Friday 11 May 2012
Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon has won the Best Save category in the Premier League's 20 Seasons Awards.
Scottish stopper Gordon's incredible save in the Black Cats' home match against Bolton Wanderers in December 2010 was voted the best ever in a Premier League poll of hundreds of thousands of football fans from around the world.
"To come out on top is fantastic and it really is a top honour, a highlight of my career"
- Craig Gordon
The save was made in first-half stoppage time during Sunderland's 1-0 victory; a corner was flung in from the Bolton right and headed into the six-yard box by Gary Cahill, with Zat Knight poking the ball goalwards from point-blank range.
But Gordon showed staggering reflexes and wonderful athleticism to stick out his left hand and deflect the ball over his crossbar, much to the astonishment of the players around him.
With more than 300,000 fans voting, Gordon polled 18% of the vote to keep him ahead of his rivals. This is how the top three finished:
Gordon, who has been out with injury for much of this season, admitted he was delighted to receive the award.
"This is a massive award and I would say it is definitely a highlight of my career to be voted as making the Best Save in Premier League history," said Gordon.
"When you look through the nominations for Best Save there are some great goalkeepers and terrific saves in there so to come out on top is fantastic and it really is a top honour. I'd like to thank everybody who voted for me.
"At the time I didn't really know how I managed to keep the ball out and turn it over the bar. I managed to flick it upwards and get a bit of spin on it as well which somehow managed to get the ball over the bar.
"Saves like that don't happen very often but when they do come off it can look quite spectacular."
Best Save is the fourth Award to be announced as part of the Premier League's 20 Seasons celebrations, which are designed to honour the players, managers and football that has taken place over the two decades of the world's most watched and supported football league.
There were 300,000 fans who voted in the Premier League 20 Seasons Awards casting over 4.2m votes in five categories: Goal, Match, Save, Goal Celebration and Fantasy Team of the 20 Seasons.
In addition, there are also six panel categories: Player, Manager, Team, Season, Most Memorable Quote and Fantasy Team of the 20 Seasons.
The winners are being announced leading up to Tuesday May 15th, when there is a special presentation ceremony to honour several winners and the the Player and Manager of the 20 Seasons Awards will be announced.
Gordon follows in the footsteps of the legendary Schmeichel, who won the 10 Seasons Awards Best Save in 2002 for his brilliant effort to deny Newcastle's John Barnes while playing for Man Utd in December 1997.