Poll Reaction: Golden Shoe winner is Sunderland’s golden boy

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In case you’d missed the flurry of furry posts on social media today, it is indeed #BlackCatDay, which gave @Ladbrokes Twitter the opportunity to find out who you think is the finest Sunderland player of the Premier League era.

And it was no surprise to see Black Cats legend Kevin Phillips dominate proceedings with an almighty 68 per cent of the vote, outscoring the competition as he did so often during his incredible six years on Wearside.

His remarkable tally of 30 Premier League goals in 1999-2000 saw the Hitchin-born hitman win the European Golden Shoe, though it was Phillips’ longevity which made him so hugely popular in Sunderland.

Netting 130 times in 235 games during his time at the Stadium of Light, he led Peter Reid’s men to promotion from the old First Division (current Championship) in 1998-99 before lighting up the top-flight.

Those feats proved impossible to match for the club’s other Premier League greats, though Niall Quinn still managed to chalk up 19 per cent of the vote.

In addition to netting the first ever goal at the Stadium of Light, and scoring in an away win at St James’ Park in 1999, he managed another 59 during seven seasons in the North-East.

Next up is midfield maestro Julio Arca, who still notched up 10 per cent of Sunderland fans’ support despite his exit for rivals Middlesbrough in 2000, while versatile club servant Micky Gray took the final spot with 3 per cent.

What Sunderland would do for a Phillips or Quinn in their prime now, with just six goals and two points to show for their opening nine Premier League games.

But the Black Cats are known for their dramatic escapes, and they’re 7/1 to take all three points when Arsenal cross their path on Saturday.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.