Cumbrian footballer Scott Carson makes an impression in Manchester City's Champions League match

Scott Carson is currently the third goalkeeper for Manchester City Credit: PA

Whitehaven-born goalkeeper Scott Carson made an unlikely and unexpected return to Champion's League football last night after more than a decade and a half away.

The last time Carson played in the Champions League was for Liverpool against Juventus in 2006 and last night's substitute outing for Manchester City against Sporting completed the longest absence in the competition's history.

The 36-year-old came on for Ederson in the second half to make just his third first-team appearance for the club since joining as a back-up goalkeeper in 2019.

Keeping a clean sheet and pulling off one stunning save to ensure City drew 0-0 with Sporting will have been exceptionally rewarding for a man who must have believed his time in the spotlight was over and that his remaining time in football would be spent making sure others were ready to play on these grand stages.

After the game manager Pep Guardiola praised Carson contribution off the pitch:

"He is very important for us. Behind the scenes the chemistry is fundamental in the locker room and the people listen to him a lot when he talks.

"He made the biggest save to not lose the game."

Scott Carson makes a crucial save during the UEFA Champions League round of sixteen second leg match against Sporting. Credit: PA

Carson's career began at Leeds United back in 2003 - the west Cumbrian then went on to have spells at clubs including Liverpool, Wigan Athletic and Derby County before eventually ending up at City. 

He also represented England on four occasions with numerous appearances at youth level as well.

His time as a first-choice keeper at a Premier League club had looked to have passed with him currently the third choice stopper for Pep Guardiola's team. 

But his ability to roll back the years and show that he still has the ability that once marked him out as an exceptional prospect will have given hope and happiness to many watching that the great days, the memorable moments that make life special aren't always in the past no matter how old you might be.