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Saturday 22 February 2014

On this day in 1997: Schwarzer makes Middlesbrough move

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall Middlesbrough signing keeper Mark Schwarzer

  • Mark Schwarzer featured in the League Cup final just months after his arrival from Bradford

  • The Australian keeper made 367 Barclays Premier League appearances for Middlesbrough

  • He also played in Boro's UEFA Cup final defeat to Sevilla, despite wearing a protective mask

  • Schwarzer also featured in Fulham's memorable run to the 2010 Europa League final

  • In the 2012/13 season, he became the first overseas player to make 500 BPL appearances rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

22 February 1997: Middlesbrough complete Schwarzer signing

Goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer completed a move to Middlesbrough from Bradford City for a fee reported to be £1.5m, just three months after he had arrived at Valley Parade.

The Australian international had made his debut in England with Bradford the previous November after joining them from German side Kaiserslautern.

He wasted no time in making an impact at Middlesbrough with his debut coming in the first leg of a League Cup semi-final at Stockport County, which Boro won 2-0.

Schwarzer did not play in the second leg but did become established in the team and was in goal for the final against Leicester City at Wembley. That match finished in a 1-1 draw and he missed the replay because of injury.

He stayed with Middlesbrough for just over 11 years, making 367 Barclays Premier League appearances and 79 in cups and other competitions.

There were many highlights including collecting a League Cup winner's medal after playing in the 2004 final win over Bolton Wanderers, which the Teesiders won 2-1.

The following season he made a dramatic injury-time penalty save on the final day of the season at Manchester City to leave the match at 1-1 – a result which meant that Boro pipped their hosts to the final place in the following season's UEFA Cup.

Middlesbrough reached the final of that competition and Schwarzer, who had fractured a cheekbone less than a month earlier, made his comeback in that match against Seville, which Boro lost 4-0.

He made his final appearance for the club in an 8-1 Barclays Premier League victory over Manchester City on the final day of the 2007-08 season.

That summer he moved to Fulham, where he stayed for five years. The Australian shot-stopper appeared in the 2010 UEFA Europa League final after a remarkable run to the competition's final, but the Cottagers were narrowly defeated in extra time by Atletico Madrid.

In 2013, Schwarzer became the first overseas player to amass over 500 Barclays Premier League appearances, before he joined west London rivals Chelsea in the summer.

At the end of that year he retired from international football after winning 109 caps for Australia.

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Key Points

  • looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember when Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer joined Middlesbrough from Bradford City