Cult Hero 09: Danny Sonner

When one talks about Danny Sonner to Vale fans, you can be certain of a mixed reaction as he’s one of those players who divides opinion.

Name: Danny Sonner
Cult credentials: Journeyman, long hair, showmanship, controversy
Time at Vale: 2005-2007
Appearances: 75
Goals: 2

So, why pick him as a cult hero?

Well, Sonner has some decent cult credentials.

A nomadic career that took him to 14 clubs, including a spell in German football. He never stayed at any of his clubs for more than two seasons. In effect, Sonner was the classic journeyman.

He never stayed at any of his clubs for more than two seasons. In effect, Sonner was the classic journeyman…

But while his stays were brief, they were often memorable.

He joined Vale in 2005. In the Vale team of that period, we were used to ‘hard-working’ midfielders – short hair, high energy, limited skill – the likes of Tony Dinning, Mark Innes and Robin Hulbert.

Then Sonner arrived… and immediately stood out.

He had flowing locks, strolled through the game, barely breaking sweat, pinging the ball, often with pin-point accuracy, to his teammates.

He was, in effect, a continental-style midfielder with a North West accent. But Sonner’s playing style caused endless debate.

Was he effortlessly controlling play through his vision and craft? Or was he a one-paced showboater with little to offer other than ‘Hollywood’ passes?

The jury is still out and Sonner’s name still causes frequent debate on this very messageboard.

Unfortunately, Sonner’s stay at Vale ended in controversy.

Sonner felt he was worth more and told the media: “I deserve a rise and a decent offer. The club wants me to play for next to nothing. If they carry on paying Conference wages, then the club is going nowhere. They talk about promotion, but don’t want to keep players.”

Vale chairman Bill Bratt responded by saying that: “The manager had faith in Danny to pluck him from Peterborough reserves and to offer him another contract with better terms… if he thinks he is on next to nothing he should try working in the pottery industry for 40 hours a week for £200.”

We don’t think Danny’s future lies in pottery, but you could be sure he’d catch the eye and do it with style if he ever took it up… no doubt, dividing opinion along the way!

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