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On This Day: 2 September 1995 – International goalkeeper’s Sunderland move falls through

ON THIS DAY (1995): Fed up with waiting for a work permit, Sunderland target Brad Friedel decides his future lies elsewhere.

Brad Friedel

On this day in 1995, Peter Reid was left frustrated after American keeper Brad Friedel signed for Galatasary – seven weeks after it was announced he’d signed for Sunderland.

Friedel, whose initial application for a work permit had been turned down, was awaiting the outcome of an appeal when Graeme Souness stepped in to take him to Turkey – joining a number of British players including former Sunderland skipper Barry Venison.

Reid said, “I’m desperately disappointed but I’m not too surprised. I had an inkling this would happen. All I can say is good luck to him.”

It was the second summer in succession a move to the north-east had fallen through for Friedel – Newcastle had tried and failed the season before.

Had Friedel signed, it would have resolved a problem position that wasn’t sorted until three seasons later.

Reid was never convinced by Alec Chamberlain, who kept his place between the sticks until early the following year, before being replaced by on-loan Shay GIven.

Tony Coton and Lionel Perez arrived the following summer, with Coton’s career ending injury catapulting Perez into the first team action. Perez kept his place despite the 1997 signing of Edwin Zoetebier, before the arrival of Thomas Sorensen in 1998 meant some goalkeeping stability at last.

Soccer - Nationwide League Division One - Nottingham Forest v Sunderland
If we had signed Friedel we would never have had the ‘pleasure’ of watching Lee-on-el
Photo by Barrington Coombs/EMPICS via Getty Images

As for Friedel, he of course went on to have a fantastic top-flight career that spanned almost 20 years – Liverpool being successful in their work permit application two years later.

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