10 Football caught up with former English Premier League goalkeeper, Thomas Sorensen, to discuss the magic of the FA Cup as the coveted trophy made its way through Sydney for the first time.
Sorensen was an established goalkeeper in the English Premier League featuring for the likes of Sunderland, Aston Villa and Stoke City.
It is with the latter that the Dane enjoyed his best FA Cup run as they cruised into the 2010/2011 FA Cup Final with the daunting task of facing a Manchester City outfit who were just beginning their rise to prominence.
Although they did not get the result that we would have wanted, Sorensen has nothing but good memories of one of the biggest moments in his career.
“I grew up with the FA Cup and all the traditions and that was the biggest game when I grew up. There was only one game a week on TV and the FA Cup at the end of the season was bigger than the European Cup,” Sorensen said.
“To finally be playing in it [FA Cup] was a huge thing. I had my family there. Everyone from Stoke-on-Trent was in London. We could have sold 150,000 tickets, in the Stoke end there were only 25,000 but just everything about it, the National Anthem, the Royal Handshake, the week leading up to it, measuring for suits and so on…
“There’s so much to it that as time has gone by, the loss is sort of forgotten, it was a fantastic day, great memories and definitely one of the biggest days of my football career despite the loss.”
Being one of the most important days on the English football calendar means that the FA Cup Final is treated quite differently with Sorensen’s manager at the time, the infamous Tony Pulis, keeping his first choice goalkeeper second guessing as to whether or not he’d be starting the match.
“Even though I’d been starting all the games leading up to the Final, he still wouldn’t commit to anyone. He kept us all in the dark as to who would be play, so that was a bit of a stressful week,” Sorensen said.
“I’d be hoping I’d be called to play, and luckily I did.”
Sorensen and his teams knew that they were up against it as they prepared to face off against City but at the same time that helped relieve some of the pressure knowing that they had nothing to lose.
“We were underdogs by a mile against Manchester City. They had not won a trophy with all the millions that they had spent and we came so close. We had a chance at 0-0 and who knows, if we scored, but sadly Yaya Toure popped up and won them the game.”
However, if you ask any Stoke fan today, they will never focus on the outcome of that match with the Dane emphasising just how well he and his teammates are treated by to the Stoke faithful to this day.
“Everyone was just over the moon that we were there. For the fans, it was a party, we went there for the semi finals and had a great day out.”
“Speaking to people in Stoke now, it didn’t really matter that we won. It was more the pride involved of wearing your colours to Wembley and the whole experience. Everyone’s got a story about that day, and what they did and how they got there.
They still have the anniversary of playing in the FA Cup Final, so it’s this and the countless other stories that build the aura of the FA Cup.
Watch: Thomas Sorensen and The FA Cup
Sorensen’s tip to win the 2022/23 Emirates FA Cup
“I’d love Manchester United. The way they’ve turned it around there with the positive energy. I think it will be good for the game to see them back on top because they have so many fans around the world.”