THE incredible career of Isle of Wight goalkeeper Simon Moore rolls on, as he looks forward to his 17th season as a professional at new club Sunderland.

Island-born Simon, who attended Newchurch Primary, Lake Middle and Sandown High School, recently signed for the Black Cats on a two-year deal.

Simon, one of the most personable players in the game, may have amassed plenty of top level experience, but he still feels the excitement of a teenager for the challenges that lay ahead with the Championship club.

Although Simon will be understudy to Anthony Patterson, he is embracing his new role supporting the young keeper.

(Image: Simon Moore)

Simon, with 206 appearances, having played for Brentford, Sheffield United, Coventry City, Bristol City and Cardiff City, also has his FIFA goalkeeper coaching badges, so plans to not only serve Sunderland (and any potential future clubs), but to stay in the game in the long term. 

His younger brother, Stuart, is also a professional goalkeeper, currently with League 2 outfit, Morecambe. Their father and grandfather were also goalkeepers.

Simon said of his new move: "I'm proud to be part of such a huge football club like Sunderland and excited about embracing the challenge.

"My role is to support Anthony and to pass on my experience to the young squad. But I have the hunger and desire to work hard for any opportunities that come along."

This will be Simon's 17th season in professional football. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since he started at Brading Town.

With Sheffield United, the 34-year-old was a hero — winning the League 1 title and making the division's team of the season, before gaining promotion from the Championship and playing in the Premier League — the pinnacle of his career.

(Image: Sunderland FC)

(Image: Sunderland FC)

He then spent three seasons at Coventry, helping them reach the play-off final at Wembley as substitute keeper two seasons ago.

"I spent three brilliant seasons at Coventry, after I signed from Sheffield United on the back of five successful and happy years there," said Simon.

But once the season ended and the dust settled, Simon received a call out of the blue, which has taken his career on a new path — to the North East.

"I thought it was time to move on and get a fresh challenge," Simon adds.

"The move to Sunderland happened very quickly. You just don't know where sport is going to take you.

"Sunderland is a huge club, massively well supported. A club of this magnitude deserves to be at the top.

"I'm still young at heart, with a lot to give to the game. I've learned so much over the years. I reckon I've got another five or six good years left in me.

"For now, I'm at Sunderland. I will be working hard and continuing to learn and I'll see where it takes me."