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Played for both sides: Sunderland and Watford

By Lucas Ward

Sky Bet Championship match between Sunderland and Watford at the Stadium Of Light. Credit: Alamy

Ahead of Sunderland’s trip to Vicarage Road this weekend, we take a look at the players who have featured for both the Black Cats and Watford through the years:

Kevin Phillips

Photo-Credit: Alamy

Revered as one of the greatest players to ever play for Sunderland, ‘Super Kev’ signed for the North-East side from Watford in 1997 for a fee of up to £600k. In his time at the Hornets, Phillips played 59 times, scoring an impressive 24 goals in that time before his move to recently relegated Sunderland. 

Best known for his strike partnership with Irish international Niall Quinn, Phillips played for the Black Cats for six years and recorded more than a goal every other game in his time at the club, a record that saw him win the European Golden Shoe in 2000.

Luke O’Nien

Luke O’Nien photo credit: Alamy

Despite only appearing once for Watford, we include the current Sunderland star as the only current player to have played for both. 

Signing his first professional contract with Watford in 2013, his only Hornets appearance came as a substitute against Barnsley the following year. 

The Englishman was signed by Sunderland during their time in League One and quickly became a fan favourite due to his passion for both the club and fanbase alike and the crucial role he played in the team’s play-off winning 2021/22 season.

Danny Graham

Danny Graham, Sunderland Credit: Alamy

Gateshead-born Danny Graham played for twelve teams in his career, including both Sunderland and Watford. 

Playing for the Hornets between 2009 and 2011, he scored 38 goals in 91 appearances, securing the title of the club’s top goalscorer for the 2009/10 season. 

Graham signed for Sunderland in January 2013 for £5 million, only scoring once in his time at the club. Before his retirement in 2021, he returned to the Stadium of Light, playing in just 14 games for the Black Cats.

Alec Chamberlain

ALEC CHAMBERLAIN SUNDERLAND FC 12 December 1995 Photo Credit: Alamy

Goalkeeper Alec Chamberlain played 90 times for Sunderland over three years after signing in 1993 and was part of the promotion-winning side in the 1995/96 season. 

He was sold to Watford in the summer of 1996 for £40k, where he featured almost 250 times in goal for the Hornets, in which time the side won the second Division.  

In 2007, Chamberlain came on as a substitute for Watford at the age of 41, making him at the time the oldest player to feature in the Premier League. 

Didier Ndong 

Didier Ndong playing for Sunderland. Credit: Alamy

Whilst he never made an appearance for Watford, we couldn’t complete this list without mentioning Didier Ndong.  

In 2016, Sunderland broke their club record transfer fee when they spent £13.6 million on the Gabon international but following Sunderland’s relegation to the Championship, Watford made a loan offer in the 2018 January transfer window but was never given a chance by Javi Garcia.  

 Ndong’s time at the Black Cats ended bitterly with his refusal to turn up to training following the club’s further relegation to League One ultimately leading to the termination of his contract on Wearside.