Where are they now: The Sunderland 2000 side which beat Arsenal

Times have changed for both clubs

BY Raf Diallo 15:57 Tuesday 16 May 2017, 15:57 16 May 2017

Sunderland's Michael Gray (arms up) celebrates scoring the winning goal with teammates against Middlesbrough in December 2000. Steve Morton/EMPICS Sport

When next season begins, Sunderland will be re-starting again in the Championship.

It's a far cry from the dawn of the Millennium when Peter Reid had taken them well into the Top Half, powered by the strike partnership of Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips.

Their potential was that potent that they opened the 2000-01 season with a 1-0 win over Arsenal at the Stadium of Light thanks to a Quinn header against his first professional club.

That win came en route to finishing seventh in the Premier League for the second consecutive season. If they had avoided a run of just one win in 12 league games in the second half of that season, qualifying for the Champions League was perhaps not altogether unrealistic.

But what has become of the Sunderland starting lineup from that victory over the Gunners?

Thomas Sorensen

The veteran Danish goalkeeper is 40 but has still been playing 14 years after leaving Sunderland in 2003.  

At Australian side Melbourne City, he won the Clubman of the Year award for 2017, although he is due to leave the club.

He has also been taking his coaching badges, alongside former Everton midfielder Tim Cahill.

Chris Makin

The former English defender had been at Sunderland since 1997, having joined from French side Marseille, but left not long after the Arsenal win as he signed for Ipswich Town in March 2001. 

He retired in 2008, although he did make a brief comeback for non-league Radcliffe Borough in 2010. In an interview, he discussed his work in property management as well as media work.

Michael Gray

The former Sunderland captain and three time England cap left the club in 2004 for spells that would take him to the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday, retiring at the latter in 2010.

He is now involved in football punditry across a couple of media platforms, including beIN Sport.

Eric Roy

The Frenchman had a very brief career with Sunderland, arriving August 1999 and leaving in January 2001. 

He would end his playing career at hometown and first club OGC Nice, retiring in 2004.

He went on to manage the club briefly from 2010 to 2011, in between spells as sporting director.

Last year, he admitted that it would be a "dream" to coach at Sunderland some day.

Paul Butler

The English-born defender won one cap for Ireland in 2000, six months before the win over Arsenal.

The 44 year old would spend a part of the 2000-01 season on loan at Wolves, before moving there permanently shortly afterwards.

Butler ended his playing career at Chester City in 2009. Four years later, he would become a first team coach at Doncaster Rovers. He then switched into a recruitment role at the club, although he departed last year.

Stanislav Varga

The former Slovakia defender arrived at Sunderland in 2000 and would also go on to play for West Brom and Celtic before returning to the Stadium of Light for a two year spell between 2006 and 2008.

The 44 year old has since gone into management with his last role at Slovak club Tatran Prešov.

Kevin Kilbane

The 110 time Ireland cap is a co-presenter here at Newstalk with Off The Ball

Paul Thirlwell

The 38 year old former midfielder spent seven years at Sunderland until 2004 and finished his playing career at Harrogate Town.

He has moved into a coaching role at the club, becoming assistant manager earlier this year.

Darren Holloway

The Englishman was at Sunderland for five years from 1995 and has been retired for eight years. The 39 year old would go on to become head coach at Sunderland College Football Development Centre in 2013. 

Niall Quinn

The former Ireland target man would go on to become chairman at Sunderland. These days he is a pundit for Sky Sports, regularly appearing on our screens. 

Kevin Phillips

The smaller member of the little 'n large partnership with Quinn, Phillips was prolific at the turn of the Millennium and would score over 100 league goals for Sunderland.

He has gone into coaching since retirement and is now a coach at Derby County.


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