Nominator: Jamie Cole Category: SportGary is a Legend
Gary, a Dawdon lad, is a Sunderland AFC legend and is now a well-known sports broadcaster.
The Only Time Gary Rowell Was Second Best
Contributed by: Gary Sunderland AFC Lamb
Well as a Sunderland fanatic myself, where do I start to honour the man, who I personally regard as Seahams greatest ever hero. A few facts on "GOD" I mean Gary.
After leaving Northlea Grammer School in 1975, Gary signed professional forms, for his boyhood heros SUNDERLAND AFC, making his debut in his first full season, against Oldham Athletic on March 20th 1976. Gary was in the starting line up another twice that season, scoring his first goal in only his second start, in a 4-1 defeat of Hull City at Roker Park. He was also the subtitute on 4 occasions that same season. A season which ended in promotion to division one, WHAT A WAY TO START!!!!
The following season, saw Gary become a regular in the first team, making 30 starts and scoring 5 goals, but that was only a taster of what was to come. As in his 3rd season, Gary made 41 appearances scoring 19 goals, and another24 goals the following season in only 39 starts.
In the whole history of SUNDERLAND AFC, Gary is one of only 11 players, to have scored more than 100 goals, and only ever missed 1 penalty in 9 years.
He is mentioned in ALL the history books, as one of the greatest all time Sunderland players, and in a poll held by Sunderland supporters, he is in the all time 11, along with;- Jimmy Montgomery, Raich Carter, Len Shackleton, Brian Clough, Charlie Buchan, Bobby Gurney, Charlie Hurley, Kevin Phillips, Marco Gabbiadini, & Mickey Gray.
To this day, Gary is one of only 2 former players, whose name is still sang on the terraces, on a regular basis, (the other one being Charlie Hurley), Not bad Eh! for a local lad.
He will always be remembered for his crowning moment, SCORING A HAT-TRICK, AGAINST THE MAGS AT "SID JAMES'S PARK" on
24 February 1979 leaving the Macems ecstatic and the Mags jumping off the Tyne Bridge.
Garys record at Sunderland was;-
If you ever get the chance to read this Gary, I must add that Easington School Football team, were always better than Northlea, this is the only time you were ever 2nd best.