Sunderland goalkeeping legend Thomas Sorensen announces his retirement

Thomas Sorensen helped Sunderland to two successive seventh-place finishes.
Thomas Sorensen helped Sunderland to two successive seventh-place finishes.
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Former Black Cats goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen has thanked everyone at Sunderland as he announced his retirement from football.

The big Dane, now 41, was a key member of the Peter Reid team which achieved two successive seventh-place Premier League finishes.

He played most recently for A-League side Melbourne City in Australia, making 37 appearances last season, but announced the end of his career via his Instagram account today.

He wrote: "It's with great pride and a little bit of sadness, that I today officially announce my retirement from professional football.

"It's been an amazing journey with so many people to thank. Family, friends, clubs, coaches, players and fans...THANK YOU. I will be forever greatful for your support.

"Now the time has come to reflect and then start a new chapter in my life. Something I am really looking forward to. Firstly my family and I will be staying in Melbourne.

"In February 2018 I will organise and take on a 3500km bike ride "Ride for Kids" through 4 Aussie states to raise money for @starlightchildrensfoundationand @kidsaiddk .

"Staying in Melbourne I also hope to be able to continue my contribution to @melbournecity going forward."

Sorensen also took to Twitter to thank fans at all his previous clubs, including Sunderland.

He Tweeted: "@SunderlandAFC THANK YOU to everyone on Wearside. Where it all started. So many great memories #retirement #AlwaysAMackem."

This penalty save from Alan Shearer in the Tyne-Wear derby helped cement Sorensen's reputation as a Sunderland fan favourite.

This penalty save from Alan Shearer in the Tyne-Wear derby helped cement Sorensen's reputation as a Sunderland fan favourite.

Sørensen started his career in his native Denmark with his local side, Odense BK.

After impressing on loan at Vejle Boldklub and Svendborg he was signed by Sunderland in 1998, and spent five years as first-choice keeper at the Stadium of Light.

He made 171 appearances for the club, and secured his place as a club legend by saving an Alan Shearer penalty in a Tyne-Wear derby.

He left for Aston Villa in a £2million deal in 2003, and was a regular at Villa Park until a fall-out with manager Martin O'Neill saw him dropped and then released in May 2008.

He went on play for Stoke City, before heading Down Under to join Melbourne City in 2015.

Sorensen also spent 12 years as first-choice for Denmark's national side, succeeding Peter Schmeichel, and winning 101 caps in total - their eighth-most capped player of all time.