Ugliest Sunderland vs Newcastle moments involve police horses and Joey Barton | Football | Sport

With Newcastle facing Sunderland in the third round of the FA Cup this afternoon, Express Sport look back at the Wear-Tyne Derby’s most explosive and controversial moments down the years…

Today’s game is the first between the two sides since they were both in the Premier League in 2016 – a 1-1 draw at St James’ Park. The last time the Magpies played at the Stadium of Light, however, it was a resounding 3-0 win for the home team.

Newcastle, in a run of poor form with seven losses from their last eight games, now sit a lowly ninth in the Premier League table – 11 points away from the Champions League spot they occupied last year and only two points ahead of the bottom half.

The Magpies are also suffering an injury crisis, with Kieran Trippier and Callum Wilson the latest to add their names to a long list of absentees.

For Sunderland, this match will be a fantastic opportunity to bite back at their now-Champions League rivals. The Black Cats sit sixth in the Championship with strong hopes of promotion and are fresh from a 2-0 win against Preston.

With that said, let’s take a look at a few times the derby has reached boiling point in the past…

Pitch invasion

In only the teams’ eighth meeting in 1901, Sunderland’s trip to St James’ Park would be called off in dramatic fashion.

Remembered as the Wear-Tyne derby that never was, Sunderland went into the match knowing they could win the title if they dispatched Newcastle. With excitement for the match hitting unanticipated levels, a crowd of approximately 70,000 arrived at St. James’ Park – a stadium which, at the time, only had room for 30,000.

Fans quickly flooded the pitch, and the 25 police officers on duty were overwhelmed.

The game was abandoned, and Newcastle were deemed guilty of not controlling the crowd. They had to pay the costs of inquiry, and gave their share of the gate to local charities. But Sunderland still went on to win the league regardless.

Away fan ban

The Wear-Tyne derby, by 1996, had become such a sordid affair that both clubs and the police force agreed to ban fans from attending games at their rivals’ grounds.

The decision was made based on security fears and a lack of trust in fans to control themselves. This decision marked a low point for the fixture, and led to underwhelming atmospheres for match-going fans.

Hardyman kicks Burridge in the face

The two-legged 1990 play-off semi-final to make it into the first division was one of the most high-stakes meetings ever between the Magpies and the Black Cats, and boiled over after Newcastle goalkeeper John Burridge saved a late penalty from Sunderland’s Paul Hardyman.

Hardyman, seeing red in injury time of the first leg, stomped over to the keeper and kicked him in the face – an action which saw him sent off immediately.

Burridge, thankfully, was not too badly injured. After a 0-0 draw in the first leg, Sunderland won the reverse match at St James’ Park 2-0 but went on to lose the final at Wembley against Swindon.

The iconic horse punch

After a 3-0 loss to Sunderland in 2013, Newcastle fans took to the city centre in disarray. After police were called to deal with the chaos, 45-year-old Barry Rogerson was arrested for punching a police horse.

He was given a year in prison after pleading guilty to violent disorder, on top of a six-year football banning order.

The horse, Bud, was not hurt in the attack and was dispatched on duty for the following Wear-Tyne derby at the Stadium of Light.

Joey Barton taunts the fans

Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton had not long returned from prison and a six-match ban when he was included in the matchday squad for Newcastle’s trip to Sunderland in 2008.

Manager Joe Kinnear’s decision to bring Barton along was controversial, and especially poorly received by the Sunderland fans. He was booed as he warmed up on the sidelines, and only flared the Black Cats’ tempers by kissing his Newcastle badge.

Barton has since continued to taunt Sunderland fans on social media.

Newcastle 1-9 Sunderland

One of the strangest Tyne-Wear derbies to date, the Black Cats’ trip to St. James’ Park in 1908 saw the Magpies’ second-worst defeat in club history.

Though the score was only 1-1 at halftime, two red cards for Newcastle opened the door for Sunderland to put eight past them in the second half.

Many of the visitors’ players came home battered and bruised. Charlie Thomson, Harry Low and Albert Milton all required medical treatment that night, with the latter forced to spend the next day in bed.

Bizarrely, Newcastle went on to win the title the same day. Today’s edition of Sunderland vs Newcastle kicks off at 12.45pm, and will be shown live on ITV1.

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