Simonsen with the 2007–08 Championship runner-up trophy
|Full name||Steven Preben Arthur Simonsen|
|Date of birth||3 April 1979|
|Place of birth||South Shields, England|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|2010||→ Sheffield United (loan)||7||(0)|
|2012–2013||Preston North End||10||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 25 December 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Born in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, he started his senior career at Tranmere Rovers before spells with Everton, Stoke City and Sheffield United, Preston North End and Scottish sides Dundee and Rangers. Whilst at Tranmere, he received four caps for the England U21s.
Simonsen grew up a supporter of Sunderland but was spotted by Nottingham Forest at the age of 15 whilst playing in his native South Shields. After a spell in Nottinghamshire, however, he was released in the summer of 1996.
After being released by Nottingham Forest, Simonsen started his career at Tranmere Rovers in August 1996 as a trainee. By November 1996, he had already made his league début for the club against one of the clubs he would later sign for, Stoke City. After just 42 league and cup appearances for the first team, he was bought by Everton.Both clubs were under the control of Peter Johnson at the time. It was reported by various media bodies that the transfer fee was worth £3.3m a England and a record fee for a goalkeeper. However Tramere Rovers' officially sanctioned Complete Record book states that this a myth and that the deal "was based on staged payments depending upon appearances, Everton's future success and international caps" and that "Rovers never saw anymore than the initial £1m down payment"
Simonsen struggled to make it into the Everton first team on a regular basis, only making the starting line-up 35 times with another two substitute appearances, in his five seasons at Goodison Park. His Everton début did not come until the 1999–2000 season, a League Cup tie against Oxford United. In July 2001, Simonsen was also rumoured to be involved in a transfer to Wigan Athletic, but the deal fell through. In December 2001, Simonsen even considered making a move to a Danish club.
Simonsen did not get a chance to prove himself again until the 2001–02 season, when he made 25 league starts for Everton and finally became a regular first team player. Following the appointment of new manager David Moyes, however, Simonsen rarely got a chance to play for Everton again, making only three league starts during his last two seasons. Simonsen later rejected a one-year contract extension and was thus released by the club in May 2004. After his release, Simonsen was linked with the recent-relegated side Leeds United.
Simonsen signed for Stoke City in July 2004 on a free transfer and was the club's first choice goalkeeper until 2008, making more than 150 league appearances for the Potters. Simonsen was named as Stoke City players' player of the season for the 2004–05 season and was rewarded with a new three-year contract until July 2008. During the 2006–07 season, Simonsen became the record holder for most consecutive clean sheets at Stoke City – seven – a feat he also achieved at Tranmere. The clean sheets consisted of four home matches and three away matches.
In July 2007, Simonsen signed a new contract with Stoke keeping him at the club until June 2010. He went on to play an important part in Stoke's promotion to the Premier League, although he lost his place in the side towards the end of the campaign, when Carlo Nash was brought in on an emergency loan from Wigan Athletic. Thomas Sørensen was then signed at the start of the 2008–09 season, so Simonsen played second fiddle to the Danish international throughout the year. He played only when Sørensen was injured, which amounted to just five appearances. The 2009–10 season started in the same manner for Simonsen until an injury to Sørensen at home to Chelsea meant that Simonsen made his first appearance of the season.
With their first choice keeper Paddy Kenny suspended and previous loanee goalkeeper Mark Bunn being recalled to Blackburn Rovers, Simonsen signed a one-month loan deal with Sheffield United in March 2010. He made his début the following day against Doncaster Rovers, conceding an early goal in a game that finished 1–1. Simonsen made seven starts for the Blades before returning to Stoke at the end of his loan period.
With his contract expiring, Simonsen left Stoke in July of that year on a free transfer after spending six years at City and making almost 200 appearances in total.
Released from his contract at Stoke, Simonsen returned to Bramall Lane and signed a two-year contract with Sheffield United in July 2010. He was virtually ever present in his first full season at the club but the team suffered a torrid time as they went through four managers and were eventually relegated to League One. Simonsen remained first choice keeper for the Blades for much of the following season as an improved side contested an immediate promotion back to the Championship although ultimately finished in third place, going on to lose in the play-off final on penalties to Huddersfield Town with Simonsen missing the decisive kick. After missing the penalty, Simonsen told BBC Radio Sheffield missing the penalty was his lowest part of his career and described this as "horrendous", in addition he mentioned it a million times in his head that he couldn't watch the moment.
Preston North End
In August 2012, Simonsen signed a one-year contract with Preston North End. Simonsen made his debut for the club, replacing first-choice goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann, on 18 September 2012, where Simonsen kept a clean sheet, as Preston heavily destroyed Hartlepool United 5–0. Having made his debut, Manager Graham Westley would praised Simonsen on his debut. After making 17 appearances, Simonsen sustained an injury against Coventry City the following January ruling him out of action for several months, after which he was released from his Preston contract.
In March 2013, Simonsen signed a short term contract with Scottish Premier League club Dundee until the end of the season. His move caused a rift between first choice goalkeeper Robert Douglas and Manager John Brown. Simonsen made his debut, in the Dundee derby, which ended 1–1. Towards the end of the season, with Dundee facing relegation, Simonsen was the club's first choice goalkeeper. Dundee were relegated after a draw with Aberdeen on 5 May 2013. Despite the relegation, Brown praised his performance and stated he would love Simonsen to stay for a further season. However, Simonsen's time with Dundee was ended when he was not offered a further deal, having stayed at the club for two months.
On 13 September 2013, Scottish League One side Rangers announced that Simonsen had signed a contract until the end of the 2013–14 season. He previously went on the trial with the club in mid-August. Simonsen was the back-up goalkeeper to Cammy Bell until making his debut for Rangers on 20 January against Forfar, where he won praise for an outstanding reflex save during a 2-0 win for Rangers. Simonsen's only other first team appearance that season for Rangers was in their Scottish Cup semi-final tie against Dundee United, where Simonsen's misplaced kick-out led directly to Dundee United's third goal in a 3-1 defeat for the Ibrox club. On 3 May Rangers players made history by becoming the first Rangers side in 115 years to go an entire league season unbeaten after a 1-1 draw with Dunfermline during which they clinched the Scottish League One championship. Following the end of the season, he was part of a young Rangers squad that featured in the HKFC International Soccer Sevens held in May.
Simonsen was due to leave Rangers at the end of the 2013-14 season, however he re-signed in July 2014 for the following campaign. He made his first start of the 2014–15 season in an 8-1 victory at Ibrox against Clyde in the Scottish Challenge Cup.
- As of 18 April 2014
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other[A]||Total|
|Tranmere Rovers||1997–98||First Division||30||0||3||0||0||0||–||33||0|
|Preston North End||2012–13||League One||10||0||2||0||2||0||3||0||17||0|
|Dundee||2012–13||Scottish Premier League||8||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||8||0|
|Rangers||2013–14||Scottish League One||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||3||0|
- A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the Football League play-offs and Football League Trophy.
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