Stan Anderson RIP: Sunderland to the core but captained all the Big Three clubs

Salut! Sunderland is happy to credit the official site of the SAFC Former Players’ Association, which kindly allows us to reproduce its images:

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. 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.”

Rob’s book: Stan Anderson was one of 12 SAFC stars recalling their best matches for the club

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.

5 thoughts on “Stan Anderson RIP: Sunderland to the core but captained all the Big Three clubs”

  1. I read a story that he used to take the dog for a walk around Seaburn near his home and would pass the same guy everyday working in his garden. They always exchanged pleasantries. After he signed for Newcastle he took the same route and as he came towards the same guy….he turned his back on him.

    Appears SAFC fans were just as unforgiven in those days as they are now about poor old Colback.

  2. I am really sad to hear the news of Stan Anderson’s death.
    He was a really top player. I first saw him in a pre-season practice match at Roker Park when he was about 18. In my opinion he was the best player on the park even at that age, and it was no surprise to me that he went on to captain Sunderland.

    I think he was capped twice, but I honestly believe that for several years he was the best wing half [ as they were then called ] in England. I also think that, had he played for a more fashionable team, he would have won many more international caps.

    Some years ago, on this site, I selected my best ever Sunderland team, based on those I had seen. Stan Anderson was in [ with Johnny Crossan ] as one of my two central midfielders. He would also have been my captain.

  3. Stan Anderson, together with Charlie and Jimmy McNab.
    A great and solid middle trio to the team. Stan was Sunderland personified and, different times and ethos, when he went to Newcastle, we wished him well. Sunderland have lost a true servant today.

  4. I shall echo David’s thought if only to double the number of comments posted on the passing of a truly great figure from SAFC’s post-war history

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