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Villa v Sunderland club connections gallery: Thomas Sorensen

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Villa v Sunderland club connections gallery: Thomas Sorensen

When Sunderland signed Thomas Sorensen in the summer of 1998 he was a relative unknown - but he soon made his mark on Wearside.

The tall and athletic 22-year-old goalkeeper joined the Black Cats under manager Peter Reid when they were in the Championship.

He signed from Odense in a £510,000 deal and what a great move it proved to be.

Check out this exclusive picture gallery of Sorensen in action.

Sorensen was coming in under serious pressure because he was replacing popular fan favourite Lionel Perez, who left the club on a free transfer.

But the move certainly worked with Sunderland winning the Championship and Sorensen smashing the club's clean-sheet record with 29.

He went on to establish himself as Sunderland's starting stopper in the Premier League too and helped the club to seventh place in their next two top-flight seasons.

He even gained legendary status with fans in 2001 when he saved a penalty kick from Alan Shearer in the dying moments to ensure a valuable win over arch-rivals Newcastle United.

In the 2002-03 season, Sorensen was injured from October 2002 to January 2003 and only played 21 of 38 games in total.

Sunderland were struggling both on and off the pitch and the popular goalkeeper could not save the club from relegation at the end of the term.

Sunderland eventually sold Sorensen to Villa for £2m.

He continued to build his reputation in claret and blue, showing off his shot-stopping skills week-in and week-out under David O'Leary, who signed him and Gavin McCann from the Black Cats.

In his first three seasons, he only missed four games, a tremendous achievement.

And once again, hotshot Shearer bemoaned the skills of Sorensen.

In a November 2003 game against Newcastle, he saved a Shearer penalty kick.

He suffered a knee injury during the 2006-07 season but still played 29 games that term.

During the 2007-08 season he fell out of favour under Martin O'Neill.

Sorensen had suffered an injury during the pre-season and Villa decided to bring in goalkeeper Scott Carson on loan from Liverpool.

Carson went on to become the starting goalkeeper.

At the end of the 2007-08 season, Sorensen's contract at Villa expired and he left the club on a free transfer.

He had failed to make a single appearance for the club in his final season as, by then, he had slipped down to third place in the pecking order behind both Scott Carson and Stuart Taylor.

Check out this exclusive picture gallery of Sorensen in action.

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 26th April 2013
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