Sunderland Association Football Club have an intense rivalry with Newcastle United, who are situated just a few miles North of Sunderland.
Sunderland AFC were founded by School Teacher James Allan in 1879 as "Sunderland District & Teachers Association Football Club", before changing to their current name in 1881. In 1890 they entered the Football league after beating Sunderland's other team, Sunderland Albion as the Football league would only let one team from Sunderland enter. Sunderland Albion soon disbanded. AFC soon went on to win the football league in the 1891-92 season, and continued to remain strong for a long while after.
Sundeland went on to win the FA Cup in 1937, but in the 50's hit financial trouble when they were fined £5,000 for charging wages over the limit imposed by the football league. They were then relegated for the first time in the clubs history where they remained for 6 years. In 1973 they won their most recent major trophy when they won the FA Cup.
More recently they have been a yo-yo club, typically being promoted and relegated in quick succession. In 2001 and 2002 they finished 7th in the Premier League in successive years, before being relegated with a record low 19 points. They were then promoted the next year, before being relegated again with a new record low points.
In 2005 former player and hero among fans Nial Quin took control of the club with the financial backing of the Irish Drummaville Consortium, and appointed former Manchester United player Roy Keane as Manager, who promptly got them promoted. The following season Sunderland struggled, but avoided relegation several matches before the end of the season. Last season saw more struggling, and Roy Keane left his position as manager. Ricky Spragia (who was the teams head coach) was appointed as the temporary replacement until the end of the season. Sunderland avoided relegation on the last day of the season, at the same time as both their local rivals Newcastle United and Midlesborough FC were relegated.
After the season ended, Ricky Spragia stood down as manager, and Steve Bruce was appointed.
Sunderland in Games
Sunderland usually appear in the FIFA series of games as one of the licensed teams. Due to the yo-yo nature of Sunderland, when FIFA games only included Premier League teams, they would often miss some years. More recently FIFA games have included lower leagues, and thus sunderland has been included in every recent iteration.
In the Pro Evolution Soccer games Sunderland are usually called Wearside, in reference to the river Wear that flows through Sunderland, due to Pro Evolution Soccer not holding rights to use the official name.