Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
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Leeds City F.C. History
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Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games
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Sullivan: Neil

2004-2007 (Leeds Player Details) (Player Details)

Goalkeeper

Born: Sutton: 24-02-1970

Debut v Derby County (h): 07-08-2004

63 13st (2003)

Although born and brought up in England, Sullivan had Scottish ancestry enabling him to play for the Scottish national side. He was capped on twenty-eight occasions. He was named in the Scotland squad for the 1998 World Cup in France, but was an unused substitute in all of their three matches. He began his career with Merton Borough before signing with Wimbledon, signing professional forms on 27th July 1988. He went on to amass a total of two hundred and twenty-four appearances of which one hundred and eighty were in the League together with one appearance from the bench and the other forty-three were in the Cup competitions, twenty-five in the F.A. Cup and eighteen in the League Cup. He also played one game on loan for Crystal Palace in May 1992. Before he played his first game for Tottenham Hotspur he had already played sixteen times for Scotland. Although English born he qualified to play for Scotland as he had a Scottish grandfather. He made his Scottish debut in a 0-1 defeat by Wales on 27th May 1997 in a friendly at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock, and had to be replaced by Jim Leighton in the eightieth minute. It was six month later that he gained his second caps Scotland were beaten 1-2 by France in a friendly at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in St. Etienne on 12th November 1997. It was a further six months to his third cap at the Giants Stadium, New Jersey in a 2-2 draw with Colombia on 23rd May 1998. As the Euro 2000 qualifiers approached he became established as Scotlands first choice goalkeeper, playing two home fixtures in that competition as Scotland defeated Faroe Island at Pittodrie, Aberdeen, 2-1 on 14th October 1998 and then lost 1-2 to the Czech Republic at Parkhead, Glasgow on 31st March 1999, which virtually assured the Czechs of first-place qualification. A 1-0 friendly win over Germany in a friendly at the Weserstadion, Bremen, on 28th April 1999 brought his caps to six and boosted Scottish morale as they moved in towards the final five qualifying games with a possibility of reaching the play-offs. The first two were on the road in quick succession as they drew 1-1 with the Faroe Islands at the Svangaskard Stadion, Toftir, on 5th June 1999 and four days later, Sparta Stadion, Prague, was the venue for a 2-3 defeat by the Czech Republic as hopes were fast fading. A 2-1 win at the Olimpijski Stadion, Sarajevo on 4th September 1999 over Bosnia and Herzegovina and a 0-0 draw with Estonia four days later at the Kadriorg Stadion, Tallinn, restored hope, and a 1-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina at Ibrox Park, Glasgow, on 5th October 1999 assured entry into the play-offs. The draw saw them facing England on an aggregate home and away showdown for passage into the Finals. The first game was at Hampden Park, Glasgow, on 13th November 1999 and two goals, one in each hald from Paul Scholes gave a decided advantage to England. Four days later at Wembley it seemed a formality for England, but a Don Hutchison goal six minutes before half-time gave the Scots renewed hope, but that was the final score and Scotland were out. He then played three friendlies, in a 0-2 loss to France on 29th March 2000 at Hampden Park, Glasgow, a 0-0 draw with the Netherlands at the Gelredome, Arnhem, on 26thy April 2000 and a 2-1 win over the Republic of Ireland at Lansdowne Road, Dublin, on 30th May 2000. On 28th May 2000, Sullivan moved to Tottenham Hotspur on a free transfer. He made his debut on 19th August 2000 in a 3-1 home win over Ipswich Town and went on to make sixty-four League appearances and another nine in the F.A. Cup and eight in the League Cup. He added a further dozen Scottish caps to his collection while a White Hart Lane. He was still Scotland's first choice for the 2002 World Cup qualifiers and he gained his seventeenth cap in a 1-0 win over Latvia at the Skonto Stadion, Riga on 2nd September 2000 in that competition. A month later Scotland won 2-0 over San Marino at Stadio Olimpico, Serravalle, on 7th October 2000. Their first real test came with their visit to the Maksimir Stadion, Zagreb and they came away with a 1-1 draw four days later. Two home games at Hampden Park followed in quick succession as Belgium held them to a 2-2 draw on 24th March 2001 and then San Marino was beaten 4-0 four days later, as he gained his twenty-first cap. On 25th April 2001, at the Zawisza Stadion, Bydgoszcz, Scotland had a good 1-1 draw with Poland in a friendly, before facing the undefeated Croatia at Hampden Park on 1st September 2001, to keep their World Cup Group Six hopes up in a three-way tussle with Croatia and Belgium for the top place. Four days later the crunch came as they lost to Belgium by 0-2, at the King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels to give the top spot the Croatia with Belgium one point behind them and leaving the Scots with the knowledge that had they won they would have had the same record as Croatia with only goal difference separating them. So the 2-1 home win over Latvia was only academic after the loss to Belgium but a Croatian win over Belgium gave them top spot and Scotland again failed to inflict heavy defeats on inferior teams. His final three Scottish games were in friendlies and were all lost as France scored five without reply at the Stade De France, Saint-Denis on 27th March 2002, then South Korea inflicted a 1-4 defeat at the Asaid Stadium, Busan on 16th May 2002, which saw him demoted and his final game was nine months later, on 12th February 2003, in a 0-2 defeat at Hampden Park by the Republic of Ireland in which he started but was replaced by Paul Gallacher at the start of the second half. He then moved to Chelsea on 1st September 2003, for 500,000, making his debut on 3rd December 2003 in the League Cup in a 1-0 win at Reading. His League debut came on 28th December 2003 in a 3-0 home win over Portsmouth. He only started four League games and made just two further starts in the League Cup and one start and one game from the bench in the F.A. Cup. On 1st August 2004, he was signed on a free transfer by CCCL team Leeds United. In his first season with the club in 2004-05, he was voted as the club's Player of the Year and was the first choice keeper for his first two seasons at Elland Road and he helped United reach the play-off final at the Millenium Stadium, Cardiff at the end of the 2005-06 season. Unfortunately Leeds were completely outplayed on the day to see Watford gain the third promotion spot to the EPL, and Sullivan was blamed for the second of the three Watford goals. Due to an injury picked up in the pre-season match against Nottingham Forest, he made very few appearances in the 2006-07 campaign for Leeds. On 23rd November 2006 he moved on loan to Doncaster Rovers. He only played three games, however, before his loan was cut short and he returned to Elland Road on 21st December 2006. He re-signed on loan for Doncaster Rovers on 19th February 2007 and played a further thirteen League games and one other in the Football League Trophy. After the end of his loan at Doncaster he returned to Leeds but was released at the end of his contract on 15th May 2007, returning to Doncaster shortly afterwards. He arrived at the Keepmoat Stadium permanently in the summer of 2007 again on a free transfer, after impressing manager Sean O'Driscoll during his two spells on loan with the club. Sullivan's commanding presence between the sticks made him a firm fan-favourite and he established himself early to be first choice goalkeeper for the side. A veteran of almost twenty years experience, mostly spent in the top flight, but despite his long and illustrious career, he had yet to win a medal in any competition. His incredible performances in goal throughout the 2006-2007 Johnstone's Paint Trophy resulted in the Scottish 'keeper reaching the final at the Millennium Stadium, where Doncaster won their first trophy and Sullivan his first ever medal. 2007-08 saw him as an ever-present with forty-six League appearances and eight more in Cup Competitions as he approached the five hundred mark for career appearances. He continued as the first team keeper and his consistent performances throughout the 2007-08 season helped Doncaster to promotion. He made an error in the 2-1 loss to Yeovil Town on 31st March 2008, miscontrolling a backpass which led to a Yeovil goal. But the disappointment of this mistake was overshadowed by a very successful season between the sticks, in which Sullivan kept an impressive twenty clean sheets. He was an integral part of Doncaster winning promotion to the CCCL with a Play-off Final win over his former club Leeds United. He maintain his form throughout the 2008-09 season, the highlight being when he was credited with a superb man-of-the-match performance against Aston Villa on 24th January 2009 which gave Doncaster a 0-0 draw that helped keep them in the FA Cup and the 2009-10 season saw him once more an almost ever-present. 2010-11 brought injuries and at forty his time at the Keepmoat seemed numbered as he lost his spot to Gary Woods, but in July 2011 he signed a one year contact which kept him with Doncaster until the end of the 2011-12 season. He was still with Doncaster on 16th November 2012 when he went on a short term loan to former club AFC Wimbledon and he made his debut for them the following day in a 1-1 home draw with Aldershot Town. Rovers' first choice Gary Woods was injured and Sullivan was recalled to the Keepmoat for the 2-1 win at Bournemouth on 9th March 2013. He had started eighteen League and one F.A. Cup games while with AFC Wimbledon. He stayed in the Rovers first team for the rest of the season as they went on to clinch the Championship of the League One and it was announced that he would remain at Doncaster for a further season. This did not eventuate as on 11th July 2013 it was announced that Sullivan had taken up the post of goalkeeping coach to the Leeds Academy. In his spell with Doncaster, after he had signed permanently for them in June 2007 he had started one hundred and eighty League games and come off the bench once, and also started ten F.A. Cup games, four League Cup ties and five more in the Football League Trophy.

AppearancesGoals
League 950
F.A. Cup 40
League Cup 80
Play-Off Finals 30