Alan Sunderland

The name of Alan Sunderland will always be honoured at Arsenal.

His late, late winner against Manchester United in the 1979 FA Cup Final is enshrined in the memory of any Gunners fan old enough to recall the events of that dramatic day at Wembley.
He arrived from Wolves in 1977 as a midfielder but found his position when he deputised for the injured Malcolm Macdonald alongside Frank Stapleton in attack.
Never a prolific goalscorer, it was his bravery and aerial ability that contributed most to the formidable partnership, which helped Arsenal to four Cup Finals in the space of three years.
In 1984, following the arrivals of Tony Woodcock and Charlie Nicholas, Sunderland left Arsenal for Ipswich.


While on my summer holiday in Holland way back in the summer of 1978 I managed to persuade my aunt to take me to PSV Eindhoven v Arsenal for a pre-season game. The game was not memorable as we lost 2-0 but what was memorable for me was that for the first time I met and spoke to two Arsenal players. One was Graham Rix and the other was Alan Sunderland. To be honest having idolised the Gunners I was rather disappointed that they just spoke to me and were very ordinary people! They were both very polite and signed an autograph or two for me and that was the begining of what is now a much larger collection.
Gavin Silvey, London

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