Player of the Day: Thomas Sorensen

by Will Martin

Goalkeeper in today's spotlight.

Signed from Odense BK in Denmark in the summer of 1998, Thomas Sorensen would go on to make 191 appearances in a five-year stay on Wearside.

Sorensen was part of the youth academy at Danish top-flight side Odense Boldklub and, though he never made the first team, he enjoyed loan spells at Vejle and Svendborg, playing a full season as number one for the latter.

Manager Peter Reid splashed nigh-on £1m for the 22-year-old in the summer of 1998, and by the end of his first season any doubters has been firmly silenced.

The Black Cats bounced back from the heartbreak of a play-off final defeat to Charlton Athletic the previous year to win the Football League Championship emphatically, finishing the season with a record 105 points.

Sorensen kept an astonishing 29 clean sheets - a club record – as he put in a string of near faultless displays throughout the season.

Following the Black Cats’ promotion to the Premiership, Sorensen had another fine season, starting all but one game in the top flight and keeping nine clean sheets, as Sunderland recorded their highest finish in 46 years.

The Black Cats repeated their seventh-placed finish in the 2000-01 campaign. Sorensen made a further 34 league appearances, shutting out the opposition in twelve games.

Sorensen’s finest hour in a Sunderland shirt came in November 2000; the Danish international saved Alan Shearer’s late penalty to send the Black Cats’ fans into raptures whilst also sealing Sunderland their second consecutive victory on Tyneside.

Sorensen made another 55 league appearances, despite missing almost half of the 2002-03 season through injury, though he was sold to Aston Villa at the end of the campaign following the club’s relegation from the top flight.

The Danish international spent five years at Villa Park, making 158 appearances, before joining Stoke City in 2008 where he is still plying his trade.

Sorensen has been capped 101 times by Denmark after taking the reins from Peter Schmeichel in 2000.

He retired from international football in August 2012 as the eighth most capped player in Danish history.