Neil Sullivan - Chelsea FC - Chelsea Biography 2003/04

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 08 February 2004

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      Tuesday, 24 February 1970
      Sutton, England.
  • Chelsea FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Sunday, 28th December 2003 in a 3-0 win at home to Portsmouth (Aged: 33)
    • Club Career
      4 League apps, 0 goals
  • Leeds United
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 7th August 2004 in a 1-0 win at home to Derby County (Aged: 34)
    • Club Career
      95 League apps, 0 goals
  • Tottenham Hotspur
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 19th August 2000 in a 3-1 win at home to Ipswich Town (Aged: 30)
    • Club Career
      64 League apps, 0 goals
  • Wimbledon FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 20th April 1991 in a 2-1 win at Aston Villa (Aged: 21)
    • Club Career
      180 League apps (+1 as sub)
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Neil SULLIVAN - Chelsea FC - Chelsea Biography 2003/04

Prior to joining Chelsea on a free-transfer from Spurs, Neil Sullivan was probably best

remembered by the Blues' supporters for the part he played in Frank Lampard's late

sending-off at White Hart Lane early in the 2001/02 season (true to the history of

clashes between Chelsea and their fiercest rivals, the ten-men still found time to score

a last-minute winner), and although he was given a warm welcome to the club when

he was first introduced, there was no doubt that he would have to performvery well

in order to avoid the brickbats of those same supporters.


A hasty signing, recruited at the end of August 2003 on the back of a serious injury to

another goalkeeping newcomer, Jurgen Macho, Sully had to wait until late December to

make his league debut against Portsmouth, pulling off an outstanding save with the

score at 0-0 before the Blues scored three late goals to secure victory. Despite often

looking vulnerable, he kept back-to-back clean sheets in victories over Charlton and

in the return match with Portsmouth, but in an FA Cup tie at Arsenal he had the

misfortune of conceding what proved to be a winning goal within seconds of replacing

the injured Carlo Cudicini.


He conceded just two goals in his four Premiership games for the club, both coming in

a 2-1 defeat by the Gunners six days after their Cup triumph, and the decider being

as a result of Sully's failure to deal with a corner-kick. He redeemed himself a little with

a fine second-half save from Gilberto Silva but that was to be his final significant act as

a Chelsea player. Cudicini's injury resurfaced a fortnight later but Neil was unable to

deputise due to illness so third-choice keeper Marco Ambrosio stepped in to begin an

impressive, if slightly eccentric, run of performances which saw him climb above Sullivan

in the pecking order. To his credit, Sully kept himself sharp by volunteering to play for

the reserves throughout the remainder of the season before leaving the club in July 2004

to join Leeds United on a free-transfer. (Kelvin Barker)