A former Premier League striker has been spotted enjoying watching a game of football at a North East pub at the end of last week - with fans of the player all saying the same thing. 

Those who went to the New Derby pub in Sunderland last Wednesday (October 25) for a drink might have been surprised to see an ex-professional footballer in their midst. 

During Newcastle United's match with Borussia Dortmund, former Sunderland attacker Darren Bent visited the venue to watch the Magpies get dealt a narrow 0-1 defeat in the Champions League. 

The Northern Echo: Darren Bent at New Derby in SunderlandDarren Bent at New Derby in Sunderland (Image: NEW DERBY)

After his surprise visit, the New Derby shared an image that showed a member of staff with Bent, alongside the caption: "Darren Bent at the pub tonight to watch the Newcastle game."

His choice of watching Newcastle instead of Sunderland might have inspired some comments such as "This is unbelievable that he's even chosen to watch Newcastle," and "Decent striker, poor choice of team to watch," it was something else that caught people's attention. 

With Sunderland currently eighth in the Championship table, some fans claimed that Bent, 39, could still play a role in the current Black Cats squad. 

In the comments section, one person chimed in with: "I would take him as a backup striker right now in a heartbeat," while another said: "I bet he could still do a job - sign him up."

The former Sunderland man was prolific for the club, having scored 32 goals in 58 games. 

While playing for the club, his most 'infamous' moment came during a match with Liverpool in October 2009. 

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Rafael Benitez’s Liverpool were left deflated at Sunderland as Darren Bent scored with the help of a beach ball.

The Liverpool-branded ball had been thrown onto the pitch by a Reds fan and Bent’s shot deflected off it and past stunned goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

The goal stood as referee Mike Jones thought Bent’s effort had gone in off a player and there was no VAR to rescue him.