Whitehead was appointed Black Cats captain last season by manager Roy Keane having joined the club from Oxford in 2004 in a deal which ultimately cost £325,000.
The player has so far won two Championship titles with Sunderland in 2005 and 2007.
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2007, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms