Goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen has announced his retirement, aged 41.
The Denmark international, who played 101 times for his country, played in the Premier League for Sunderland, Aston Villa and Stoke, making more than 400 appearances for the three clubs.
Most recently with Melbourne City in Australia’s A-League, the Fredericia-born player plans to stay in the country where he will take part in a 3,500-kilometre charity bike ride next year.
Sorensen made the announcement about his retirement on his Instagram account.
He wrote: “I t’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 grateful 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 @starlightchildrensfoundation and @kidsaiddk . Staying in Melbourne I also hope to be able to continue my contribution to @melbournecity going forward.”
Sorensen helped Sunderland win promotion to the Premier League in 1999 as they won the Championship title, keeping 29 clean sheets in the process.
In 2000 he saved a penalty from England striker Alan Shearer as Sunderland won 2-1 at arch rivals Newcastle, earning himself cult status on Wearside.