Gabriel Obertan struck the only goal of the game to give the Magpies their first win of the Premier League season after their openinh seven matches had yielded four draws and three defeats.
"It was a surprise - we didn't expect to see him," Pardew told the Sunderland Echo. "He spent about 10 minutes congratulating everyone.
"If anyone has ever doubted his commitment, you saw it there. He was as happy as any fan at the win.
"That is the first time since I have been here that he has been on the dressing room straight after the game. It shows what that result meant to him."
Despite the win, Newcastle still languish 18th in the Premier League table.