Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ex-Cats Boss Dies Aged 82; Tributes Pour in for Former Roker Chief Adamson

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ex-Cats Boss Dies Aged 82; Tributes Pour in for Former Roker Chief Adamson

Article excerpt

FORMER Sunderland manager Jimmy Adamson has died at the age of 82, writes STEVE BROWN. Ashington-born Adamson spent two years in charge on Wearside after succeeding Sunderland's legendary FA Cupwinning manager Bob Stokoe in December 1976.

Adamson took over a struggling Sunderland side that had made a poor start to the 1976-77 season, winning just two of their 16 Division One games before he was appointed.

And, after Adamson's reign began with a run of nine matches without Sunderland finding the net, he gave homegrown teenagers Gary Rowell, Kevin Arnott and Shaun Elliott a prolonged run in the side.

Sunderland's fortunes immediately improved and they went on to win five of their next six games, but they were relegated on the final day of the season by a single point.

The following season, Sunderland finished sixth in Division Two and Rowell finished as the club's top scorer with 18 league goals.

Rowell, who went on to score 102 goals and become Sunderland's record postwar goalscorer until Kevin Phillips surpassed his total in 2001, credits Adamson as one of the biggest influences on his career. "I'm deeply saddened to hear that Jimmy has passed away," said Rowell.

"I made my debut under Bob Stokoe, but it was Jimmy Adamson who made me a regular in the side and in that sense he had a massive influence.

"In many ways, playing under Jimmy was the most enjoyable time of my career. "He took over at Sunderland when we were struggling after a really bad start to the 1976-77 season.

"It was difficult for him to follow Bob Stokoe who was, and is, such a big figure in the club's history.

"But he was a very good coach and he had great faith in young players. He brought myself, Kevin and Shaun into the side and he almost kept us up that season.

"Our form in the second half of the season was terrific and we were very unlucky to get relegated on the last day.

"I remember him as a real gentleman.

In all the time I worked with him, I don't think I ever heard him swear - and that's rare in football. …

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