The Poominator!

Published:
by Kate Smith

safc.com looks back on a memorable day in Sunderland's history.

On this day in 2003 Sunderland goalkeeper Mart Poom was the unlikely hero at Pride Park.

Nine years ago, Sunderland travelled to Derby County, a game that saw goalkeeper Mart Poom write his name in Wearside folklore.

A day that was already full of sentiment for the Estonian international became a day he would never forget, as he scored an amazing last-minute equaliser for Sunderland against his former club.

Sunderland were 1-0 down in stoppage time. Poom sprinted up the field after boss Mick McCarthy urged his team to get forward as midfielder Sean Thornton prepared to take a corner.

As the cross came into the box, Poom out-jumped everyone to get his head to the ball and drive it past the Derby keeper.

He couldn't hide his delight as he darted back to his own goal chased by an ecstatic Marcus Stewart and Darren Williams.

The Black Cats stopper, a crowd favourite during his time at County, was given a huge ovation by both sets of fans on the final whistle seconds later.

Following the game a beaming Poom told safc.com: "It's unbelievable. Sometimes these things happen in football and it's something special.

"I had a fantastic reception before the game and the fans were great to me after. It's a day that I'll remember for the rest of my life."

Other milestones on this day for SAFC include:

1886 – Sunderland claimed their first victory in the Football League with a 4-0 thrashing of West Bromwich Albion. The Black Cats would later be deducted two points for fielding goalkeeper Ted Doig, who was ineligible to play.

2004 – Former Sunderland striker and legendary manager Brian Clough passes away aged 69 after losing his battle with cancer. Clough scored a remarkable 63 goals in 74 appearances during his three years on Wearside.