|About the Book|
Bob Stokoe created one of the greatest moments in football history when his Second Division Sunderland side defeated the might of Leeds United in the 1973 FA Cup final. When the final whistle shrilled out across Wembley and most of the football worldMoreBob Stokoe created one of the greatest moments in football history when his Second Division Sunderland side defeated the might of Leeds United in the 1973 FA Cup final. When the final whistle shrilled out across Wembley and most of the football world celebrated his sides incredible triumph against the odds, Stokoe danced across the turf, arms outstretched to rejoice with his players. That moment has been immortalized in the both the TV footage and a statue outside Sunderlands new home, the Stadium of Light. Stokoe was all the more remarkable because he had managed to cross the divide in the north east. As a player he had been a member of Newcastles 1950s FC Cup-winning teams as a center-half seemingly hewn out of granite who took no prisoners as he protected the likes of Jackie Milburn, Bobby Mitchell, George Robledo, and Len White. But Stokoe fell out with the powers that be at Newcastle and was sold, against his will to Hartlepool. A subsequent move to Bury saw him begin a managerial career which took him to Charlton, Carlisle, Blackpool, and Rochdale before his moment in the sun with Sunderland. He won the FA Cup after just six months in the job, and two seasons later won them promotion back into the First Division. Bizarrely, committed northerner Stokoe, who failed dismally at Charlton after selling all the southern woofters the club owned and replacing them with tougher northern players, returned to manage four of his clubs on at least one more occasion, always being called in to perform a heroic rescue act at the last minute. During his 40 year career in the game, this journeyman manager was also involved with longstanding feuds with both Don Revie and Brian Clough. The spat with Revie revolved around the Leeds manager offering Stokoe a bribe before an important league match, full details of which appear in Northern & Proud, while the argument with Clough was over the incident which ended the then Sunderland strikers career after Stokoe told the stricken Clough to f***ing get up. The pair never spoke again, while Clough banned Stokoes name from ever being used in his presence. Despite his incredible career, Stokoe died a forgotten man in a north-east nursing home. This book is written by author Paul Harrison, who kept in touch with Stokoe throughout his years in the wilderness and until his death and carried out a number of in-depth interviews with the legendary player and manager. This is the unexpurgated account of Stokoes career, including many of those interviews.