Gor­don glad to get back on Wear­side

Evening Times - - SPORT - By ALI­SON McCON­NELL

CRAIG GOR­DON re­turns to his for­mer stomp­ing ground this af­ter­noon as Celtic head to Sun­der­land for their fi­nal friendly of the sum­mer.

The Hoops stop­per was signed by Sun­der­land from Hearts for a then record fee of £9m in 2007 – the high­est fee any Bri­tish club had paid for a goal­keeper – and although his time at the club was marred by se­ri­ous in­jury, there were high­lights too.

Roy Keane de­scribes in his au­to­bi­og­ra­phy how Gor­don was ap­plauded off the train­ing ground af­ter his in­au­gu­ral ses­sion with his new col­leagues while it was dur­ing his time at Sun­der­land that Gor­don won the English Premier­ship’s best save in its then 20-year his­tory.

“Those one-off oc­ca­sions are happy mem­o­ries,” re­called Gor­don. “Over­all, it was blighted by my in­jury record at that time.

“The best save was against Bolton. We ac­tu­ally won that game 1-0 that night, so it was im­por­tant in terms of points and stay­ing in the league. From that point of view, it was re­ally im­por­tant. It gives added sig­nif­i­cance to a save when you go on and win the game. I would be hard pushed to make a bet­ter one in the re­main­der of my ca­reer. I don’t re­ally quite know how I man­aged to do it. It was just a re­ac­tion. I man­aged to get my left hand to it. It was just the way I con­nected with the ball. I man­aged to spin it up and over the bar from right un­der­neath the cross­bar.

“I have a tro­phy. It was to mark 20 years of the Pre­mier League. They had a vote on some of the best saves. It was that one that won it.

“The list of guys who were nom­i­nated for it and some of the saves were just bril­liant. To come out on top of that was amaz­ing. The names were world-renowned. It is a re­ally good achieve­ment and one I will hang onto for a wee while. There have been some good saves since then so if they try to have an­other vote there will be a bit more com­pe­ti­tion. It was re­ally spe­cial at the time.”

Keane was a dif­fi­cult boss for Gor­don to work un­der, with the Ir­ish­man of­fer­ing a con­cil­ia­tory tone in his book when he re­called stop­ping a train­ing ses­sion to take the gloves off Gor­don.

And the Celtic keeper ex­pects that it won’t be too long be­fore Keane is back in the dug-out in his own right.

“He has got a lot of good at­tributes to be a man­ager,” said Gor­don. “He is work­ing un­der Martin O’Neill just now, but maybe as time goes on he will come back into man­age­ment in his own right again. He has a lot of good ideas. His or­gan­i­sa­tion is very good. Yeah, he could be fiery at times, but he is not go­ing to change his per­son­al­ity. I have talked to some of the Ir­ish lads and they say he is mel­low­ing with age a lit­tle bit. It might be time for him to come back into it.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.