|Full name||Craig Anthony Gordon|
|Date of birth||31 December 1982|
|Place of birth||Edinburgh, Scotland|
|Height||1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|2000–2007||Heart of Midlothian||139||(0)|
|2001–2002||→ Cowdenbeath (loan)||12||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19 May 2012.
† Appearances (Goals).
Craig Anthony Gordon (born 31 December 1982) is a Scottish footballer who plays as a goalkeeper. He is currently a free agent following his release from Sunderland in May 2012. After suffering a persistent knee injury, he has recently started training and is looking to return to professional football for the 2014-15 season.
Gordon started his career with Scottish Premier League side Hearts, where he won the 2006 Scottish Cup. He spent the 2001–02 season on loan to Scottish Second Division side Cowdenbeath. In 2007 English Premier League club Sunderland bought him for £9 million, the highest fee a British club had ever paid for a goalkeeper until the transfer of David de Gea to Manchester United in 2011.
Born in Edinburgh, Gordon attended Balerno Community High School from 1994 until 1999, a well known Hearts supporter since his time there. He started off at local team Currie Boys Football Club and then went on to join and graduate from Hearts' youth development programme, which in recent years has also produced fellow Scottish internationals Gary Naysmith, Allan Johnston, Paul Ritchie and Robbie Neilson.
Gordon made his debut for Hearts in a 1–1 draw with Livingston on 6 October 2002, and within 12 months had replaced Tepi Moilanen as the regular custodian of the Hearts goal. His performances during the 2003–04 season resulted in him being short-listed for the Scottish PFA Young Player of the Year award, which was won by then Celtic midfielder, Stephen Pearson.
Gordon had become a Scotland regular by 2005 and his consistent displays during the 2005–06 season helped Hearts to a second place finish in the Scottish Premier League and victory in the Scottish Cup. The trophy was won in a penalty shootout against Gretna following a 1–1 draw, with Gordon saving opponent Gavin Skelton's penalty. That season he was voted Scottish Football Writers' Association Player of the Year, becoming the first Hearts player to win the award since Sandy Jardine in 1986 and also the first goalkeeper since Rangers' Andy Goram in 1993.
For much of the 2006–07 season rumours linked Gordon with a move away from Tynecastle, particularly following his involvement in the issuing of a statement against club owner Vladimir Romanov. Gordon and Paul Hartley flanked captain Steven Pressley as he read out a statement claiming there was "significant unrest" in the Hearts dressing room. The venue for this statement, Hearts' Riccarton training ground, led to the media dubbing the players the "Riccarton Three". Rangers, Aston Villa, Arsenal and Manchester United were all credited with an interest in the player in late 2006. Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger observed Gordon in action in Scotland's 1–0 victory against France in a Euro 2008 qualifying match. He touted Gordon as having "presence and good handling and [he] looks a very good goalkeeper to me." Gordon confirmed his rising stock with a spectacular cross-goal save in the October 2006 Edinburgh derby and the following month he was named as Hearts' new captain, replacing the departed Pressley. Despite Hearts' claims that he was ill, he was "dropped" to the bench for the game against Dundee United in December 2006 for what many believed to be a disciplinary measure by the club following his involvement in the "Riccarton Three" statement. He was reinstated, however, for the Edinburgh derby match against Hibernian three days later. He was not listed in the squad to face Rangers on 27 January 2007, just four days before the closure of the transfer window, and it was confirmed by the club that they were negotiating his transfer. Gordon, however, remained a Hearts player when the window closed.
In March 2007, Gordon expressed his interest in playing for Arsenal, after reports had cited that he was linked as a candidate to succeed the veteran Jens Lehmann as Arsenal's first-choice goalkeeper, stating "Arsenal is one of the top teams in Britain, in Europe, if not the world, so it is something that would definitely interest any player". Hearts failure to qualify for European competition at the season's end further increased speculation that Gordon would be sold, with Sunderland and Aston Villa rumoured suitors in July 2007. His appearance in Hearts 3–2 friendly defeat by Barcelona on 28 July proved to be his last for the club. On 8 November, Gordon was inducted into the Hearts Hall of Fame. Still only 24, he was the youngest player ever to have that honour bestowed upon him.
In August 2007, Gordon agreed a five-year contract with Sunderland. The £9 million fee was the highest a British club had ever paid for a goalkeeper, until Manchester United paid around £18 million for David de Gea from Atlético Madrid. Gordon made his debut for Sunderland in the opening game of the 2007–08 Premier League against Tottenham Hotspur, keeping a clean sheet as his side won 1–0. During this match, the rival goalkeeper was Paul Robinson and the England first choice. It was the first time a Scotland first choice goalkeeper and an England first choice goalkeeper had faced each other in a club match since 2001, when Arsenal's David Seaman faced Tottenham's Neil Sullivan.
Following Sunderland's 7–1 loss to Everton in December, Sunderland manager Roy Keane dropped Gordon to the bench and Welsh goalkeeper Darren Ward took his place. However, Gordon regained his place as first choice goalkeeper three games later. Midway through the 2008–09 season, Gordon was sidelined for several months with a knee injury and found himself as backup to Márton Fülöp. He regained his place in the starting eleven at the beginning of the 2009–10 season. On 7 November away at Tottenham Hotspur, he broke his arm after being deliberately kicked by Jermain Defoe and was sidelined for nearly three months. He returned on 23 January in a game against Portsmouth.
During the summer of 2010, Gordon had surgery on his broken arm to remove a metal plate. He returned to training days later, but he fractured his arm again during a training session. It was confirmed he would miss the start of the 2010–11 Premier League campaign, with Sunderland's new goalkeeper Simon Mignolet deputising. When Gordon returned from injury, Mignolet remained the first choice goalkeeper. On 9 November 2010, Gordon made his first appearance of the season away at Tottenham Hotspur. The game ended in a 1–1 draw. Gordon also starred in Sunderland's 3–0 win over Chelsea. On 18 December 2010, Gordon made a stunning reflex save to deny Zat Knight, which was later voted best save in Premier League history, in a 1–0 win against Bolton Wanderers. However, injury woes struck again for Gordon when he suffered a tendon injury in his knee, resulting in him being replaced by Mignolet. Luckily for Gordon, the knee tendon problem allowed him to be the substitute goalkeeper, despite not being fully fit. On 19 April 2011, it was revealed that Gordon had undergone knee surgery to repair his knee tendon and an anterior cruciate ligament injury he had suffered. However, the summer recruitment of Coventry City goalkeeper Keiren Westwood added further doubt about the Scotsman's future. Gordon was linked with Arsenal and Celtic amongst other clubs in August 2011.
He made his return on 4 January 2012 for the Sunderland Reserves keeping a clean sheet in their 2–0 victory over Arsenal Reserves. He returned to first team action on 28 April against Bolton Wanderers. This was to be his last game for Sunderland and his last game to date. The following week there were rumours that Gordon could possibly get a new deal. On 11 May Gordon won the Premier League Save of the 20 Seasons award with his save against Bolton. After winning the award Gordon said 'This is a highlight of my career'.  However, he was one of nine players released by Sunderland on 19 May 2012.
Gordon did not sign with another club for the 2012–13 season, as he continued to be troubled by knee injuries. After meeting Ian Murray while doing television work, Gordon helped Dumbarton with coaching work on a casual basis. Gordon then admitted it was highly unlikely that he would play during 2012–13 and that he was considering becoming a football coach. Gordon trained with Rangers during the 2013-14 pre-season to gain fitness and Rangers' new signing, Richard Foster, stated that he wanted Rangers to sign the keeper. Several days later, Rangers' new number one keeper, Cammy Bell, admitted that he would be delighted to see Gordon added to the squad.
Gordon made his Scotland debut in a 4–1 victory over Trinidad and Tobago at Easter Road Stadium on 30 May 2004 during Berti Vogts' reign, before establishing himself as the first choice under Walter Smith. BBC pundit and former player Allan Preston saw him as a potential Scottish great, describing him as "one of the best goalkeepers in Europe". After a 1–1 draw with Italy he drew praise from his hero Gianluigi Buffon who said he could be one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Gordon kept clean sheets as Scotland won 1–0 twice against France in UEFA Euro 2008 qualification. He won a total of 40 caps by November 2010, but his injury problems have prevented him from adding to this total.
- As of 28 April 2012
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|Scotland||League||Scottish Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|2000–01||Hearts||Scottish Premier League||-||-||-||-||-|
|2001–02||Cowdenbeath (Loan)||Second Division||12||0||-||1||0||-||13||0|
|2002–03||Hearts||Scottish Premier League||1||0||1||0||-||-||2||0|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
- Scottish Cup: 1
- Premier League 20 Seasons Awards – Best Save (Sunderland vs. Bolton Wanderers, 18 December 2010)
Gordon won this award for his save against Bolton Wanderers at the Stadium of Light on 18 December 2010. Following a goal from Danny Welbeck on 32 minutes, Gordon's save was made in first-half stoppage time from a corner headed into the six-yard box by Gary Cahill, with Zat Knight touching the ball goalwards from close-range. Gordon pulled off a superb one-handed reflex save to deny Knight.
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 171. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0.
- Daily Record. "Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon admits his sights are set on management after career-threatening knee injury". Retrieved 24 March 2013.
- "Hearts Hall of Fame". 2 February 2010.
- "Gordon voted player of the year". BBC Sport. 16 April 2006.
- "Romanov issues player ultimatum". BBC Sport. 27 October 2006.
- "Romanov brands Riccarton Three "traitors" in latest rant". Edinburgh Evening News. 23 February 2007.
- "Gordon backed as best in Britain". BBC Sport. 10 October 2006.
- "Craig Gordon dropped to Hearts' bench". BBC Sport. 23 December 2006.
- "Hearts may sell Gordon & Hartley". BBC Sport. 28 January 2007.
- Wilson, Jeremy (20 March 2007). "Puzzled Reyes dismisses Madrid rumours of a return to Sevilla". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-03-20.
- "McLeish tells Gordon to grab 'chance of a lifetime". The Scotsman. 7 August 2007.
- "Black Cats Sign Craig Gordon". Sky Sports. 8 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-08.
- "Sunderland's Craig Gordon sidelined by fractured arm". BBC Sport (BBC). 16 July 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- Stewart, Rob (9 May 2008). "Roy Keane hails 'untouchable' Craig Gordon". The Daily Telegraph (London).
- "Gordon blames Defoe for injury". Morning Star. 13 November 2009.
- "Devastated Craig Gordon was close to peak form, insists Steve Bruce". The Scotsman. 20 November 2009.
- "Portsmouth 2 - 1 Sunderland". BBC Sport. 23 January 2010.
- "Sunderland's Gordon wins Best Save Award". Premier League. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- "Gordon on injury prognosis".
- "Gordon out for six months". Sky Sports. BSkyB. 19 April 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
- "Gordon attracts Celtic interest". BBC Sport. BBC. 15 August 2011.
- "Craig Gordon released by Sunderland as nine players leave". BBC Sport. BBC. 19 May 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
- "Craig Gordon admits he 'may never play again'". sport.scotsman.com (Johnston Publishing). 11 February 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
- "Transfer news: Richard Foster hoping to see Craig Gordon at Rangers". Sky Sports. 26 June 2013.
- McGregor, Derek (30 June 2013). "No alarm Bell here". The Scottish Sun (Glasgow).
- "Scotland 4–1 Trinidad". BBC News. 30 May 2004.
- "Gordon is the best keeper in Europe, claims Preston". Edinburgh Evening News. 6 August 2007.
- "Buffon backs "great" Gordon". Sky Sports. 16 November 2007.
- "Craig Gordon Career Stats". Soccerbase. 19 December 2010. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
- "Sunderland 1–0 Bolton". BBC Sport (BBC). 18 December 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2012.