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Thursday, 23 November, 2000, 13:49 GMT
Helmer heads home
Thomas Helmer and Dennis Wise
Helmer in action for Hertha Berlin against Chelsea
German international defender Thomas Helmer has left Sunderland after agreeing a pay-off with the club.

The 35-year-old arrived on a free transfer from Bayern Munich last summer but has been plagued by injury.

"Thomas is an excellent pro, but I just felt his legs had gone and it doesn't give me any pleasure to say that," Peter Reid told the club's official website.

"When he played for us he was a credit, and it has been great to have him here, even though he didn't play that many games."

Helmer made two league appearances for the Black Cats, coming off the bench against Arsenal before starting against Leeds, prior to securing a loan move to Hertha Berlin.

"He went to play in the Champions League with Hertha Berlin so people might question why I didn't use him more but it was my judgement and I'm paid to make those decisions," Reid added.

While with the Berlin club, Helmer, who has won 68 caps for Germany and played in two World Cups, suffered an Achilles injury which effectively ended his season.

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