The 63-64 promotion team
After relegation to the second division for the first time in our history in 1958 we finally achieved promotion
back to the first division in the 63/64 season .
Whilst the focus, rightly so, should always be on the team of players there is always a behind the scenes
support team and Dad was very much a part of that after his own playing career ended
The promotion team of 63-64
Nelson, Irwin, Ashurst, Monty,Harvey, Hurley,McNab,Elliott & Dad
Usher, Herd,Sharkey, Crossan Mulhall
So let's focus on the behind the scenes "support" team, rarely seen or mentioned in those days
Can you name any of the 1st four on the left or the
groundsman on the right ??
Will Scott, John Waters, Arthur & Jack Jones
Think was taken at the official celebration "do" A group of the players wives with Mrs Arthur Wright on the right
The following article was written by journalist, Doug Weatherall for a recent home matchday program and was kindly donated by
Rob Mason, SAFC
Arthur with Jack Jones
The behind-the scenes men featured tonight as I continue marking Sunderland's first promotion had been among autograph targets of mine. So you can imagine the thrill when I first encountered Arthur Wright and Jack Jones professionally.
I wasn't quite as excited as when, still in my early days as a full-time sports reporter, I first talked with Leonard Francis Shackleton, but still felt privileged.
The meetings took place on the eve of the 1956-57 season in the gymnasium below the main stand of Roker Park. Bert Johnston, centre-half in Sunderland's League champions and FA Cup winning teams of the 1930s, was head trainer with Arthur and Jack as his assistants.
All were proud still to be serving a club which had won six League titles and, uniquely, had never been out of the League's top division.
I naturally recalled their playing days, my being Seaham (County Durham)-born and brought up a Sunderland supporter. Arthur was a particular favourite of mine, mainly through his wonderful left-foot. Jim Baxter's is the finest Sunderland one in my experience, but Arthur's was still special.Although he could figure as an inside-left, I remember him mainly as a left-half.In my mind's eye I still see low, crossfield passes from him whizzing to outside-right Len Duns. Class!
Amazing to recall that, although the former England schoolboy international became a Sunderland professional in 1936 after being on the ground staff, he rarely tasted first-team action before World War Two, so well off were the club for quality wing-halves with the likes of Alex Hastings, Charlie Thomson, Sandy McNab and Arthur Housam around.But for the six years of war he would also have made many more senior appearances than his 281 in League and FA Cup which brought 14 goals.Nevertheless, he still twice represented the Football League in the 1948-49 season and only the illness of young daughters prevented his touring with England.
Whereas North-Easterner Arthur was a one-club man, left-back Jack, born in Cheshire,began his League career with Everton. It was his ‘Guesting’ with Sunderland in war-time football which prompted manager Bill Murray to sign him in December 1945.
Full-backs in those days had to deal directly with some of the greatest wingers our football has ever known. For instance,I recall vividly what happened on November 2nd 1946.That morning, as a 14-year-old, I made my competitive debut for Sunderland and District Schoolboys against Crook Boys at Silksworth. That afternoon provided my first viewing of the great Stanley Matthews of Stoke City and England. Facing Jack Jones at Roker, he brilliantly made City's lone-goal winner.
At 32, Jack retired from playing in 1947 and joined the training staff. He had made 31 League and Cup appearances for Sunderland.
It hurt the pride of people like Arthur and Jack when Sunderland were relegated for the first time in 1958. So they were among the happiest when the club's First Division status was restored 50 years ago.
Arthur died in 1985 and Jack in 1995.