Liam Lawrence (December 14, 1981 in Retford) is an English-born Irish football right winger, who currently plays for Stoke City.
Sunderland signed Lawrence from Mansfield Town in 2004. He was renowned at Mansfield Town for the major role he played in helping reach the 03-04 play-off final. He won player of the season for the Stags with some eye-catching performances. He quickly won the fans at Sunderland over following his transfer with his determined and committed style of play. Despite missing a penalty for Mansfield in the Division 3 play-off final, it was clear that Lawrence was a great prospect and was spotted by Sunderland manager Mick McCarthy and his scouting staff.
Lawrence had a promising first season at Sunderland, scoring 6 goals in 32 appearances, including two superb strikes against Wolves at the Stadium of Light. He also helped create one of the most important goals in Sunderland's season, scored by Marcus Stewart, against Wigan Athletic at the JJB Stadium.
Following Sunderland's promotion to the Premiership in 2005, Lawrence found himself in and out of the first team squad for the first few months of the 05/06 season. Despite this, Lawrence still made 23 starts and 10 substitute appearances for the club, scoring stunning goals against Fulham, Chelsea, and Sunderland's bitter rivals Newcastle United at St James' Park. Although the season ended in disaster for Sunderland, who were relegated with a then record low of 15 points, Lawrence ended the season as runner up to team-mate Dean Whitehead for the annual Player of the Year award, and was seen as one of Sunderland's better performers.
On February 16, 2006, Lawrence received his first international call-up, for the Republic of Ireland in their friendly game against Sweden on March 3. He was one of four young Premiership players to receive their first international call-ups in Steve Staunton's first squad as Republic of Ireland manager, however, was only named as an unused substitute.
On August 1, 2006, Lawrence signed a new 4-year contract with Sunderland until 2010 however in the January 2007 transfer window, he was sold to Stoke for an initial fee of £500,000. Lawrence has become a popular player at Stoke after he gelled quickly with other on loan players and has also weighed in with some important goals. Lawrence scored a hat-trick including two penalties against Barnsley in a 3-3 draw. He also won Stoke City Player Of The Year for the 2007-08 season. In May 2009 he scored the winner in the 2-1 win at Hull City that guaranteed Premier League football for Stoke City for the 2009/2010 season. On May 18, 2009 he was named in the Republic of Ireland squad for the friendly against Nigeria and subsequently made his debut at Craven Cottage on May 29, 2009.