Tag Archives: Sunderland

Premier League Files: Gary Breen

Premier League Career: Coventry City (1997-2001), West Ham United (2002-2003), Sunderland (2003-2006)

Centre-back Gary Breen spent the whole of his footballing career playing in England. However, his story could have taken a totally different direction if he’d made the move to Inter Milan in 2002. The Serie A giants were seriously interested in Breen’s services after a stellar 2002 World Cup finals for the Republic of Ireland. Ultimately, three Premier League relegations on his CV might indicate his career wasn’t the best but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Breen was often a shining light in teams that would always struggle against survival in the top-flight.

Breen started his professional career at Charlton Athletic but never made the first-team grade with the Addicks. He would then join Maidstone United in 1991 and then followed a season with them with spells at Gillingham and Birmingham City. Gordon Strachan was impressed by his mature displays at Birmingham and it was the Sky Blues who would bring Gary into the top-flight, paying Birmingham £2.5 million. There was an embarrassing own goal in one of his first appearances for the Midlands side at Old Trafford but Breen settled down quickly and would form a strong partnership at the centre of the Coventry defence alongside Richard Shaw.

He would spend five seasons at Highfield Road and won Coventry’s Player of the Year in 2001, despite their relegation from the Premier League. Still one of the club’s top-earners in Division One, he was released to balance the books before the 2002 World Cup. His dependable performances were noted by several club teams. Breen played every single minute and even scored in the Republic of Ireland’s 3-0 victory over Saudi Arabia that sealed their place in the knockout stages. No fewer than nine clubs made offers for the free agent and it was Inter Milan who led the queue. Heartbreak though would follow for Breen. He admitted in a 2016 interview: “Prior to the Spain game, I had agreed a deal with Inter Milan. When we got back to Dublin, I flew out to Milan, I had the medical, failed the medical, and I still haven’t got over it.”

A knee injury was to blame and perhaps Inter were sensing what would ultimately happen in 2002-2003 to Breen. He was snapped up by West Ham United but injuries restricted him to just 18 appearances in all competitions. Glenn Roeder’s side were relegated and he became a free agent again.

Having knowledge of his tactically astute ways from the Republic of Ireland days, Mick McCarthy wasted no time in signing Breen for his Sunderland side in the summer of 2003 and made him club captain. He made over 100 appearances for the Black Cats’ and helped them win promotion in 2005 but that was followed by being part of a team that managed just 15 points in 2005-2006 and instant relegation back from the top-flight. Breen was signed again by McCarthy at Wolverhampton Wanderers but this time, their relationship turned sour. He left abruptly in 2008 after an altercation with McCarthy. He would finish his playing career at Barnet in 2010.

Gary Breen was a dependable defender for all the teams he played for. However, his story could have taken a completely different turn if only he’d passed that medical at the San Siro.


Shock Results: Sunderland 1-0 Manchester City (November 2013)

Goalscorer: Phil Bardsley 21


Sunderland: Vito Mannone, Wes Brown, John O’Shea, Phil Bardsley, Ondrej Celustka, Jack Colback, Ki Sung-Yueng, Sebastian Larsson, Emanuele Giaccherini (Craig Gardner 72), Adam Johnson (Fabio Borini 87), Steven Fletcher (Jozy Altidore 77)

Manchester City: Costel Pantilimon, Martin Demichelis, Joleon Lescott, Aleksandar Kolarov, Micah Richards (Pablo Zabaleta 71), Javi Garcia (Jesus Navas 45), James Milner, Samir Nasri, Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo (Edin Dzeko 71)

Referee: Mike Dean, Attendance: 40,137

Most of the Premier League superpowers have a bogey ground that they always feared visiting. If you ask Arsenal supporters, it is usually the Britannia/bet365 Stadium at Stoke. Manchester United fans will remember some nightmare days at The Dell whilst Liverpool FC never seemed to do well away at The Riverside Stadium.

For Manchester City, it was definitely The Stadium of Light. They’d lost their last three visits to Wearside and all by a scoreline of 1-0. Nevertheless, the Black Cats had won just once all season by the time Manuel Pellegrini’s side visited in November 2013. Gus Poyet had just taken over and already presided over a heavy defeat to Swansea City and a loss to Hull City that saw his team reduced to nine men last time out. City were scoring for fun at The Etihad Stadium but finding their travels a bit trickier. They’d already been beaten at Cardiff, Aston Villa and Chelsea before this game.

Poyet gave a first Premier League start to Wes Brown in 22 months. The former Manchester United defender had been beset by injuries and also been virtually ignored by former manager Paolo di Canio. Brown immediately slotted into the centre-back role and kept the formidable duo of Alvaro Negredo and Sergio Aguero restricted to very speculative efforts from distance.

City made a slow start and could have conceded early on. Steven Fletcher headed wide after being picked out in the middle by Sebastian Larsson and in the 21st minute, they were punished for their tardiness.

Brown played a long ball forward which was met by full-back Phil Bardsley. Bardsley then kept his composure in an unfamiliar position to beat Costel Pantilimon, still in the team instead of the recently dropped Joe Hart. The Citizens’ were unhappy with referee Mike Dean, feeling James Milner had been fouled in the build-up by the goalscorer but their appeals fell on deaf ears.

Pellegrini’s side woke from their slumber and began to dominate possession, ending with figures of 63%. Despite that, chances were still arriving at a premium and that was down to some great defending from Sunderland’s backline. Half-time substitute Jesus Navas caused more problems in the second half. He had two goal-bound efforts blocked in quick succession before Vito Mannone made a couple of decent saves to deny Aguero and Edin Dzeko.

Despite extensive pressure in the closing stages, the Black Cats held on for a wonderful victory and a fourth successive 1-0 triumph over City.

Pellegrini’s side ended the day six points off top spot and down in eighth place in the table but would lose just two more matches in the Premier League season to win their second title in three years. Sunderland climbed off the bottom of the table with this victory and would avoid relegation narrowly once again – helped by unlikely victories like this one.

Great Goals: Gus Poyet – CHELSEA vs. Sunderland (August 1999)

Gus Poyet would become a Premier League manager with Sunderland from October 2013 to March 2015. He scored one of his finest goals against the Black Cats from his Chelsea days.

The Uruguayan was something of a cult hero during his four seasons at Stamford Bridge and came up with a glut of crucial goals, including the one to defeat the mighty Real Madrid in the 1998 UEFA Super Cup final.

On the opening weekend of the 1999-2000 campaign, the Blues welcomed Sunderland to their lair and dismissed their opponents 4-0. Poyet scored the goal of the match. Gianfranco Zola received possession from a long ball and as the Italian took it under control and assessed his options, Poyet made a run from midfield into the box.

He got between the two Sunderland defenders and met Zola’s pass with brilliant timing. His volley left Thomas Sorensen without a hope of saving it. Poyet scored 49 goals in his Chelsea career. This was quite probably his best.

Memorable Matches: Leicester City 5-2 Sunderland (March 2000)

Goalscorers: Stan Collymore 17, 60, 87, Emile Heskey 34, Kevin Phillips 53, Niall Quinn 75, Stefan Oakes 90


Leicester City: Tim Flowers, Matt Elliott, Gerry Taggart, Frank Sinclair, Darren Eadie (Stefan Oakes 56), Steve Guppy, Neil Lennon, Robbie Savage, Muzzy Izzet, Stan Collymore, Emile Heskey

Sunderland: Thomas Sorensen, Paul Butler, Jody Craddock, Chris Makin, Eric Roy (John Oster 71), Alex Rae, Stefan Schwarz, Darren Holloway (Nicky Summerbee 45), Kevin Kilbane, Niall Quinn, Kevin Phillips

Referee: Neale Barry, Attendance: 20,432

Having joined Leicester City a month earlier after falling out of favour at Aston Villa, Stan Collymore was keen to show his doubters wrong. He had his chance infront of the Sky Sports cameras on his home debut at Filbert Street as the Foxes’ hosted Sunderland in an end-to-end contest that saw seven goals and a reminder of his class when he was at his absolute best.

Collymore had already been in trouble with new manager Martin O’Neill for an off-field incident in a hotel during a club training camp break in La Manga. This was his second match for the club and after 16 minutes, he produced a spectacular opening goal. His half-volley from a flick-on by his new strike partner Emile Heskey left Thomas Sorensen completely helpless.

It was always going to be an entertaining contest. Sunderland had impressed many on their return to the top-flight but had the poorest defensive record in the top 10 coming into the match and it was exposed again 10 minutes before half-time. Neil Lennon won possession in the heart of midfield and he played Heskey in. He took one touch and finished in-between Sorensen’s legs.

Peter Reid was not happy with his team’s performance and withdrew Darren Holloway at half-time, replacing him with Nicky Summerbee. They did come close to reducing the deficit when Leicester defender Matt Elliott’s clearance at the near post hit his own crossbar. It was a warning sign to the Foxes but it wasn’t adhered to. Kevin Phillips’ half-volley from the edge of the penalty area on 53 minutes reduced the arrears. It was the 100th goal of his league career and 24th of an amazing individual season that saw him clinch the Golden Boot at the end of the campaign.

Leicester restored their two-goal lead on the hour mark. Lennon chalked up his second assist of the match. His beautiful cross was met by Collymore who directed the ball into the top corner of Sorensen’s net. One thing Reid had installed in Sunderland’s armoury was the ability to respond clinically and he had one of the best strike partnerships in the country at the time in Phillips and Niall Quinn. The Republic of Ireland forward joined Philips on the scoresheet with 15 minutes left. His curling strike would set-up a grandstand finish.

The day though would belong to Collymore. He completed his hat-trick with a striker’s tap-in. The finish was slightly scuffed but he wouldn’t be complaining about that and nor were the Leicester supporters. With time running out, substitute Stefan Oakes added a fifth to ensure the Black Cats’ conceded five on their travels for the second time this season, having shipped five at Everton on Boxing Day.

The sides would finish seventh and eighth at the end of the season. This day though belonged to Leicester and to the maverick that was Stan Collymore.

Premier League Files: Darren Bent

Premier League Career: Ipswich Town (2001-2002), Charlton Athletic (2005-2007), Tottenham Hotspur (2007-2009), Sunderland (2009-2011), Aston Villa (2011-2013, 2014), Fulham (2013-2014)

In February 2018, Darren Bent will turn 34. His experience will come in handy for his current club, Derby County in the second half of the SkyBet Championship season as they look to try and end their Premier League exile.

Bent has already played for six sides in the Premier League and his form at a number of these teams earned him England recognition on 12 occasions, scoring four times for the Three Lions. When he was in peak form, there were few better strikers in the land than Darren Bent.

After considering a possible career in athletics, Darren decided to go down the football route and began at Ipswich Town, joining their youth system at the age of 14. In 2001, he made his Premier League debut for The Tractor Boys in a 2-1 home defeat to Bolton Wanderers. Just 17 at the time, Bent got a brief taste of Premier League life before Ipswich’s 2002 relegation, appearing seven times and even scoring a winning goal against Middlesbrough in April.

His exceptional development continued at Ipswich, improving his goalscoring tallies with every passing season. Their failure to escape the First Division though led to him seeking his future away from Suffolk and it was Charlton Athletic who signed him in the summer of 2005, paying £2.5 million for his services. Bent took to his new surroundings like a duck to water. He scored in his first four appearances as Charlton beat Sunderland, Wigan Athletic, Middlesbrough and Birmingham City to sit joint-top in the table. His excellent beginning also won him the Premier League Player of the Month award for August 2005. Charlton’s form dipped dramatically afterwards and they finished only 13th but Bent’s didn’t. He was the highest English scorer in the division with 18 goals and was only outscored by Thierry Henry and Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2005-2006. He was desperately unlucky to miss out on England’s 2006 World Cup squad, with Sven-Goran Eriksson bizarrely picking the untried Theo Walcott instead.

He added another 13 goals in 2006-2007 but Alan Curbishley had gone as manager and three managers that season said it all about how life went at The Valley after his departure. The Addicks were relegated at the end of the season. Charlton knew they had to sell Bent following their Premier League demise. West Ham United had a bid accepted but the move was turned down by the player. Instead, he moved to Tottenham Hotspur for £16.5 million.

Whilst his Charlton stint on a personal basis was a qualified success, life proved much tougher in the capital. He only managed eight goals in his first full season at White Hart Lane and was an unused substitute in the 2008 League Cup final win over Chelsea. With Dimitar Berbatov, Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe also available on the striking roster, Bent found it difficult to establish himself. When they all left, Bent became the main forward for the 2008-2009 campaign and was their top scorer in the Premier League with 12 goals in 33 matches. However, Harry Redknapp was not a fan of the player when he succeeded Juande Ramos.

In a game at home to Portsmouth in January 2009 and with the score at 1-1, Bent put a header wide of the post when he really should have scored. Redknapp said afterwards: “You will never get a better chance to win a match than that. My missus could have scored that one.” 

Feeling unloved at Tottenham, Darren moved to Sunderland in August 2010 for £16.5 million despite some frustrating delays in the negotiations between the clubs. 2009-2010 would be his best campaign. Bent’s goals were valuable to keeping the Wearsiders away from the relegation battle. In a struggling side, he scored 24 times, incredibly 50% of their Premier League total for the season. Among the highlights were a hat-trick against Bolton Wanderers, a winning goal at home to Liverpool FC which struck a beach ball on its way in and two goals in a home victory against former club Tottenham Hotspur in April.

He scored another eight times in the first 20 matches of the 2010-2011 season, including a double at Anfield to earn a point and a stoppage-time penalty to beat Manchester City. However, he surprisingly left the club in January 2011 after submitting a transfer request to force a move through to Aston Villa. Villa paid Sunderland £18 million, potentially rising to £24 million with add-ons to secure the services of the player. He made a brilliant start to his Villa career, scoring a second winner for the season against Manchester City and two goals in a 2-1 away success at Arsenal in May. Despite only joining the Villans in January, he ended as the club’s joint-top scorer with Ashley Young on nine goals apiece.

In 2011-2012, he became the 21st player in Premier League history to reach the milestone of 100 goals in the competition after scoring an equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Queens Park Rangers in February. Three weeks later, he ruptured ankle ligaments at Wigan Athletic which ended his campaign and lost him a decent opportunity of making the EURO 2012 England squad. Nevertheless, he still finished as Aston Villa’s top goalscorer with 10 goals.

Christian Benteke’s arrival in the summer of 2012 pushed Bent down the pecking order at Villa Park, as new manager Paul Lambert preferred a partnership of Benteke and Gabby Agbonlahor in attack. Despite being named the club’s interim vice-captain, he only featured 16 times and moved to Fulham on-loan for the 2013-2014 campaign. He scored a late winner against Stoke in October 2013 and also struck a late equaliser to earn a creditable point at Old Trafford in February 2014. However, his spell at Fulham was disappointing as they were relegated to the Championship. He returned to Aston Villa that summer and sporadically featured seven further times before dropping down to the second tier, first for a brief loan spell with Brighton & Hove Albion and then joining Derby County permanently in the summer of 2015.

Bent has scored 22 league goals for The Rams but a torn hamstring in pre-season has meant he hasn’t figured yet this season for Gary Rowett’s side. He will be hoping to make a contribution to their promotion push in the second half of the campaign.

A sharp shooter and combative player to face upto, Darren Bent has made a career out of scoring goals and he has done it very well throughout his time in the Premier League.

Great Goals: Fernando Torres – LIVERPOOL FC vs. Sunderland (March 2010)

Liverpool FC struggled to fire in Rafa Benitez’s final season in the Anfield dugout but Fernando Torres continued to sparkle, even if injuries were beginning to take their toll on ‘El Nino.’

He shone especially against Sunderland with two goals in a comfortable 3-0 win for the home side. His first goal was what he was capable of in his absolute prime.

There seemed to be nothing on in the third minute. Torres was on the touchline and facing up to Michael Turner. Options were limited in the box, so the Spaniard decided to go for goal. He curled an unstoppable effort around Turner and the effort squeezed underneath the crossbar, leaving Craig Gordon without any chance of saving the strike.

Torres lit up The Kop with many special strikes but within a year, he was gone to Chelsea and never regained the form he demonstrated in his early LFC years.

Shock Results: Everton 5-0 Sunderland (December 1999)

Goalscorers: Don Hutchinson 16, 26, Francis Jeffers 41, Mark Pembridge 61, Kevin Campbell 72


Everton: Paul Gerrard, Richard Gough, Richard Dunne, David Weir, David Unsworth, Mark Pembridge, John Collins, Don Hutchinson, Nick Barmby (Alex Cleland 74), Kevin Campbell, Francis Jeffers (Joe-Max Moore 74)

Sunderland: Thomas Sorensen, Chris Makin, Paul Butler, Eric Roy (Darren Williams 32), Steve Bould, Michael Gray (Michael Reddy 45), Gavin McCann, Stefan Schwarz, Nicky Summerbee, Kevin Kilbane, Niall Quinn

Referee: Stephen Lodge, Attendance: 40,017

Confidence was high at Everton going into this match with Sunderland in December 1999. Bill Kenwright had just completed his £20 million takeover of the club and manager Walter Smith had just signed an extension to his contract. However, they were considered outsiders for this match against a Sunderland side that were flying high on their return to the top-flight and threatening to gate-crash the European positions.

However, an ankle injury meant their top goalscorer; Kevin Phillips was missing this Boxing Day trip to Merseyside. Peter Reid’s side had a real off-day and it showed as he returned to the club where he’d won two championships as a player in the 1980s. Smith had built Everton into a physical side to play against but also one who could entertain. They’d shared a 4-4 draw earlier in the campaign with early pacesetters, Leeds United.

They took the lead after 16 minutes of this post-Christmas encounter. It saw neat build-up, involving Francis Jeffers, Mark Pembridge and David Unsworth. Don Hutchinson finished the move off with a low drive into the bottom corner of the net. 10 minutes later, the Toffees doubled their advantage. Sunderland goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen was beaten once again by a Hutchinson low shot after the experienced Steve Bould had failed to properly clear Unsworth’s free-kick.

The game was pretty much over as a contest four minutes before the interval. The lively Jeffers raced onto Richard Gough’s pass and showed no nerves in dispatching the ball past a shell-shocked Sorensen. This result was not expected at all, considering that Everton had lost 5-1 at Manchester United three weeks earlier, whilst Sunderland were dismantling Chelsea 4-1 on the same afternoon.

There was a reaction from Reid’s men after the break and Niall Quinn started to win more headers against the Everton defenders. Unfortunately without the goalscoring freedom that Phillips provided, it limited Sunderland’s attacking threat. Kevin Kilbane kept battling on but he was playing out-of-position and just didn’t possess the finishing qualities that Phillips had.

The home side soaked up the initial response from their opponents and added to their score on the hour mark. Sorensen was able to deny Kevin Campbell getting onto the scoresheet but his save only came out to Jeffers. Spotting Pembridge in a better position, the young forward squared the ball for the Welsh international to score a rare goal. It could have been more. Nick Barmby had two efforts cleared off the line and Jeffers was denied a second goal by a tight offside call. Everton still had time to add the icing on a delicious Christmas cake. Campbell lost his marker in the box and finally managed to defeat Sorensen.

Sunderland got their revenge and won the return fixture in March and finished higher in the table too but this was a painful afternoon for Reid and one of the best Walter Smith would experience in his four years in the post at Goodison Park.

Seasonal Records: 1999-2000

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 1999-2000 Premier League campaign, which saw the biggest margin of victory between the top two in Premier League history.


Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester United 38 28 7 3 97 45 +52 91
2 Arsenal 38 22 7 9 73 43 +30 73
3 Leeds United 38 21 6 11 58 43 +15 69
4 Liverpool FC 38 19 10 9 51 30 +21 67
5 Chelsea 38 18 11 9 53 34 +19 65
6 Aston Villa 38 15 13 10 46 35 +11 58
7 Sunderland 38 16 10 12 57 56 +1 58
8 Leicester City 38 16 7 15 55 55 0 55
9 West Ham United 38 15 10 13 52 53 -1 55
10 Tottenham Hotspur 38 15 8 15 57 49 +8 53
11 Newcastle United 38 14 10 14 63 54 +9 52
12 Middlesbrough 38 14 10 14 46 52 -6 52
13 Everton 38 12 14 12 59 49 +10 50
14 Coventry City 38 12 8 18 47 54 -7 44
15 Southampton 38 12 8 18 45 62 -17 44
16 Derby County 38 9 11 18 44 57 -13 38
17 Bradford City 38 9 9 20 38 68 -30 36
18 Wimbledon 38 7 12 19 46 74 -28 33
19 Sheffield Wednesday 38 8 7 23 38 70 -32 31
20 Watford 38 6 6 26 35 77 -42 24



Goals Scored 1060
European qualifiers Manchester United (UEFA Champions League), Arsenal (UEFA Champions League), Leeds United (UEFA Champions League), Liverpool FC (UEFA Cup), Chelsea (UEFA Cup), Leicester City (UEFA Cup), Aston Villa (UEFA Intertoto Cup), Bradford City (UEFA Intertoto Cup)
Longest winning run 11 games (Manchester United)
Longest unbeaten run 16 games (Chelsea)
Longest winless run 11 games (Sunderland & Watford)
Longest losing run 8 games (Wimbledon)
Highest attendance 61,629 (Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur)
Lowest attendance 8,248 (Wimbledon vs. Sheffield Wednesday)



PFA Players’ Player of the Year Roy Keane (Manchester United)
PFA Young Player of the Year Harry Kewell (Leeds United)
Football Writers’ Award Roy Keane (Manchester United)
PFA Team of the Year Nigel Martyn, Ian Harte, Gary Kelly, Sami Hyypia, Jaap Stam, Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira, David Beckham, Harry Kewell, Andy Cole, Kevin Phillips
Manager of the Year Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)
Premier League Goal of the Season Paolo di Canio (WEST HAM UNITED vs. Wimbledon)


Player Teams Score Date
Michael Bridges Southampton vs. Leeds United 0-3 11th August 1999
Andy Cole (4) Manchester United vs. Newcastle United 5-1 30th August 1999
Kevin Phillips Derby County vs. Sunderland 0-5 18th September 1999
Alan Shearer (5) Newcastle United vs. Sheffield Wednesday 8-0 19th September 1999
Kanu Chelsea vs. Arsenal 2-3 23rd October 1999
Marc Overmars Arsenal vs. Middlesbrough 5-1 21st November 1999
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (4) Manchester United vs. Everton 5-1 4th December 1999
Nick Barmby West Ham United vs. Everton 0-4 26th February 2000
Stan Collymore Leicester City vs. Sunderland 5-2 5th March 2000
Steffen Iversen Tottenham Hotspur vs. Southampton 7-2 11th March 2000
Dwight Yorke Manchester United vs. Derby County 3-1 11th March 2000
Paul Scholes Manchester United vs. West Ham United 7-1 1st April 2000
Dean Windass Bradford City vs. Derby County 4-4 21st April 2000



Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Kevin Phillips Sunderland 30
2 Alan Shearer Newcastle United 23
3 Dwight Yorke Manchester United 21
4 Michael Bridges Leeds United 19
5 Andy Cole Manchester United 18
6 Thierry Henry Arsenal 17
7 Paolo di Canio West Ham United 16
8= Niall Quinn Sunderland 14
8= Chris Armstrong Tottenham Hotspur 14
10= Tony Cottee Leicester City 13
10= Steffen Iversen Tottenham Hotspur 13
10= Marian Pahars Southampton 13
13= Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United 12
13= Kanu Arsenal 12
13= Dion Dublin Aston Villa 12
13= Paulo Wanchope West Ham United 12
13= Hamilton Ricard Middlesbrough 12
13= Kevin Campbell Everton 12
13= Robbie Keane Coventry City 12
20= Michael Owen Liverpool FC 11
20= Gary McAllister Coventry City 11
22= Harry Kewell Leeds United 10
22= Emile Heskey Leicester City & Liverpool FC 10
22= Tore Andre Flo Chelsea 10
22= Nick Barmby Everton 10


Newcastle United 8-0 Sheffield Wednesday 19th September 1999
Manchester United 7-1 West Ham United 1st April 2000
Tottenham Hotspur 7-2 Southampton 11th March 2000
Chelsea 5-0 Manchester United 3rd October 1999
Derby County 0-5 Sunderland 18th September 1999
West Ham United 5-0 Coventry City 22nd April 2000
Newcastle United 5-0 Southampton 16th January 2000
Everton 5-0 Sunderland 26th December 1999
Wimbledon 5-0 Watford 4th December 1999
Manchester United 5-1 Everton 4th December 1999



No of Goals Teams Date
9 Tottenham Hotspur 7-2 Southampton 11th March 2000
9 West Ham United 5-4 Bradford City 12th February 2000
8 Newcastle United 8-0 Sheffield Wednesday 19th September 1999
8 Manchester United 7-1 West Ham United 1st April 2000
8 Everton 4-4 Leeds United 24th October 1999
8 Bradford City 4-4 Derby County 21st April 2000
7 Leicester City 5-2 Sunderland 5th March 2000
7 Middlesbrough 3-4 Manchester United 10th April 2000
7 Coventry City 3-4 Leeds United 11th September 1999
7 West Ham United 4-3 Sheffield Wednesday 21st November 1999
6 Manchester United 5-1 Newcastle United 29th August 1999
6 Manchester United 5-1 Everton 4th December 1999
6 Arsenal 5-1 Middlesbrough 20th November 1999
6 Sheffield Wednesday 5-1 Wimbledon 2nd October 1999
6 West Ham United 2-4 Manchester United 18th December 1999
6 Tottenham Hotspur 2-4 Aston Villa 15th April 2000
6 Newcastle United 4-2 Arsenal 14th May 2000
6 Everton 4-2 Watford 1st April 2000
6 Southampton 4-2 Newcastle United 15th August 1999
6 Manchester United 3-3 Southampton 25th September 1999



Player Teams Age at the time Date
Gary McSheffrey Sunderland 1-1 Coventry City 17 years, 16 days 29th August 1999
Jonathan Bewers Tottenham Hotspur 2-4 Aston Villa 17 years, 7 months, 5 days 15th April 2000
Joe Cole West Ham United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur 17 years, 8 months, 30 days 7th August 1999
Carlos Marinelli Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Middlesbrough 17 years, 9 months, 12 days 26th December 1999
Jordan Stewart Leicester City 1-3 West Ham United 17 years, 10 months, 19 days 22nd January 2000
Adam Murray Derby County 0-1 Bradford City 17 years, 11 months, 26 days 25th September 1999
Michael Carrick Bradford City 0-3 West Ham United 18 years, 1 month 28th August 1999
Graham Barrett Leicester City 0-3 Arsenal 18 years, 1 month, 28 days 4th December 1999
Steve Brooker Watford 2-3 Wimbledon 18 years, 2 months, 17 days 7th August 1999
Robert Betts West Ham United 5-0 Coventry City 18 years, 4 months, 1 day 22nd April 2000



Player Teams Age at the time Date
Steve Ogrizovic Coventry City 4-1 Sheffield Wednesday 42 years, 7 months, 24 days 6th May 2000
Neville Southall Bradford City 1-2 Leeds United 41 years, 5 months, 25 days 12th March 2000
Dave Watson Everton 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur 38 years, 1 month, 26 days 15th January 2000
Richard Gough Leicester City 1-1 Everton 38 years, 3 days 8th April 2000
Barry Horne Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 Leicester City 37 years, 11 months, 26 days 14th May 2000
Stuart Pearce West Ham United 2-0 Southampton 37 years, 10 months, 13 days 8th March 2000
Steve Bould Sunderland 2-1 Everton 37 years, 4 months, 9 days 25th March 2000
Raimond van der Gouw Aston Villa 0-1 Manchester United 37 years, 1 month, 20 days 14th May 2000
John Dreyer Bradford City 1-0 Liverpool FC 36 years, 11 months, 3 days 14th May 2000
David Seaman Arsenal 3-3 Sheffield Wednesday 36 years, 7 months, 20 days 9th May 2000



Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 Ed de Goey Chelsea 16
2 Sander Westerveld Liverpool FC 14
3 Nigel Martyn Leeds United 13
4 David James Aston Villa 12
5 Mark Bosnich Manchester United 11
6 Paul Gerrard Everton 10
7= Thomas Sorensen Sunderland 9
7= Mark Schwarzer Middlesbrough 9
7= Magnus Hedman Coventry City 9
7= Mart Poom Derby County 9

Premier League Files: Andy Reid

Premier League Career: Tottenham Hotspur (2005-2006), Charlton Athletic (2006-2007), Sunderland (2008-2011), Blackpool (2011)

Turning professional in August 1999, Republic of Ireland international Andy Reid would start and finish his career in the same place – the second-tier of English football with Nottingham Forest. In-between that, he had spells with four Premier League clubs but never quite managed to scale the heights he achieved at Forest.

Reid started making a name for himself at a couple of Irish youth clubs – Lourdes Celtic and Cherry Orchard. There were a number of clubs queuing up to get his signature but ultimately, he chose Nottingham Forest over the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United. His breakthrough season came in 2003-2004. Despite missing a fair portion of the campaign due to injury, Reid finished as the club’s top scorer with 13 goals and was named in the PFA Division One Team of the Year. It was at this time he decided a new challenge was required.

On the eve of the 2004-2005 campaign, he handed in a transfer request but ultimately stayed until January 2005, moving on deadline day to Tottenham Hotspur alongside his teammate Michael Dawson. A combined fee of £8 million was paid to Forest by Spurs. However, his dream move quickly turned sour.

After his debut performance for Tottenham in a win over Portsmouth, manager Martin Jol was quoted as saying; “Andy Reid also did well on his debut, and you worry a bit how new players will cope with the Premiership.” You got the sense the manager was never certain of Reid’s qualities and neither were the Tottenham supporters.

He scored once for Tottenham in a 5-1 demolition of Aston Villa in May 2005 but he never hit the heights of his time at Forest and was derided as a flop by many journalists analysing the dealings in the January transfer market of that season. In August 2006, he moved to Charlton Athletic for £3 million. Once again, Reid experienced turmoil with three managers that season and Charlton were ultimately relegated from the top-flight.

Back in the Championship, Reid sparkled even when Charlton didn’t. Three years after his January deadline day move to Tottenham, Andy was moving again on the final day of the window – this time to Sunderland in a £5 million transfer. He was signed by fellow Irishman Roy Keane and the early signs were encouraging. Reid set-up a goal on his debut and scored a late winner against West Ham United at the end of March. However, his performances quickly went back to games where he was glorious and other matches where he barely existed on the pitch. By now, injuries were also taking their toll on a player who won 29 international caps for his country, scoring four goals.

His Sunderland career petered out in 2010 and after a three-month loan spell at Sheffield United; he signed for battling Blackpool in January 2011. It was his fourth Premier League club and once again, it ended in disappointment. Reid only made five appearances and the Tangerines’ lost their battle to stay in the top-flight. He returned to Nottingham Forest to finish his playing career. Although he was named Forest’s Player of the Year in 2014, Andy could not keep clear of the treatment table. Eventually, these setbacks caught up with him and he retired from the game in July 2016.

Andy Reid never quite settled away from Nottingham Forest and once a spate of injuries take their course, it is difficult to rediscover early heights. One thing you did get from him – he loved a January transfer.

Memorable Matches: Newcastle United 1-2 Sunderland (August 1999)

Goalscorers: Kieron Dyer 28, Niall Quinn 64, Kevin Phillips 75


Newcastle United: Tommy Wright, Nikos Dabizas, Didier Domi, Alain Goma, Warren Barton, Jamie McClen, Gary Speed, Kieron Dyer, Nolberto Solano, Paul Robinson (Duncan Ferguson 57), Silvio Maric (Alan Shearer 72)

Sunderland: Thomas Sorensen, Michael Gray, Steve Bould, Paul Butler, Chris Makin, Alex Rae, Stefan Schwarz (Kevin Ball 69), Gavin McCann, Nicky Summerbee, Niall Quinn, Kevin Phillips

Referee: Graham Poll, Attendance: 36,420

The Tyne & Wear derby has always been a passionate battle for supremacy and in August 1999, Newcastle United boss Ruud Gullit was under tremendous pressure. His side had made a terrible start to the season, conceding 11 goals in four matches and collecting just one point; a 3-3 draw with Wimbledon days earlier. His next move would ultimately seal his fate.

Captain Alan Shearer had been suspended for the Wimbledon match following a controversial red card on the opening day of the season at home to Aston Villa. He was expected to lead the line for this massive confrontation. However, Gullit incredibly took the decision to bench his skipper along with his strike partner Duncan Ferguson. In came rookie Paul Robinson and the untried Silvio Maric. It was a baffling decision amidst reports of a power struggle for supremacy at the club between the manager and his skipper.

Shearer could only watch on during a match that was played at a high-tempo despite the filthy weather conditions. Newcastle started well and took the lead in the 27th minute. Robinson did a good job in difficult circumstances and he created the opening goal for Kieron Dyer. Dyer, a summer signing from Ipswich Town was played in by Robinson and he chipped the ball over Thomas Sorensen as the Dane came out to block down the angle. It was his first Newcastle goal and good enough to ensure the home side went into the half-time interval 1-0 ahead.

It was the fourth time in a row that Newcastle had led a match this season and on all three previous occasions, they’d thrown away that position. The crowd must have feared the worst then when Sunderland equalised midway through the second half. The towering presence of Niall Quinn was too much for Newcastle’s defenders. His header flew into the back of the net from Nicky Summerbee’s free-kick delivery.

By now, Shearer had been thrown on by Gullit as he finally withdrew Maric who looked completely overawed by the occasion. Less than two minutes after the change, Sunderland were ahead through a wonderful moment provided by Quinn’s strike partner, Kevin Phillips. Back-up goalkeeper Tommy Wright came out from his goal to smother Phillips’ first attempt at goal. The ball returned to Phillips and he produced a swerving lob from an improbable angle that beat Wright all ends up and ended in the top corner.

Although Kevin Ball almost spared the Magpies’ blushes with a spectacular own goal in the final moments, Newcastle general response after going behind was lacklustre. Sunderland had the bragging rights and Gullit was out of a job. He resigned two days later. Sir Bobby Robson was his successor and guided the club to a safe mid-table finish, whilst getting Shearer back in the goals.

This was Sunderland’s night. It was the evening where Ruud Gullit gambled and lost big time.

Iconic Moments: Big Sam does it again (May 2016)

When Dick Advocaat decided to walk out on Sunderland in the early days of October 2015, things look grim again for the Black Cats. With yet another relegation scrap on the horizon, they turned to survival specialist Sam Allardyce to fill the managerial vacancy.

Initially, there wasn’t much of a bounce despite another Tyne & Wear derby victory over Newcastle United and Sunderland went into 2016 seven points adrift of safety. By early April, performances had steadily improved but results still weren’t coming. The Wearsiders’ still looked odds-on to be relegated.

They then beat relegation rivals Norwich City 3-0 at Carrow Road in mid-April, which turned out to be a decisive moment. It meant Allardyce now had managed to wrestle control in the battle to stay alive in the top-flight. It was a time when both Sunderland and Newcastle United were collecting points at a regular rate. It was still all to play for going into the final month of the season.

Sunderland had two games at home against Chelsea and Everton. Maximum points would be enough to see them beat relegation again for a fourth successive season where their long-term future looked risky. Jermain Defoe scored a crucial winner at home to Chelsea as Sunderland won 3-2. Newcastle’s failure to beat already relegated Aston Villa ensured a victory in the midweek fixture against Everton would secure safety.

What a time then for Lamine Kone to come up with his first two Sunderland goals. Patrick van Aanholt’s free-kick completed the scoring. Everton were very poor and the 3-0 final scoreline didn’t flatter Sunderland. This latest Everton performance cost Roberto Martinez his job a day later. For Sunderland, it kept them safe and this escape would earn Big Sam briefly at least the call to manage his country.

He had done it again and still has never been relegated from the top-flight with any club.

Premier League Rewind: 11th May 2002

Results: Arsenal 4-3 Everton, Blackburn Rovers 3-0 Fulham, Chelsea 1-3 Aston Villa, Leeds United 1-0 Middlesbrough, Leicester City 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool FC 5-0 Ipswich Town, Manchester United 0-0 Charlton Athletic, Southampton 3-1 Newcastle United, Sunderland 1-1 Derby County, West Ham United 2-1 Bolton Wanderers

Although the destiny of the championship had been settled a few days earlier, there was still some issues to address on the final day of the 2001-2002 season. The main factor at stake was the final relegation spot. Who would be joining Derby County and Leicester City on a one-way ticket to the First Division?

The favourites to join them in the second-tier were Ipswich Town. George Burley’s side had finished fifth the previous campaign but apart from a brief revival early in 2002, they had failed to find the form that took them so close to UEFA Champions League qualification in 2000-2001. They went to Anfield and had to win to stand any chance of survival.

Liverpool FC were in no mood to be easy either. Midweek results meant a victory here would guarantee their best-ever finishing position in the Premier League of runners-up. They had beaten Ipswich 6-0 at Portman Road in February and another thrashing was on the cards when John Arne Riise fired Liverpool into an 11th minute lead. Ipswich did hit the bar and the Reds’ lost Steven Gerrard to a groin injury which would destroy his World Cup hopes. However, as soon as Riise doubled his tally just before the half-hour mark, the Tractor Boys’ fate was sealed. A mistake from Titus Bramble allowed Michael Owen to score a third seconds into the restart and further goals from substitute Vladimir Smicer and Nicolas Anelka put the seal on the 5-0 final scoreline. Ipswich went down and Liverpool FC had beaten Manchester United in a final league standings table for the first time since 1990.

Ipswich’s nightmare on Merseyside meant Sunderland would survive, regardless of their result at home to Derby County. Kevin Phillips scored the opening goal and although Derby equalised, these sides would be playing in different divisions in 2002-2003. It was a worrying drop for Peter Reid’s side though – a fall of 10 positions on their previous two seasons.

It was a day of parties and celebration at Highbury. Arsenal’s midweek magic at Old Trafford had meant they’d won the double for the second time in four years. Thierry Henry scored twice in an entertaining 4-3 final day victory over Everton to pip Alan Shearer and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink to the Golden Boot award. It was the first of four occasions that the Frenchman would come out on top in this race. At the end of the match, Tony Adams lifted aloft the Barclaycard Premiership title which confirmed Arsenal were back at the summit of English football. Adams and Lee Dixon would announce their retirements from professional football shortly after the celebrations had concluded.

Another player saying farewell was Matt Le Tissier. ‘Saint Le Tiss’ had struggled with injuries for the past couple of seasons and had already played his last game for the club. However, he received a guard of honour and presentations on-field before Southampton’s final match of the season which was a 3-1 victory over Newcastle United.

At Old Trafford, there were no trophies to lift at the end of an unsuccessful season but David Beckham did sign a new contract on the eve of a sterile goalless draw between the former champions and Charlton Athletic. Beckham would only feature in one more Premier League season before joining Real Madrid in the summer of 2003.

After 111 years, Leicester City played their final match at Filbert Street before moving to the Walkers’ Stadium (later known as the King Power Stadium). They ended on a high – beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-1. The ground was demolished a year later. Elsewhere, Leeds United overtook Chelsea on the final day to finish fifth after beating Middlesbrough 1-0. David O’Leary was sacked though in June and Blackburn’s 3-0 triumph against Fulham ensured a top-10 finish on their return to the top-flight.

What else happened in May 2002?

  • Tragedy hits the rail industry with the fatal accident at Potters Bar railway station. A points’ failure was to blame, leaving seven dead and 76 injured.
  • After 21 years, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s award-winning musical “Cats” appears for the last time of its original run at London’s West End. It is revived in 2014.
  • Star Wars Episode II – Attack of the Clones debuts at cinemas.
  • Latvia wins the 2002 Eurovision Song Contest, held in Tallinn, Estonia.
  • African newcomers Senegal stun holders France to win 1-0 in the opening match of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
  • After 26 years of occupation by Indonesia, East Timor regains its independence.
  • McLaren’s David Coulthard wins the Monaco Grand Prix for the second time in his career. It is the last time a team other than Ferrari will win a Formula One event for 10 months.