It was last week Monday, 13 years ago on April 27, 2007 that Carlos Edwards rocketed his way into Sunderland AFC folklore.
Former Trinidad and Tobago international Edwards made over 50 appearances for Sunderland, but will always remember that goal against Burnley with a great sense of pride.
“It gives me chills just thinking about it to be fair,” Edwards told Chroniclelive.
So revered is Edwards’ strike against Burnley, that the right winger/full-back is immortalised at the Stadium of Light by a mural put up by the English Football League and Mind, a mental health charity, as part of their awareness campaign for 2019 World Mental Health Day.
The classic footage was recently uploaded on twitter. The date might not be an instant reminder of why. But mention the name Carlos Edwards to any Black Cats fan and they will all instantly think back to one moment 13 years ago on April 27.
Reviewed by the Sunderland Echo newspaper as possibly the best goal ever scored at the Stadium of Light and the third-best goal over the last 50 years at the club, Edwards long-range stunner saw Sunderland recover to beat Burnley 3-2 in a Championship Division playoff match which won them promotion to the English Premier League the following season.
In October 2019, fans of EFL clubs across the country voted for their side’s most iconic EFL moment to be revealed as street art in the cities. Black Cats fans chose Edwards’ strike at the Stadium of Light against Burnley to secure promotion back to the Premier League under Roy Keane during the 2006/07 season. Edwards’ historic Sunderland moment is immortalised in the mural titled: “A love of Carlos.”
Grant Leadbitter, Sunderland captain, said: “I’m not surprised to see Carlos’ goal was chosen by supporters. Not only is it such a memorable moment in club history, but it’s also fitting to the cause we’re backing.”
Sunderland had been riding the crest of a wave in the Championship under the management of Keane. Edwards arrived from Luton Town in January and they were closing in on promotion back to the Premier League despite the horrendous start to the season under Niall Quinn’s stewardship.
After an incredible run under the enigmatic Keane, the Black Cats were well-placed going in to a Friday night TV clash with Burnley at the Stadium of Light. In typical Sunderland fashion they didn’t make it easy though.
“It seems like we would always leave things to the last minute or make things hard for ourselves,” Edwards said.
“That happened in the Burnley game. We were cruising and then Dave (Connolly) missed a penalty to go two up and suddenly we were losing 2-1. I won another penalty to help us get back to 2-2 and it was just a proper entertaining game.”
Edwards needs no prompting to refresh his memory. So dear was his time at Sunderland to him, and in particular that 80th-minute match-winning rocket against Burnley; his memories are so vivid. So clear.
“To be fair, it was great build-up to the goal as well. Most people only remember my strike, but we actually started that from our byline and there was about four passes before it was in the back of the net,” Edwards said
“So it’s a special goal for me, but also I have to give credit to my team-mates, knowing how and where to go and when was the best time to release the ball for me, Speedy Gonzales, ready to run my backside off.
“But on that occasion my only option was to shoot after so long because I was already blowing!”
Shoot the Trinidadian right-winger did. His thunderous strike left the Clarets keeper helpless as the ball flew into the top corner, almost breaking the net as it hit home to the rapturous celebrations of Sunderland supporters.
A special goal it was. But just why is it so significant to Edwards and Sunderland fans even to this day?
Well, what a stage to do it on. It as good as secured promotion. Technically, it was only when Derby failed to win the next day it was officially confirmed, but everyone on Wearside and Derbyshire knew what that goal meant that night.
It seems like everything came together — the way the game played out, the fact it was televised, under the spotlights at the Stadium of Light, over 44,000 fans making for an incredible atmosphere, and in a game holding so much significance — to make it the perfect time to score such a goal and write your name into club history.