Player of the Day: Dean Whitehead

Published:
by Ashley Houghton

Former captain in the spotlight.

Dean Whitehead made 200 appearances for Sunderland in his five years on Wearside after joining from Oxford United in 2004.

Whitehead began his career with his local league club Oxford United where he would progress through the youth ranks to make 136 first-team appearances for the U’s.

He made an immediate impact at the Stadium of Light making 46 appearances and scoring five goals as Mick McCarthy’s side won promotion to the top flight.

Dean won the club’s Players’ Player of the Year award as voted by his teammates and he continued to be an ever-present in the Sunderland side despite the disappointment the following campaign would bring.

The central midfielder missed only one league game and scored three goals as the Black Cats were relegated in 2005-06.

Whitehead continued to be a regular in the Sunderland side as the Lads returned to the top flight in 2007 under Roy Keane.

He scored his first goal of that season in Niall Quinn’s last game as manager - a 2-0 home win over West Bromwich Albion.

In the Black Cats’ return to the top flight, Whitehead made 28 appearances after a knee injury ruled the Abingdon-born midfielder out for three months at the beginning of the campaign.

Dean’s final campaign on Wearside saw him feature 38 times in all competitions.

Whitehead joined Stoke City ahead of the 2009-10 season and spent four seasons at the Britannia Stadium, making 160 appearances before leaving for Middlesbrough ahead of the 2013-14 campaign.