Sean Thornton

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For the fictional character, see Sean Thornton (The Quiet Man).
Not to be confused with the hockey player Shawn Thornton.
Sean Thornton
Personal information
Full name Sean Thornton
Date of birth (1983-05-18) 18 May 1983 (age 31)
Place of birth Drogheda, Ireland
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Bala Town
Number 9
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2002 Tranmere Rovers 11 (1)
2002–2005 Sunderland 49 (9)
2002 Blackpool (loan) 3 (0)
2005–2007 Doncaster Rovers 59 (2)
2007–2010 Leyton Orient 91 (12)
2008 Shrewsbury Town (loan) 5 (1)
2011–2013 Aberystwyth Town 24 (8)
2013 Conwy Borough 6 (3)
2014- Bala Town 6 (0)
National team
2000 Republic of Ireland U16 8 (2)
2000 Republic of Ireland U18 3 (0)
2001–2002 Republic of Ireland U19 9 (1)
2003–2005 Republic of Ireland U21 12 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 2 April 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 28 August 2008

Sean Thornton (born 18 May 1983 in Drogheda, Ireland) is a professional footballer currently playing for Welsh Premier League side Bala Town.

He made 11 appearances in the Premier League for Sunderland in the 2002–03 season and has made over 175 appearances in the Football League, mostly for Sunderland, Doncaster Rovers and Leyton Orient.

Club career[edit]

Tranmere Rovers[edit]

Thornton began his career with Football League Second Division club Tranmere Rovers in 2001, for whom he made 13 appearances in the 2001–02 season,[1] scoring once against Wigan Athletic.[2] He was out of contract in summer 2002 and joined Premier League side Sunderland in July 2002,[3] for a fee of £225,000 agreed at tribunal,[4] amid allegations by Tranmere that Sunderland had breached FA and Football League regulations by making an illegal approach for Thornton,[5] for which Sunderland were later fined £1,500.[6][7]

Sunderland[edit]

Thornton did not feature in the Sunderland first team at the beginning of the 2002–03 season and joined Blackpool on a one month loan in November 2002.[8] He made his debut for Sunderland in a FA Cup third-round replay win over Bolton Wanderers in January 2003, impressing manager Howard Wilkinson who said, "That was the first full game I've seen Sean in and I must say it was a very promising and mature performance. He's certainly a player we want to keep an eye on and bring on but it's now up to him to show he can produce that standard consistently."[9] He made 14 appearances for Sunderland in the 2002–03 season,[10] despite missing part of the season after being called up for the Ireland Under-20 squad for the World Youth Championships in the United Arab Emirates in March 2003.[11] In April 2003, he scored with an impressive volley to give Sunderland an early lead against Chelsea although Sunderland went on to lose the match.[12] He was unable to help Sunderland from being relegated at the end of the season.[13]

Thornton made 13 appearances for Sunderland at the start of the 2003–04 season,[14] before suffering an ankle injury in a reserve team game in October 2003.[15] He returned to the side in January 2004 and made a further 17 appearances,[14] helping Sunderland to the semifinal of the FA Cup,[16] and the Division One playoff semifinal.[17] Thornton was unable to command a regular first team place at the start of the 2004–05 season and by September 2004, was seeking a move away from the club.[18] A transfer did not materialise and with his first team chances limited, he made only 20 appearances for Sunderland in the 2004–05 season.[19] At the end of the season, he was transfer listed.[20]

Doncaster Rovers[edit]

Following Sunderland's promotion to the Premier League in May 2005,[21] Thornton was sold to Football League One club Doncaster Rovers in July 2005 for a club record fee of £175,000.[22][23] He made 36 appearances for Doncaster in the 2005–06 season,[24] missing several weeks owing to an ankle injury suffered in September 2005 that needed surgery.[25] He helped Doncaster reach the quarterfinals of the Football League Cup, putting in a fine performance and scoring the third goal when Doncaster beat Premier League club, Aston Villa 3–0 in November 2005.[26][27] Manager Dave Penney praised Thornton, saying: "It was a great goal for Sean and he's looking much brighter and sharper these days, and long may that continue."[28] After the game, Thornton said that he felt had made the right move in the summer, saying "It was a gamble for me. I still had two years left on my contract at Sunderland. It was one of them – would I go, would I not go? Obviously we're playing good football and I think I made the right decision. Now, hopefully, we can carry on the success until the end of the season and get promoted. That's the main thing."[29] In the 2006–07 season, Thornton made 41 appearances,[30] and helped Doncaster to victory over Bristol Rovers in the Football League Trophy final in April 2007 when he swung in a corner kick for Graeme Lee to head in to score the extra time winner at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.[31]

Leyton Orient[edit]

Thornton was released by Doncaster manager, Sean O'Driscoll at the end of the 2006–07 season,[32] and joined another League One side, Leyton Orient in July 2007 on a two year contract.[33][34] Orient manager Martin Ling said that he was "... pleased to have Sean on board. We've been looking for a creative midfielder and Sean fits the bill perfectly. He will fit into our style of play and I believe we have signed a quality player."[33] He scored on his debut against Southend United in August 2007, with a spectacular free kick from 30 yards in a 2–1 away win,[35] and went on to make 34 appearances in the 2007–08 season,[36] although he missed four matches after being sent off in October 2007 for allegedly punching another player.[37][38] The following season, he joined Shrewsbury Town in September 2008 on a one month loan,[39] where he scored once against Darlington.[40] On his return to Orient, he regained his place in the first team under new manager Geraint Williams and made a total of 34 appearances for Orient in the 2008–09 season in addition to his loan spell at Shrewsbury Town.[41][42] He signed a new one-year contract with Orient in June 2009, with the option of a further year,[42] but was released by Williams' replacement Russell Slade on 9 May 2010 after putting on too much weight.[43]

Aberystwyth Town[edit]

After false reports that he had signed for FC Metalist Kharkiv,[citation needed] Thornton signed for Aberystwyth Town on a short term contract on 13 September 2011, in a move that was described by the club as 'arguably the biggest signing in Welsh Premier League history'. The midfielder scored his first goal in Aber colours on 11 November 2011, as the Seasiders hammered Port Talbot Town 4-0 at the Genquip Stadium. On 16 November 2011, it was announced that Thornton had agreed to extend his stay with Aberystwyth Town until the end of the 2011/12 Welsh Premier League campaign.[44] He scored his second goal for the club in the 1-1 draw with Afan Lido. He is signed for another season (2012-13) at Aberystwyth Town

Conwy Borough FC[edit]

After doing pre season with Chris Herbert's men Thornton signed for the ambitious North Wales club on a years pay as you play deal, while he proves his fitness from a ruptured Achilles' tendon. Thornton was influential in Conwy Boroughs undefeated start to the season, also scoring twice in 3 games. But after 6 games in to the 2013/14 season Sean Thornton was released from Conwy for breaching Club rules.[citation needed]

Bala Town[edit]

On 3 January 2014, Thornton agreed to join Welsh Premier League side Bala Town. He was handed the number nine shirt.[45]

International career[edit]

Thornton represented the Republic of Ireland Under-16 team at the 2000 UEFA European Under-16 Football Championship and the Under-19 team at the 2002 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship. He captained the Irish under 21s during his Sunderland days, but after falling out with Don Givens, he was axed from the squad and has never featured for his country since.

Playing statistics[edit]

(to end of 2008–09 season)

Club Seasons League
Apps (goals)
FA Cup
Apps (goals)
League Cup
Apps (goals)
Other
Apps (goals)
Total
Apps (goals)
Tranmere Rovers 2001–02 11 (1) 1 (0) 0 (0) 1 (0) 13 (1) [46]
Sunderland 2002–03 11 (1) 3 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 14 (1) [47]
Blackpool (loan) 2002 3 (1) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (0) 4 (1) [48]
Sunderland 2003–04 22 (4) 4 (0) 2 (0) 2 (0) 30 (4) [49]
Sunderland 2004–05 16 (4) 2 (0) 2 (0) 0 (0) 20 (4) [50]
Doncaster Rovers 2005–06 29 (2) 3 (0) 3 (1) 1 (0) 36 (3) [51]
Doncaster Rovers 2006–07 30 (0) 3 (0) 2 (0) 6 (1) 41 (1) [52]
Leyton Orient 2007–08 31 (3) 1 (0) 1 (0) 1 (0) 34 (3) [53]
Shrewsbury Town (loan) 2008 5 (1) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (0) 6 (1) [54]
Leyton Orient 2008–09 30 (2) 3 (0) 1 (0) 0 (0) 34 (2) [55]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Sunderland

Personal life[edit]

Thornton's younger brother, Kevin, is also a professional footballer.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Games played by Sean Thornton in 2001/2002". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  2. ^ "Wigan 1-2 Tranmere". BBC. 23 March 2002. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Black Cats sign Thornton". BBC Sport. 8 July 2002. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  4. ^ "Tribunal rules on Thornton". BBC Sport. 16 August 2002. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  5. ^ "Thornton in tug of clubs". BBC Sport. 30 April 2002. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  6. ^ Livie, Alex (20 November 2003). "Rovers angered by Thornton ruling". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  7. ^ "Rovers chief hits out at FA". BBC Sport. 20 November 2003. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  8. ^ "Blackpool secure Thornton deal". BBC Sport. 7 November 2002. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  9. ^ "Thornton withdrawn". BBC Sport. 16 January 2003. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  10. ^ "Games played by Sean Thornton in 2002/2003". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  11. ^ Bailey, Graeme (4 March 2003). "Thornton blow for Sunderland". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  12. ^ "Chelsea boost Euro bid". BBC Sport. 5 April 2003. Retrieved 2009-06-19. Sean Thornton put Sunderland ahead with a stunning right-foot volley in an impressive first half by Mick McCarthy's men. 
  13. ^ "Blues send Sunderland down". BBC Sport. 12 April 2003. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  14. ^ a b "Games played by Sean Thornton in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  15. ^ Bailey, Graeme (23 October 2003). "Black Cats duo sidelined". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  16. ^ "Sunderland 0–1 Millwall". BBC Sport. 4 April 2004. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  17. ^ "Sunderland 2–1 C Palace". BBC Sport. 17 May 2004. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  18. ^ Bailey, Graeme (15 September 2004). "Thornton looking for move". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  19. ^ "Games played by Sean Thornton in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  20. ^ Bailey, Graeme (11 May 2005). "Thornton shocked at exit". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  21. ^ "McCarthy overjoyed by promotion". BBC Sport. 23 April 2005. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  22. ^ "Thornton completes Doncaster move". BBC Sport. 12 July 2005. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  23. ^ Livie, Alex (11 July 2005). "Rovers grab Thornton". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  24. ^ "Games played by Sean Thornton in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  25. ^ "Thornton out after ankle surgery". BBC Sport. 14 September 2005. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  26. ^ "Doncaster 3–0 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. 29 November 2005. Retrieved 2009-06-19. Thornton was another prodigious influence for Doncaster in midfield and he capped a fine performance by scoring their third goal. 
  27. ^ Pearson, James (29 November 2005). "Sorry Villa crash to Rovers". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2009-06-19. Villa tried to get back into the contest, but their hopes were extinguished when the impressive Thornton bagged his first for the club. The blonde-haired maestro burst past a couple of defenders before seeing his drilled effort glance off the disappointing Ridgewell and into the net to book their place in the quarter finals. 
  28. ^ Rutledge, Lewis (30 November 2005). "Penney praise for Thornton". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  29. ^ Marshall, Adam (30 November 2005). "Thornton made the right move". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  30. ^ "Games played by Sean Thornton in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  31. ^ Hughes, Ian (1 April 2007). "Bristol Rovers 2–3 Doncaster AET". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2009-06-19. Lee rose highest to meet Sean Thornton's inswinging corner and thudded a header into the net to secure Doncaster's first Football League trophy. 
  32. ^ "Doncaster boss releases quintet". BBC Sport. 10 May 2007. Retrieved 2009-06-20. Doncaster have released Liam Green, Adam Brown, Rob Pacey, Jan Budtz and Sean Thornton. Midfielders Green, Brown, Thornton will all have to look for new clubs for the start of the season. 
  33. ^ a b Buckingham, Mark (5 July 2007). "O's bring in Thornton". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  34. ^ "Orient land midfielder Thornton". BBC Sport. 5 July 2007. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  35. ^ "Southend 1–2 Leyton Orient". BBC Sport. 11 August 2007. Retrieved 2009-06-20. ... Thornton equalised in spectacular style with a 30-yard free kick. 
  36. ^ "Games played by Sean Thornton in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  37. ^ "FA upholds Thornton's dismissal". BBC Sport. 16 October 2007. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  38. ^ Dall, James (16 October 2007). "FA reject Thornton appeal". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  39. ^ "Shrews land midfielder Thornton". BBC Sport. 12 September 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  40. ^ "Darlington 1-1 Shrewsbury". BBC. 4 October 2008. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  41. ^ "Games played by Sean Thornton in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  42. ^ a b "Thornton signs new deal at Orient". BBC Sport. 16 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  43. ^ "O's release seven". LeytonOrient.com. 9 May 2010. 
  44. ^ "ATFC exclusive: Seasiders 'rap up' Thornton signing". Aberystwyth Town F.C. 13 September 2011. 
  45. ^ Thornton first January signing
  46. ^ "Tranmere 2001/2002 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  47. ^ "Sunderland 2002/2003 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  48. ^ "Blackpool 2002/2003 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  49. ^ "Sunderland 2003/2004 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  50. ^ "Sunderland 2004/2005 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  51. ^ "Doncaster 2005/2006 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  52. ^ "Doncaster 2006/2007 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  53. ^ "Leyton Orient 2007/2008 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  54. ^ "Shrewsbury 2008/2009 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  55. ^ "Leyton Orient 2008/2009 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 

External links[edit]