Sunderland AFC Away 2000/01
Sunderland entered my soccer consciousness during the 1999/2000 campaign as Kevin Phillips fired in 30 goals in his partnership with Niall Quinn, and I remember watching Don Hutchison and Stefan Schwarz in the red and white stripes.
Promoted from the Championship as Champions at the end of the 1998/99 season, the Black Cats finished in seventh place in the Premier League and matched that finish the next season. A slow start (four from the first 15 available) had Sunderland in trouble in the 2000/01 season, but a strong run had the squad on 39 points after the holiday program. However, the team couldn’t keep the momentum and only won four of their last 16 matches to finish on 57 points. The club provided fans with two decent cup runs as well that season, reaching the 5th Rounds of both the League Cup and the FA Cup.
Unfortunately the 2000/01 campaign was the height of success for Sunderland AFC. From these heights the Black Cats fell, barely avoiding relegation the following season before finally slipping out in 2002/03.
The club switched from Asics to Nike ahead of the season and their first away kit was a real classic. All white strips appeal to me and Nike did a great job with this one, using red to accent the collar, sleeves, shorts and socks. The sponsor logo isn’t too gaudy and I love the team’s crest. In researching this kit, I realized that is the same template as one of all time favorite shirts—the Arsenal third shirt from 2000-2002.
Further notes from the official club website
Away shirt as worn by the side as they followed up an impressive seventh place finish with a relegation battle in ’02 which they eventually won
It not only looked good, it felt good too, with lightweight fabric and breathable mesh panels made of Nike’s hi-tech Dri-Fit material designed for optimum comfort and performance.
Probably will never buy it but one of the better looking kits of the Premier League era.