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On This Day: 17 September 1992 - Sunderland keeper Tony Norman’s on the wanted list!

ON THIS DAY (1992): Tony Norman is linked to a Premier League club managed by an ex-Sunderland legend - can you work out which top flight club it could be?!

Soccer - FA Cup Semi Final - Sunderland v Norwich City Photo by Neal Simpson/EMPICS via Getty Images

On this day 28 years ago, ex-Sunderland legend and Chelsea manager Ian Porterfield was lining up Sunderland’s 34-year-old goalkeeper Tony Norman as a replacement for the out-of-form Dave Beasant.

The goalkeeper crisis at Stamford Bridge had become critical after reserve stopper Kevin Hitchcock sustained an injury, leaving Beasant as the only senior keeper available for first team duties.

Soccer - FA Cup - Final - Liverpool v Sunderland - Wembley Stadium
Tony Norman in action for Sunderland during the 1992 FA Cup final against Liverpool.
Photo by Ross Kinnaird - PA Images via Getty Images

The Welsh international, who only had five caps to his name by the end of his career due to the monopoly Neville Southall had on the Welsh goalkeeper jersey, had impressed over the course of the two games between the sides in the FA Cup quarter-final, six months prior to the Chelsea manager’s interest.

Sunderland manager Malcolm Crosby was approaching a dilemma of whether to stick with current No.1 Tim Carter who had shown good form after Norman had dislocated a finger in the previous weeks, with the Sunderland manager admitting that Carter could keep the jersey even when the Welshman was ready for action.

West Ham 2 -3 Sunderland
Tony Norman making a save during one his best performances for Sunderland in the 1992 FA Cup win at West Ham United
Photo by Webb/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

Signed from Hull City in 1988 in a then record fee that saw Ian Hesford and Billy Whitehurst move in the opposite direction, he is well remembered with Tigers fans and as part of the club’s centenary celebrations was voted at number six in a poll of the 100 top players to have played for the club in its history in 2005.

Despite Chelsea’s interest in 1992, Norman would stay at Sunderland until the summer of 1995 after seven years with the club where he would make 227 appearances and was the first goalkeeper to play at Wembley twice for the club.

Chelsea 1989 Promotion
Ian Porterfield during his time as Chelsea manager
Getting Images

Having missed out on Norman, Ian Porterfield would end up with being sacked from his role at Chelsea five months later in February 1993, which came with the added distinction of being the first ever Premier League manager to be relieved from his duties. He would be replaced by Dave Webb until the summer when Chelsea appointed then Swindon player-manager Glenn Hoddle to take the job.

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