There's been a few Irishmen pulled on the red and white stripes over the years, as it's St Patrick's Day we've pulled together an SAFC Irish XI.
Shay Given: Shay Given made 17 appearances during a loan spell from Blackburn Rovers, the future Manchester City stopper kept 12 clean-sheets during his time at Roker Park.
Charlie Hurley: Sunderland’s ‘Player of the Century’ couldn’t possibly miss out on a place in the starting XI. Born in Cork, Hurley made 358 appearances in red and white before moving to Bolton Wanderers following 12 years on Wearside.
John O’Shea: Current captain John O’Shea has made over 200 appearances for the club and is Sunderland’s record Premier League appearance maker. Tthe Republic of Ireland centurion is still going strong providing experience and talent at the back.
Gary Breen: Gary Breen enjoyed a 20-year playing career with the likes of Birmingham City, West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers. The centre back moved to Wearside in 2003 after featuring for the ROI at the 2002 World Cup, and he would go on to make over 100 appearances for the club whilst picking up a total of 63 international caps.
Paul Butler: Paul Butler earned just one cap at international level but featured over 80 times in red and white. After one season in the second tier with Bury he moved to Wearside for £1m, and he had immediate impact helping the Black Cats return to the top flight by winning the Division One title accruing a record 105 points in Peter Reid’s all-conquering 1999 side.
Kevin Kilbane: The versatile Kevin Kilbane could play at left back and let wing, but with 110 caps for the Republic of Ireland he simply cannot miss out. He moved to Wearside in December 1999 and his impact was immediate as came off the bench to set up Kevin Phillips for a winning goal against Southampton.
Amby Fogarty: Amby Fogarty scored on his home debut in 1957 against Chelsea and his goalscoring exploits would continue throughout his Wearside career, with the midfielder scoring 37 league goals in 152 appearances. He won his first full international cap in May 1960 in a 1-0 win over West Germany in Dusseldorf, before making his final appearance in 1964 against Spain.
Jason McAteer: Like Kilbane, Jason McAteer offered versatility with the central midfielder also providing an option on the right. McAteer began his career with Bolton Wanderers before sealing a big-money move to Liverpool, and then making 72 appearances for Blackburn Rovers and 53 for the Black Cats.
Andy Reid: Born in Dublin, Andy Reid moved to Wearside in 2008 following successful spells with Nottingham Forest, Tottenham Hotspur and Charlton Athletic. He made an immediate impact at the Stadium of Light, volleying home a 95th minute winner against West Ham United before going on to net against West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City.
Niall Quinn: Niall Quinn arrived on Wearside in August 1996 and in October 2002 he left a legend, after scoring 71 goals in 222 appearances. He won the last of 92 caps for the Republic of Ireland in June 2002 at the age of 35, before later becoming manager and chairman of the Black Cats.
Stephen Elliot: ‘Sleeves’ swapped Manchester City for Sunderland in June 2004. He scored 16 goals in Sunderland’s 2005 championship-winning season, and he found the net in style against Manchester United and Newcastle United during his time in the top flight.