One of the oldest derbies in English football, the Tyne-Wear derby has produced some memorable encounters over its long history. And while both sides have struggled in recent years, the fixture always seems to produce high-quality drama and entertainment that has excited fans of both clubs immensely.
It’s time to take a trip down memory lane and take a closer look at six of the most memorable clashes between Newcastle United and Sunderland.
Newcastle 1-9 Sunderland (1908)
The scoreline in this game remains the biggest ever win in this derby’s history, a staggering 111 years later.
A balanced first-half finished 1-1, with both sides playing well enough to give themselves a shot at the win. But after the break, the Black Cats scored eight times in a stunning 28-minute spell.
Among the eight, George Holley netted three, while captain Billy Hogg added two to his first-half strike to also grab a hat-trick of his own.
It’s hard to see there ever being a result like this again in a North-East derby – so this encounter remains a hugely memorable one for Sunderland fans.
Newcastle 3-1 Sunderland (1985)
Derbies bring out the best in certain star players, and this 1985 encounter saw Peter Beardsley fly, scoring a memorable hat-trick.
The hosts struck first through Beardsley, who slotted the ball past goalkeeper Chris Turner to put them in front. He would then soon have his second, converting a penalty given for a foul by former Magpie Howard Gayle, who was sent off for his protestations to the referee.
Not everything went as planned for the attacking star, as he later missed a second penalty. To make things worse, the away side pulled a goal back through Colin West, sparking hope that a potential comeback was on.
But Beardsley would soon make amends for his miss, scoring his third to restore a two-goal advantage for Newcastle. And they would cruise to victory, particularly after Sunderland defender Gary Bennett picked up a red card to leave the Black Cats with just nine men.
It made it a New Years’ Day to remember for fans of the Magpies, as they celebrated another fantastic display from the local hero Beardsley.
Newcastle 1-2 Sunderland (1999)
This was a massive game for Magpies boss Ruud Gullit, who was under huge pressure and desperately needed a win to prolong his tenure at St James’ Park.
Pre-game, the Dutchman pulled off a selection stunner by controversially dropping his two top scorers in Alan Shearer and Duncan Ferguson to the bench. And the decision didn’t look too bad to begin with, as Kieron Dyer scored in the first half to put the hosts in front at half time.
But as the rain poured down in the second half, the away side looked more and more dangerous. This would soon pay off, as Niall Quinn got his head onto Nicky Summerbee’s free kick to equalise for the Black Cats. And after Gullit sent on Shearer in a desperate effort to restore their lead, Kevin Phillips scored a fantastic lob past Tommy Wright to send the Sunderland supporters into ecstasy.
With Newcastle unable to respond before the final whistle, it spelled the end of Gullit’s reign, who resigned three days after the defeat. This encounter remains one of the more dramatic derbies in recent history, and one that Newcastle fans would prefer to forget.
Sunderland 1-4 Newcastle (2006)
This clash remains so memorable for fans of the Magpies, that even today they still sing “one-nil down, four one up, Albert Luque wrapped it up.”
It didn’t initially look like the away side would pick up the three points, as Sunderland led for much of the game, thanks to Justin Hoyte’s strike in the first half.
But Glenn Roeder’s side came back swinging in the last half-hour, scoring four in extraordinary fashion. Having just come on as a subsitute, Michael Chopra drew the Magpies level with his goal. And not long after, club legend Alan Shearer slotted in a penalty which was his 206th and final Premier League goal for Newcastle. As it turned out, it would be his final game too.
Charles N’Zogbia and Albert Luque would wrap the game up for the visitors, who produced an amazing second-half comeback. As for Sunderland, it was a miserable moment in a dreadful season where they would eventually get relegated.
Newcastle 5-1 Sunderland (2010)
Among the many highlights Kevin Nolan produced during his time at Newcastle, his display in this game stands out as his finest in the black-and-white stripes.
His brilliant overhead flick put the hosts in front, before he slotted in a second past Simon Mignolet to put the Magpies 2-0 up at half time.
It didn’t get any better for the Black Cats, as Shola Ameobi then scored from a penalty, before Titus Bramble was sent off for the away side for a foul on Andy Carroll. The Nigerian would add his second, before flicking on a corner to assist Nolan’s third, which meant the former Bolton midfielder became the first Newcastle player to score a hat-trick in the derby since Beardsley’s 25 years previous.
And while Darren Bent scored at the end for Sunderland, it was merely a consolation goal, as Magpies supporters celebrated and partied hard that night, celebrating one of the biggest derby wins in their history.
Newcastle 0-3 Sunderland (2013)
Paolo Di Canio couldn’t have asked for a better derby performance than the one he got in his second game in charge of the Black Cats.
In an electric atmosphere at St James’ Park, the away side took the lead and silenced the home crowd thanks to Stéphane Sessègnon’s strike that got past Tim Krul. It sparked huge celebrations from Di Canio, who sprinted down the touchline in jubilation.
Mignolet had to deny Papiss Cissé twice before the break, as Sunderland fought to hold on to their lead. And the Senegalese striker thought he had equalised in the second half, only for the goal to be wrongly ruled for offside.
It was a key moment, as not long after Adam Johnson would curl a second for the away side past substitute goalkeeper Rob Elliot. And a strike from David Vaughan sealed the victory for Sunderland, whose fans were wildly celebrating a victory few had anticipated in the build-up.
Though nowadays the game is remembered more for Di Canio’s touchline antics, it was still a massive win that was the Black Cats’ first away victory in the derby for 13 years.