A former Carlisle United player says he is looking at "legal options" after being axed by Sunderland.

John Cooke - who played for the Cumbrians in the 1980s - said he has been made redundant as the Black Cats' kitman after more than 25 years in the role.

Former winger Cooke told Chronicle Live of his disappoinment at the news and that he was considering action.

"It's very disappointing to be made redundant from the club where I've spent more than 30 years as a player and staff member, without even a mention that I have left," he said.

"The way it has been handled leaves an especially sour taste, and I'm looking at what legal options are available to me."

Cooke, 58, had been furloughed in September, while Sunderland have yet to comment on the situation.

He spent six years as a player with the club from 1979-85 before joining Carlisle initially on loan and then permanently, making more than 100 appearances for the Blues under Bob Stokoe, Harry Gregg and Clive Middlemass. He then moved to Stockport in 1988.

He returned to Sunderland as kit manager in 1994.

Many Sunderland fans have expressed their anger on social media at the news.

Cooke's son Brad described the move as a "shambles", tweeting: "The old man gave everything to the club. 58 year old, just about enough money for a chippy and not even a thank you."