2019/20 Opposition Guide: Sunderland

Ahead of the 2019/20 Sky Bet League One campaign, bwfc.co.uk will profile each of Wanderers' opponents.

In our latest article, we have Sunderland...

Nickname: The Black Cats

Founded: 1879

Stadium: Stadium of Light

Capacity: 49,000

2018/19 Finish: 5th in Sky Bet League One

2018/19 Top Scorer: Josh Maja, 15 goals

Manager: Jack Ross

A defender in his playing days, Falkirk-born Ross spent the majority of his career in his native Scotland aside from a season with Hartlepool United, figuring for Clyde, Falkirk, St Mirren, Hamilton Academical and Dunfermline Athletic.

Moving into management with Alloa Athletic in 2015, he spent a season at Recreation Park before moving to St Mirren where he firstly kept them in the second tier of Scottish football before securing promotion to the top flight in 2018, earning himself the PFA Scotland Manager of the Year award for 2017/18 in the process.

His efforts did not go unnoticed either, with Ipswich Town and Sunderland both requesting permission to speak with him about their respective managerial positions that summer.

It was the Black Cats who secured his signature, and in his first campaign in the North East, he led Sunderland to the League One Play-off Final where they were narrowly beaten by Charlton Athletic.

Distance From The University Of Bolton Stadium: 146 miles

Getting To The Ground

By Car

The stadium is easily accessible from both the A19 and A1 via Wessington Way (A1231). 

By Train 

Sunderland is the nearest main line station, located a 10-15 minute walk away in the city centre.

By Metro

The Tyne & Wear Metro serves the Stadium via both Stadium of Light and St Peter’s stations. After matches, fans travelling towards South Hylton must board at St Peter’s, while those heading northbound towards Newcastle must use Stadium of Light station.

By Bus

Bus numbers 2, 3, 4, 12, 13, 15 and 16 all stop nearby. The city’s main bus station, Park Lane Interchange, is within walking distance of the stadium.


Parking at the stadium is limited and parking passes are sold out. On matchdays, stadium car parks are closed from five minutes before full time until 30 minutes after the final whistle.

Police and local authority parking restrictions, including permit schemes, are in place on more than 60 streets surrounding the stadium and are heavily enforced.

Fans however can use the city's Park & Ride facility on Wessington Way.

This is easily accessible from the A19 and is clearly signposted. Buses will pick up from the permanent bus stops on Sunderland Enterprise Park while pick-up points from the stadium are to the north on Kier Hardie Way.

Buses run every five minutes before the game from 90 minutes prior to kick-off and regularly after the game until all fans have been transported back to their cars.

Club Address:

Sunderland AFC
Stadium of Light
SR5 1SU 

Head to Head: Since the first meeting between the two sides in 1890 (which yielded a 5-2 win for Sunderland), there has been a total of 146 games contested by Wanderers and the Black Cats.

At present, the North East outfit hold the upper hand with 62 wins as opposed to the Whites' 49, with 35 draws.

Back in 2017/18 meanwhile, when both sides were plying their trade in the Championship, the spoils were shared in a 3-3 draw at the Stadium of Light with the Trotters running out 1-0 winners at the University of Bolton Stadium courtesy of Zach Clough's effort.

Read Time: 3 mins