gordon Strachan’s side at St Mary’s before joining Stoke in 2006. A season later he joined Sunderland upon their promotion to the Premier League but re-joined the Potters a season later upon their promotion to the top-flight. He has continued to be a solid and reliable defender over the past three seasons and is now trying his hand at TV punditry.

Liam Miller

Sadly skilful Irish midfielder Miller will go down as one of Sir Alex’s worst signings despite the fact United signed him on as a free agent. Highly rated at Celtic a long successful career in England and for his country looked to be his destiny. Sadly he just wasn’t quite good enough.

After struggling at United in his first season, he joined Leeds on loan before becoming one of Roy Keane’s first signings at Sunderland. Despite being a regular for two seasons, Liam left quietly to join QPR in 2008 where he failed to impress. After two years back up in Scotland with Hibernian, he decided to join Australian side Perth Glory for a new challenge.

Kieran Richardson

There was alot of hype when Richardson broke into the first team squad at Old Trafford and scored on his debut against Leicester City in a Carling Cup tie. Sadly the lively attacking-minded winger was never quite able to be the consistent player that the fans wished him to be.

In the summer of 2007 Roy Keane brought him to the Stadium of Light where slowly but surely he is changing his reputation as a ‘big-time Charlie.’ Useful at full-back and on the wing he is a vastly underrate versatile player who must keep playing well if he is to get any chance of being recalled back to the England squad after several years since his last cap.

Dwight Yorke

Few players have such had a dazzling first season at United than the smiling-sensation that was Yorke. A proven Premier League goalscorer for Aston Villa, the Trinidad & Tobago star joined United in the summer of 1998 for £12.6m much to the anger of Villa manager John Gregory.

After scoring twice on his home league debut, Dwight never looked back and formed a sensational partnership with Andy Cole that would help United win that historic treble in 1999. Another season of goals followed before two frustrating years on the sidelines. After leaving Old Trafford in 2002, Dwight ended his career at Sunderland as a holding midfielder.

By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87