Sunderland Throwback – When Micky Bridges retired Steve Bruce at Bramall Lane

Micky Lough looks back at a memorable game for Sunderland against tonight's opponents Sheffield United

Between the years 2009-2011 we all became accustomed to Steve Bruce dusting himself down, licking his wounds and going again.

Back in 1998 however, no amount of dusting down or wound-licking could save the dying embers of his professional career as the Corbridge-born defender hung up his boots shortly after being given the runaround by Michael Bridges.

Going into the game, the lads suffered a rare defeat at the 19th time of asking, going down 3-2 at home to Barnsley.

Sunderland were clearly in no mood to make a habit of losing during their trip to South Yorkshire as Nicky Summerbee’s expertly delivered free kick found Niall Quinn unmarked at the back post and the big man headed home from close range.

It was soon 2-0 after Chris Makin’s ball into the box made its way to Bridges who turned the Sheffield United defenders, including Steve Bruce, inside and out, before slotting the ball into the corner to double our advantage.

The North Shields-born striker was on hand to double his tally for afternoon when a quick free kick allowed him to get in behind the Sheffield United back line once again, this time he rolled the ball round the keeper before tapping the ball into an empty net.

Bridges missed a golden opportunity to complete his hat-trick in the second half, however, as Allan Johnston was brought down in the box, but Bridges somehow managed to miss the target altogether and had to be content with a brace.

Niall Quinn completed the rout when he slammed home a parried Chris Makin effort to make it 4-0.

I won’t need to remind you that we ended that season on 105 points and would only lose three times all season.

Same again this season, lads?