Alan Shearer celebrates victory over Sunderland

In an occasional feature on, we pick our top five on a host of Newcastle United topics. This week, in the build up to derby day, DAN KING recalls some of the most memorable Tyne-Wear victories of modern times...


Newcastle and Sunderland have faced each other 148 times in all competitions since the very first meeting in 1898 - and United have won on 53 occasions compared to Sunderland's 47 victories.

As a result, it's difficult to narrow those derby successes down to five. After all, every Tyne-Wear win is sweet, from that very first clash which Newcastle won 3-2 right through to the Ryan Taylor-inspired victory at the Stadium of Light just over two years ago.

In between, there has been Nikos Dabizas' winner on Wearside and the mad celebrations which followed it, Emre's free-kick in a 3-2 scoreline in favour of the Magpies and the 2008 match where Michael Owen scored twice.

There have been some humbling defeats too, of course, such as last season's 3-0 home defeat, a 2-1 loss at Sunderland in 2008 or the day in November 2000 when Thomas Sorensen saved Alan Shearer's last minute penalty to give all three points to the Black Cats at St. James' Park.

But there are plenty of black and white victories to choose from, and here are our favourites:


Number five - Sunderland 1 Newcastle United 2, Wednesday, 4th September 1996

Only a handful of Newcastle fans were at the last Tyne-Wear derby to be played at Sunderland's former Roker Park home, due to a ban on away fans which was put in place due to safety concerns.

But that makes the victory all the more remarkable, as they silenced most of the 22,037 crowd despite going behind to Martin Scott's first-half penalty.

Peter Beardsley's deft header levelled matters on 52 minutes to delight the 8,000 fans who watched a beam-back of the game at St. James' Park before Les Ferdinand powered home the winner ten minutes later. 

They may not have been able to share the celebrations with their own fans (although a tiny number had managed to sneak into the ground) but the scenes on the pitch after the final whistle told their own story as 11 men took on more than 22,000 - and won.


Liam O'Brien

Number four - Sunderland 1 Newcastle United 2, Sunday, 18th October 1992

A victory on Wearside, secured thanks to an inch-perfect free-kick.

It's happened a couple of times since Liam O'Brien wrote his name into Magpies folklore - Scott Sellars and Ryan Taylor spring to mind - but this one is perhaps the stand-out and the chant it helped to inspire still gets an airing every derby day more than 20 years on.

Newcastle were looking to maintain their 100 per cent start to the season but it looked like the old enemy would claim the satisfaction of ending the run after Gordon Armstrong had cancelled out Gary Owers' early own goal.

But then up-stepped O'Brien. Twenty-two yards from goal, with 12 minutes left, the Irish international curled the ball into the top corner with Tim Carter rooted to the spot.

Cue bedlam in the away end - and United went on to win the Division One title at the end of the season. And when namesake Andy O'Brien scored for Newcastle against the Black Cats in 2001, the song was born: 'Liam O'Brien, Andy O'Brien, any any O'Brien...'


Peter Beardsley

Number three - Newcastle United 3 Sunderland 1 - Tuesday, 1st January 1985

Not a bad way to start a new year - a derby victory and a hat-trick for Newcastle-born Peter Beardsley. There were also two penalties and two red cards in a dramatic encounter where the Magpies came out on top.

Beardsley's first was a long-range strike at the Leazes end after Pat Heard's corner was only half-cleared, before he converted from the spot three minutes into the second half after Wes Saunders was fouled.

Pedro then saw another penalty saved and Colin West pulled one back for the visitors from the edge of the box, but Beardsley sealed the win with a well-taken third.

Sunderland's misery was completed with Howard Gayle and Gary Bennett both sent off, while the home fans - many of whom were still hungover from the previous night - hit the pubs once again.


Michael Chopra

Number two - Sunderland 1 Newcastle United 4, Monday, 17th April 2006

When Sunderland took the lead through Justin Hoyte, few would have predicted that Newcastle would turn the game on its head quite so spectacularly.

Future Black Cat Michael Chopra scored with his first touch after coming on as a substitute following a lapse from Steven Caldwell - his only league goal for United - then, seconds later, Hoyte chopped down Charles N'Zogbia allowing Alan Shearer to score his 206th Magpies goal from the penalty spot.

It proved to be his last as, following a challenge from Julio Arca, he hobbled off, never to pull on the black and white again. But what a way to bow out.

N'Zogbia had already made it 3-1 after beating three players and slotting home, before Shearer's replacement Albert Luque added a fourth late on - leading to an angy Sunderland fan running onto the pitch to rip up his season ticket.

Shola Ameobi scores against Sunderland

Number one - Newcastle United 5 Sunderland 1, Sunday, 31st October 2010

Arguably the most memorable meeting between Newcastle and Sunderland on Tyneside, as Kevin Nolan's hat-trick gave United their biggest Tyne-Wear derby win in 55 years.

Nolan got the ball rolling on 26 minutes with an inventive overhead kick before tapping home a second eight minutes later. Then Nedum Onuoha felled Jonas Gutierrez for Shola Ameobi, so often the scourge of Sunderland, to make no mistake from the penalty spot.

Titus Bramble, the former Magpies' defender, was then sent off for a lunge on Andy Carroll and Ameobi added his second with an acrobatic volley after Carroll's header had crashed back off the bar.

Nolan then completed his hat-trick to make it five and although Darren Bent scored for Steve Bruce's side in the last minute, never has a derby goal been less celebrated.

Despite a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light later that season, the derby bragging rights of 2010/11 certainly belonged to Newcastle.

What do you think? Do you disagree with our order? Have we made a glaring omission? Let us know at