Sunderland AFC news: Ex-£5m Black Cats, Newcastle United and Cardiff striker makes non-league move

Former Sunderland and Newcastle United striker Michael Chopra has made a surprise move to non-league football.

Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 7:40 am

The 38-year-old last played for the Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League back in 2016 but has been out of action since his departure six years ago.

Chopra began his career at Newcastle United breaking into the first team set up at St James’ Park after loans with Watford, Nottingham Forest and Barnsley.

A move to Cardiff City followed before Chopra returned to the North East with local rivals Sunderland in a £5 million deal in the summer of 2007.

SUNDERLAND, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 20: Michael Chopra of Sunderland celebrates his first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Middlesbrough at the Stadium Of Light on September 20, 2008 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

In Sunderland’s first game back in the Premier League under Roy Keane following promotion, Chopra netted a late winner on the opening day of the season against Tottenham.

Chopra made 42 appearances in all competitions for Sunderland in his two-season stay on Wearside but found his game time limited by new arrivals and was loaned back out to Cardiff City.

The attacker famously provoked anger from Sunderland fans when opted not to shoot against Newcastle United when he was presented with a late chance to score against his former club in the Tyne-Wear derby.

A permanent move back to South Wales followed before stints at Ipswich Town and Blackpool plus time spent in the Indian Super League with Kerala Blasters and Alloa Athletic in Scotland.

But now Chopra has returned to football to play for West Allotment Celtic, who play in the Ebac Northern League Division One. Manager Gary Somerville added: "He will bring great experience and professionalism to the team and lads as well as goals."