DIVISION ONE: Reidy's record-breakers

Division One: 1998-99

A year after suffering defeat in one of the most memorable play-off finals to date at the hands of Charlton Athletic, Sunderland responded a year later and returned to the top flight as champions of Division One.

Peter Reid’s side were rampant throughout and broke records along the way as they accumulated the most points in a season, in any division, with 105.

As well as that they also went up with the fewest defeats in Division One with just three coming all season against Barnsley, Tranmere Rovers and Watford.

From the outset Sunderland’s path was clear for all to see as their fine start saw them take hold of the top spot following a 1-0 win over Bury in October, and they weren't knocked off their perch for the remainder of the campaign.

Despite losing three times from October through to May, the Lads proved too strong for their opponents and went on a 17-game unbeaten run as they sealed a memorable return to the Premier League.

Kevin Phillips was at his best as he bagged 23 goals in 26 appearances, and Niall Quinn wasn’t far behind with 18 strikes in 36 games.

But while the Black Cats’ strike partnership arguably grabbed the headlines that season, at the other end of the field Thomas Sorensen shone in his debut campaign as he kept 29 clean sheets.

That return helped the club set a new Sunderland record of 30 clean sheets in a season in all competitions.

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