Salut! Sunderland is deeply saddened by news that Stan Anderson, who will be remembered with special fondness by SAFC supporters of a certain age, has died aged 84.
In a characteristically noble tribute to a great Sunderland captain, the club historian Rob Mason recalls Stan telling him: “I was from a family of dyed in the wool red and whites – playing for the team I supported was always a privilege and a pleasure for me.”
Rob calls him one of best players to wear the red and white stripes and Monsieur Salut is old enough to consider that a fair appraisal, even if not old enough to have seen Charlie Buchan, Raich Carter, Shack or certain other club greats. Stan had been in hospital after suffering chest pains and died at home in Doncaster on Sunday.
— Sunderland AFC ?? (@SunderlandAFC) June 11, 2018
Safc.com quotes Jimmy Montgomery, one of Stan’s contemporaries, as saying: “Stan was just a gentleman and a magnificent player. I never heard him say a bad word about anybody. He was one of the best players I ever played with and he left Sunderland far too early.”
Stan played 447 times for Sunderland, tally bettered only by Monty, Len Ashurst and a star of the Victorian Team of All the Talents, Ted Doig.
Rob Mason’s piece also quotes Len Ashurst: “I can see him now playing right to left diagonal balls for George Mulhall. That was his stock in trade. When I came into the team Stan was the captain and he nurtured me as well as Jim McNab and Cec Irwin, who debuted on the same day as me.
“He brought us along so that we became players; he was a commanding captain who was a great player and liked a laugh. I was a great admirer of his and news of his death is tragic especially coming so soon after the other former players who have passed away recently, including George Mulhall.”
Stan Anderson was a Horden lad and “knew there’d be trouble”, Rob recalls, when he crossed the Wear-Tyne divide in 1963. “Joe Harvey was desperate for me to sign for Newcastle and I was just as keen not to go .. I never wanted to leave Sunderland, but eventually Browny [manager Alan ‘Bomber’ Brown] bombed me out.”
Rob points out that after captaining Newcastle to promotion, Stan not only played for Middlesbrough but went on to win them promotion as manager. He won two full England caps, highly unusual as a Sunderland player in the 1960s.
Our sympathies go to all those close to Stan. Pete Sixsmith will be adding his own thoughts in due course.