Cast your vote now and decide which of these two gentlemen deserve to go through to the semi finals, joining Jordan Pickford, Jimmy Montgomery and Ned Doig...#SAFC— Roker Report (@RokerReport) June 20, 2019
Thomas Sørensen - “Oh Tommy Tommy!”
APPS: 197 (1998-2003)
W-D-L RATIO: 87-49-61 (57% success rate)
PL CLEAN SHEETS: 35
Allegedly recommend to Peter Reid by Peter Schmeichel, few people outside of Denmark had even heard of the young Danish stopper; however, that didn’t stop Reidy from signing Sørensen for a fee of £510,000 in the summer of 1998.
Amassing 29 clean sheets in the club’s race for promotion to the Premier League, the tall Dane was a brilliant replacement for Lionel Perez who decided to leave the club on a free. Tommy’s heroics between the sticks helped the Lads in securing two seventh-placed finishes in the side’s first two season back in the top flight - including that incredible penalty save at St. James’ Park to preserve a brilliant win for the Lads against the old enemy.
Just over 350 Premier League appearances tells you all you need to know about the quality Sørensen possessed. Add into that over 100 appearances for the Danish international team, and it’s clear to see that Sunderland had an incredibly talented player on their hands.
I remember his sale to Aston Villa like it was yesterday. Sitting in the car with my Dad. Tommy’s £2 million sale was announced on the radio as further proof of Sunderland’s worsening condition - the term ‘black hole’ was used to describe our financial position. It was really gut-wrenching to see him leave, but his service to the club was superb.
Craig Gordon - “How on earth is that not 1-1?”
APPS: 88 (2007-2012)
W-D-L RATIO: 30-21-44 (43% success rate)
PL CLEAN SHEETS: 35
Signed for a then British record fee of £9 million, Craig Gordon was a brilliant goalkeeper whose achievements could have been even greater had injuries not blighted portions of his career.
Signed from Heart of Midlothian, the Scotland international’s reflexes between the sticks were second to none, and his shot-stopping abilities were simply superb. Roy Keane had identified the need for a world class keeper to ensure his Sunderland side were capable of holding their own in the top flight, and Gordon provided that quality we needed.
In his first full season at the club, Gordon appeared in 34 league games, managed six clean sheets, and pulled off an impressive 84 saves. That side finished 15th in the table that season, really needing a natural goalscorer to compliment the resolute defence and sturdy midfield. Kenwyne Jones managed a team high 7 goals that season, Gordon’s heroics were just as important at the other end.
A particularly incredible save from a Zat Knight header to secure a win at home to Bolton in 2010 was also voted the Premier League’s greatest ever save.
Moving on, Gordon ended up at Celtic after two years out of the game with knee injuries - and since moving to the Glasweigan side, Gordon has amassed over 140 appearances.