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Ex-Scottish international Steven Fletcher celebrates his 35th Birthday on this day. A former winner of the Scottish League Cup and runner up in the English equivalent, he has had a long and varied career in the world of football.

As a youngster, Fletcher started his career at Hibs, playing an impressive 156 games in green, scoring 43 times along the way. Then, in the summer of 2009, he signed for a record fee at the time for top flight side Burnley of £3 million. He scored 8 goals as their top scorer, but this wasn’t enough to see the side stay up. Avoiding Championship football, he moved to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Fletcher spent a prolific 2 seasons at Molyneux, scoring 22 times before finally signing for the Black Cats, managed by Martin O'Neill. It was a large fee, costing the Lads an initial £12 million.

After his move in the summer of 2012, arriving alongside Louis Saha up front to replace the outgoing Asamoah Gyan, he went on to play a mighty 93 games, but sadly he only scored 23 times in this era. Following our relegation, he spent a spell of 4 years at Sheffield Wednesday, scoring just 36 times.

He has finally ended up at Stoke City where he has played since the summer of 2020, scoring 12 times so far. As well as finding top flight football for the majority of his career, he found success playing for the nation of his father’s birth- Scotland. He managed an impressive 33 Caps over a 10 year span, reaching double figures in goals too.

However, as Sunderland fans, I think it’s fair to say he will be remembered for his glorious derby day goals, as well as his contributions as the lads reached the Capital One Cup final. He was always consistent but sadly never quite lived up to his potential he showed during his days at Hibs. Wishing him a happy birthday, and who knows, we may end up coming up against him in the Championship next season...

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