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Lionel Perez Empty Lionel Perez

Post  Guest on 2013-01-23, 12:42 pm

http://www.safc.com/news/features/2013/january/cult-heroes-lionel-perez



Cult Heroes: Lionel Perez



Published: 23 January, 2013
by Kate Smith




French stopper Perez is the latest star in the spotlight.

Flamboyant Frenchman Lionel Perez
divided the opinion of the red and white army during his two year spell
with the club in the late 1990s.

The eccentric stopper – with his
dishevelled hair and sleeves rolled up past his elbows – made an instant
impression on young Black Cats fans, with school children across the
city emulating the goalkeeper in playgrounds and copying his peroxide
hairdo.

However, it was Perez’s unpredictability between the sticks that didn’t
endear him to the older generation of Sunderland fans quite as much.

He could have supporters on their feet in
raptures over a moment of magic and within minutes have them sitting
with their head in their hands following a flash of foolishness!

Sunderland boss Peter Reid brought 29 year-old Perez to Roker Park in 1996 from French club Bordeaux.

Perez was never expected to figure in
first team set-up, due to the arrival of former Manchester United
stopper Tony Coton around about the same time.

However, a career-ending injury to Coton
in a game against Southampton in October 1996 would see Perez thrust
into the spotlight from the subs’ bench as the Black Cats fell to a 3-0
defeat.

Throughout his two seasons with Sunderland, Perez became notorious for his ‘Hollywood’ approach to goalkeeping.

He was a master at shot-stopping but then when it came to the simplest
of blocks he would choose to stop the ball with his feet instead of his
hands, which caught the keeper out on a number of occasions.

Perez’s Jekyll and Hyde performances during the 1998 Play-Off games epitomise his time with Sunderland.

In the semi-final with Sheffield United it was his stunning double-save
that booked the Black Cats’ ticket to Wembley, subsequently in the final
Perez seemed to struggle to deal with the pressure and the magnitude of
the game as the Black Cats were defeated in the cruellest of fashions
following a penalty shoot-out with Charlton Athletic.

It was after that Wembley disappointment
that Reid allowed Perez to leave the club, bringing in young Danish
stopper Thomas Sorensen as his replacement.

After just two seasons, where he made 75 appearances in red and white
Perez crossed the river to join local rivals Newcastle. Despite being on
United’s books for two years, he never played once on Tyneside and
spent time on loan with Scunthorpe and Cambridge.

He secured a move to the latter in 2000 and amassed 78 games for the U’s, before ending his career at Stevenage due to injury.

It’s now almost 15 years since that
fateful day at Wembley and a lot of water has passed under the Wearmouth
Bridge in that time.

Despite his unpredictable displays, Perez was the type of character that
Sunderland fans adore and his commitment to the cause could never be
questioned meaning the flashy Frenchman will always be fondly remembered
by Black Cats fans – both young and old alike!
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Post  cyprussyd on 2013-01-23, 12:46 pm

I loved his eccentricity.

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Post  cyprussyd on 2013-01-23, 12:46 pm

I loved his eccentricity.

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Post  Black Cat Kiwi on 2013-01-23, 6:30 pm

cyprussyd wrote:I loved his eccentricity.

You can say the again Very Happy

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Post  cyprussyd on 2013-01-23, 6:32 pm

Black Cat Kiwi wrote:
cyprussyd wrote:I loved his eccentricity.

You can say the again Very Happy

I loved his eccentricity

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Post  MrRAWhite on 2013-01-23, 7:07 pm

He was as mad as a box of crackers, but I liked him all the more for it..

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Post  cyprussyd on 2013-01-23, 7:13 pm

By Simon Goodley12:01AM GMT 05 Dec 2005Comment
FA Cup third round draw
Your View: Football clubs' forum
Stevenage Borough (1) 2 Northampton Town (0) 2
The history of the FA Cup is littered with non-League teams giving one in the eye to grander opponents, but rarely can anybody have taken the competition's traditions as literally as Stevenage Borough's coach Lionel Perez.
With eight minutes to go in this entertaining tie the former Sunderland goalkeeper was caught poking two fingers into the eyes of Northampton Town coach Dave Watson, a lunge which not only earned him a red card but also seems certain to provoke further repercussions.
The incident was captured by television cameras, as well as being witnessed by Northampton's general manager Tony Clarke who, apart from being a former MP, is also a special constable. "There was an altercation in the dug out and Watson, our goalkeeping coach, was on the end of an assault from Perez where he quite clearly jabbed two fingers into his eyes," Clarke explained. "Unfortunately for Mr Perez, I'm a part-time special constable and the ref's assessor is a police officer as well. We both witnessed what had happened and there's nothing we could have done other than say that an assault had taken place and that that needs to be taken through the proper channels. Dave Watson is clearly unhappy and wants to press charges."

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Post  Guest on 2013-01-24, 5:47 am

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