SAFC Legends Series- Marco Gabbiadini

Born in Nottingham in 1968, Marco Gabbiadini began his playing career for York City in the Third Division and scored 14 goals in 60 games as a teenager.

At the age of 19, in 1987 Gabbiadini made the move to Sunderland as they were to spend their first ever season in the third tier.

Gabbiadini scored 21 goals in his first season which helped the Black Cats secure immediate promotion back to the second tier.

In the 1989-90 season, he scored 21 goals again as he helped Sunderland finally return to the First Division.

In this season, he scored a hat-trick against Watford, and probably his most remembered goal came against bitter rivals Newcastle United, as he scored the second in a 0-2 win in the Play-Off semi-final.

The Black Cats lost the Play-Off final against Swindon Town, 1-0 thanks to a Gary Bennett own goal, but Swindon were refused entry due to financial irregularities and Sunderland were awarded promotion.

Gabbiadini scored 9 goals in 31 games in his first season in the First Division but it wasn’t enough for Sunderland to survive relegation.

The following season, Gabbiadini scored 5 goals in 9 games in the first half of the season, including a six minute hat-trick against Charlton, before moving to Crystal Palace for £1.8 million.

Gabbiadini spent the majority of the rest of his career at Derby County, where he bagged 50 goals in 188 appearances.

At the end of his career, he moved back to the North-East and finished his playing career at Hartlepool United.

Since retiring, he has been a regular co-host on BBC Radio Newcastle, talking about Sunderland on TotalSport.