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Players Index Page Last Updated
15 February 2019

Bobby Gurney

Sunderland AFC

1 appearance, 0 goals

P 1 W 0 D 0 L 1 F 0: A 2
0% successful


captain: none
minutes played:


Full name Robert Gurney
Born 13 October 1907 in Stewart Street, Silksworth, county Durham [registered in Sunderland, December 1907]. Attended Silksworth C of E School
Birthplace Notes His census return states that the entire Gurney children were born in Tunstall, a Sunderland suburb neighbouring Silksworth.

Census Notes

According to the 1911 census, Robert (definately stated as Robeth in the census return) is the youngest of five children (four sons) to coal hewer, Joseph, and Elizabeth. They live at 8 Maria Street in New Silksworth.

According to the 1939 register, Robert is a professional footballer and a police war reserve, married to Mary, and they live at 2 Bridle Path, in the Middle Herrington area of Sunderland.
Married: to Mary E. Davison (b.28 July 1907) on 25 July 1929, at St. Matthew's Parish Church in Silksworth (left) [registered in Houghton-le-Spring, Durham, September 1929].
"A large company assembled at St. Matthew's Parish Church, Silksworth, this afternoon to witness the marriage of Mr Robert Gurney, the Sunderland AFC player and youngest son of Mr Joseph and the late Mrs Gurney, of New Silksworth, to Miss Mary Davison, eldest daughter of Mr James Davison, of Silksworth, and late of Ryhope. Miss Davison, for over seven years, has been on the staff of the Britannic Assurance Company in Sunderland, and the staff have presented her with an oak case of cutlery. The bride, who was given away by her cousin, Mr John Harrison, under-manager of Ryhope Colliery, was charmingingly attired in a dress of blue suede georgette with hat to match, and wore a pearl necklace, the gift of the bridegroom. The bride was attended by Miss Elsie Davison (sister) and Miss Isa West, of Whitley Bay, as bridesmaids, who were attired alike in dresses of green silk. Mr Ike McGorian, formerly of the Sunderland AFC, and now of Nottingham AFC was best man. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. William Atkinson, Vicar of St. Matthews's. As the bridal party were leaving the church Mendelssohn's Wedding March was played by Mr James Beresford. A reception was held in the Temperence Hall and later Mr and Mrs Gurney left for the Lake District for their honeymoon. Both bride and bridegroom were the recipients of a large number of presents." -
Thursday, 25 July 1929, The Sunderland Echo and Shipping Gazette.
 Died: 14 April 1994, aged 86 years 183 days [registered in Sunderland, April 1994]. Funeral Service at St. Chad's Church in East Herrington, on Wednesday, 27 April 1994 at 3.20pm. A minutes silence was observed the night previously when Sunderland AFC entertain Oxford United FC at Roker Park in a Division One match. United won 3-2.
 Height/Weight: 5' 8", 10st. 7lbs [1925], 5' 8½", 10st. 3lbs, another source states 5' 8", 10st. 10lbs [1935].

Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990] & FindMyPast.com

Club Career

Club(s) Began his football career playing with Sunderland & County Durham Boys, and then Hetton Juniors FC alongside Silksworth Colliery FC. After scoring 131 goals in one saseon, he was invited to play with Bishop Auckland FC. Newcastle United FC scouted Gurney, but they were rejected by Robert's father, instead, he was spotted by Charlie Buchan and Sunderland AFC paid a £10 transfer fee and a friendly match on 8 May 1925. That friendly match was played on 30 August 1926 (Sunderland AFC won 7-3 with Gurney scoring a hat-trick, earning £50 for Bishop Auckland FC). He remained with the Roker Park club, breaking both legs, the first, his left fibula, on 8 October 1927, in a reserve match against Workington FC. Inbetween, the club had an offer from Birmingham FC, and interest from Leicester City FC and Manchester City FC, to sign him in October 1933. He had another fracture in an FA Cup fifth round second replay match against Blackburn Rovers FC in Sheffield on 18 February 1939. He was injured after three minutes. After treatment for concussion, he returned, and lasted until half-time, when he was rushed off to hospital with an ankle fracture, as well as torn ligaments. Gurney had amassed 205 goals in 347 league appearances. He did play again, but only in exhibition matches, guesting for Holiday Sports Club, of the Northumberland & Durham League, in 1941. Gurney was part of Sunderland AFC's retained list on 22 May 1946, and was handed the job of third-team trainer a week later.
Club honours Football League runners-up 1934-35, Champions 1935-36; FA Charity Shield winners 1936, runners-up 1937; FA Cup winners 1936-37;
Individual honours Scored nine goals in a 14-0 victory over Hartlepools United FC in a North-Eastern League match for Sunderland FC. He did manage to score five for the first team, as they beat Bolton Wanderers FC 7-2 on 7 December 1935.
Distinctions None


Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990].

Management Career

Club(s) After his injury in 1939, he remained with Sunderland AFC, helping the training staff. On 30 May 1946, Gurney was appointed as third-team trainer at the club. On 4 June 1947, he became the manager at Horden Colliery Welfare FC on a three-year contract. Gurney had been interviewed for the vacant manager's position at Carlisle United FC, however, on 22 May 1949, a relative unknown Bill Shankly was appointed. On 21 February 1950, Gurney left Horden when Midland League side, Peterborough United FC appointed him as their manager. On 20 March 1952, he accepted the invitation to return to the north-east when Darlington FC appointed him as their manager, effective 31 March, until his resignation on 7 October 1957. Became a scout for Leeds United AFC until he returned to Horden Colliery Welfare FC on 15 May 1961 until becoming a manager of Hartlepools United FC on 8 April 1963. He left on 6 January 1964 when he was sacked.
Club honours None

England Career

Player number One of two who became the 609th players (610) to appear for England.
Position(s) Centre-forward
Only match No. 197, 6 April 1935, Scotland 2 England 0, a British Championship match at Hampden Park, Mount Florida, Glasgow, aged 27 years 175 days.
Major tournaments British Championship 1934-35;
Team honours British Championship shared 1934-35;
Individual honours None
Distinctions None

Beyond England

Bobby went on to work for a confectioners' firm in Hartlepool. Latterly a representative for a brewery firm,, and he became an honorary vice-president of the Sunderland AFC Supporters' Association. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.114.

England Tragedy

"Gaining entrance by breaking a leaded window pane, thieves stole about £100 worth of clothing from the home of ex-Sunderland and England international centre-forward Bobby Gurney at the Bridle Path, Herrington. 'All they left of my clothes,' Mr Gurney, who is now manager of Peterborough Football Club, told The Sunderland Echo to-day, 'was my dress suit. Fortunately I took a lot of clothes with me to Peterborough, but my wife, who was attending a relative's silver wedding celebrations when the entry was made, was left with little more than she had on.' Mr Gurney added that the thieves also took away two silk bedspreads, and when his wife returned, she could not get into the house as the lock catch had been dropped."
- Saturday 15 April 1950, The Sunderland Echo


Bobby Gurney - Career Statistics
Squads Apps comp. apps Mins. Goals goals ave.min comp. goals Capt. Disc.
1 1 1 90 0 0 min 0 none none
minutes are an approximation, due to the fact that many matches rarely stick to exactly ninety minutes long, allowing time for injuries and errors.


Bobby Gurney - Match Record - All Matches - By Type of Match
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts % W/L
Away - British Championship 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 1 0 0.00 2.00 0.00 -1
All 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 1 0 0.00 2.00 0.00 -1


Bobby Gurney - Match Record - Tournament Matches
British Championship Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1934-35 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 1 0 0.00 2.00 0.00 -1
BC All 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 1 0 0.00 2.00 0.00 -1
All Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 1 0 0.00 2.00 0.00 -1
All 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 1 0 0.00 2.00 0.00 -1


Bobby Gurney - Match History

 Club: Sunderland A.F.C. - one full appearance (90 min)

F.A. International Selection Committee - one full appearance (90 min)x

Age 27
1 197 6 April 1935 - Scotland 2 England 0, Hampden Park, Glasgow BC AL Start cf