gary breen

Player of the Day: Gary Breen


Promotion winning captain in the spotlight.

Gary Breen made 115 appearances for Sunderland in a three-season stay on Wearside between 2003 and 2006.

The Republic of Ireland international began his career with Charlton Athletic before moves to Maidstone United and Gillingham prompted Peterborough United to pay £70,000 for his services.

After making 69 league appearances for Posh, Breen moved to Birmingham City, who paid £250,000 for his services.

He continued to impress and Coventry City gave him his break in the top-flight when they paid £2.5million to take him the Highfield Road.

Breen spent five seasons with the Sky Blues, making 146 league appearances before moving to West Ham United.

The defender spent just a season at Upton Park before moving to Wearside following the Hammers’ relegation from the top flight.

He scored his first goal for Sunderland on just his fourth appearance as the Black Cats won 4-0 at Bradford City in August 2003.

Breen went on to make 38 appearances during his debut campaign as Mick McCarthy’s side missed out on a return to the Premier League after a playoff defeat to Crystal Palace.

The Hendon-born defender was an ever-present as McCarthy’s captain when the Black Cats bounced back to win the Championship title in 2004-05.

Breen made 41 appearances and scored his two goals in the same week of the campaign in wins over Rotherham United and Cardiff City.

Gary was unable to prevent Sunderland’s immediate relegation in the following season, despite scoring in a 1-1 home draw with West Bromwich Albion.

Breen left for Wolves at the end of the campaign and spent two seasons at Molineux before moving to Barnet in 2008.

He spent two years with the North London club before retiring and taking on the role of assistant manager at the Underhill Stadium.

Capped 63 times by the Republic of Ireland, Breen is now first-team coach at Peterborough United.