the Black Cats, the Mackems
Glaswegian schoolteacher James Allan founded Sunderland and District Teachers' Association Football Club in 1879, changing the name to Sunderland AFC a year later. They were elected to the newly-formed Football League in 1890/91 and were to remain in the top flight for 68 consecutive years - a record only recently passed by Arsenal.
Sunderland won the title three times in five years, only losing one home match in their first six seasons. The Mackems won another title in 1902, but a better prize in their fans eyes' was a 9-1 thrashing of fierce rivals Newcastle United - still a record away win in the top flight. The team came close to doing the double in 1913 but they lost the FA Cup final 1-0 to Aston Villa.
A post-war slump saw them beaten by Yeovil Town in the FA Cup - the first time a non-league club had beaten a top-flight team - and worse, relegated in 1958. Sunderland have spent most of their time since then bouncing between the top two divisions, with their only real glory being a 1973 FA Cup win over Leeds United - the first time in 40 years a club outside the top flight had won the trophy.
The Black Cats reached their lowest point in 1987 as they were relegated to the Third Division. But successive promotions saw them back in the top flight two years later.