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Dion Dublin (born 22 April 1969 in Leicestermarker, Leicestershiremarker) is a retired Englishmarker footballer. He was capped four times for England. Dublin started his career as a centre back, but made his name at Cambridge United as a goal-scoring centre forward. However, in his later years he showed his versatility by becoming an accomplished defender. He previously played for Norwich City twice, Cambridge United, Manchester United, Coventry City, Millwall, Aston Villa, Leicester City and Celtic.


Norwich City

Whilst at school in Leicestershire, Dublin played for Wigston Fields; the local team in a small South Leicester village. Dublin then went on to begin his professional footballing career with Norwich City after leaving school in 1985, but he was never given a first team debut and was then released from the club in 1988.

Cambridge United

He then signed for Cambridge United as a centre-half, which had been his position at Norwich. However, his new club recognised that Dublin had greater potential as a striker. United's then manager (Chris Turner) and assistant manager (John Beck) have both since claimed sole credit for spotting Dublin's ability as a striker. Whoever was responsible, very soon his prolific goalscoring helped United to successive promotions. During the 1988-89 Dublin was then loaned out for a short spell to Barnet. The 1989-90 season saw Cambridge promoted from the Fourth via the play-offs, when Dublin became the first ever scorer in a Wembley play-off final. In 1990-91 the club were champions of the Third Division, and the club also reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in both seasons, with Dublin scoring at Arsenal in 1991. In 1991-92, he played a big part in helping Cambridge to their highest ever finishing position in the football league, by finishing in fifth place in the last ever season of the old Second Division, but when Cambridge failed to win promotion to the top flight via the play-offs Dublin was put up for sale. He has since spoken many times of his affection for Cambridge United.

Manchester United

Having seen Dublin in a cup tie, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson signed him for £1million on 7 August 1992, fighting off competition from Chelsea and Everton. Dublin was something of a surprise purchase for United, after Ferguson had tried to sign Alan Shearer from Southampton but lost out to Blackburn Roversmarker.[60983]

Dublin scored in the fourth Premier League game of the 1992-93 season, a last minute winner in United's first Premier league victory - 1-0 over Southampton at The Dell. However, on 2 September he suffered a broken leg against Crystal Palace in a 1-0 win at Old Traffordmarker, when tackled recklessly by Eric Young, and was out of action for six months. By the time he had recovered, however, United had signed Eric Cantona and the Frenchmanmarker was firmly established as first choice strike partner to Mark Hughes. United won the league that season for the first time since 1967, but Dublin failed to make the 10 Premier League appearances required to gain a title winner's medal.

However, Dublin did receive a medal as a result of special dispensation from the Premier League, meaning Goalkeeper Les Sealey was the only major first team player not to get a medal. In 1993-94, Dublin regained his fitness but his first team chances were restricted by the excellent form of Eric Cantona. In December 1993, Ferguson agreed a deal with Everton manager Howard Kendall that would have seen Dublin moving to Goodison Parkmarker, but a member of Everton's board of directors, apparently feeling that Dublin was not worth the money Kendall had offered United, intervened to prevent the transfer going through - this incident led directly to Kendall's resignation as Everton manager and Dublin ended up staying at Old Traffordmarker until the end of the season. He was left out of the FA Cup winning team and failed to make enough appearances to merit another Premier League title winners medal and soon after the end of the season he was sold to Coventry City for £2million. [] [60984]

Coventry City

In four-and-a-half years with Coventry, Dublin established himself as one of the Premier League's top strikers and during the 1997-98 season won the first of his four England full caps. That season, he equalled the Coventry City record for most goals in a top division season with 23 goals in all competitions.

Following Phil Neal's departure in 1995, the arrival of Ron Atkinson and Gordon Strachan would provide Dublin with an attacking team of flair players e.g. Noel Whelan, John Salako and Darren Huckerby to add to the already useful attacking options like Peter Ndlovu. The addition of Gary McAllister following Euro 96 should have provided at least the stability of a top half finish but the Sky Blues often displayed defensive frailities which failed to match Dublin's regular scoring at the other end. This culminated in possibly one of the greatest relegation escapes in Premiership history in May 1997 when Coventry needed results elsewhere to go their way whilst also requiring an away win at White Hart Lane. This game followed on from an away win at Anfield (Dublin scoring in the dying seconds) and a home win against Chelsea. But at Tottenham Hotspur that afternoon, cheered on by a large travelling contingent of Sky Blues fans, Dublin scored in the first half before Paul Williams followed suit in an improbable 2-1 win. The game reached a nerve racking climax, as the two teams played on 15 minutes after the other games had completed -due to crowd congestion issues- and included a memorable late save from City keeper Steve Ogrizovic. The following season however 97/98, would see the Sky Blues enjoy an impressive home record and at long last a season of fulfilled promise and mid table stability. Dublin formed a dynamic partnership with Darren Huckerby which not only produced some memorable league victories but also propelled the Sky Blues to the FA Cup Quarter Final against Sheffield United in 1998. After a 1-1 draw at Highfield Road the Sky Blues went to a replay at Brammall Lane and thanks to a David Burrows goal were just 5 minutes away from an FA Cup semi-final. Alas, Sheffield equalized , sending the game into extra time and eventual penalty heartbreak. The season also saw Dublin share elite status as the Premier League's top scorer with Blackburn'smarker Chris Sutton and Liverpool's Michael Owen - each Englishman scoring 18 league goals. During this season, Blackburn manager Roy Hodgson tabled a bid to bring Dublin to Ewood Parkmarker, but he rejected the offer and stayed at Highfield Roadmarker to help Coventry finish 11th and equal their best Premier League final position yet.

Although many people saw the eventual sale of Robbie Keane in 2000 as the principal catalyst in Coventry City's eventual relegation from the top flight, the goalscoring deficit which resulted from the loss of Dion Dublin is often overlooked. His ability to score over 15 goals per season and clinch vital goals, often in tightly contested relegation battles, was to prove irreplaceable. His transfer to Aston Villa caused some rancour amounst City fans, who suggested a lack of loyalty from the No.9 but today memories have mellowed and no City fan would deny the enormous contribution that Dion Dublin made to the club's fortunes. No other Coventry City player has scored more goals for the Sky Blues in England's top division.

Aston Villa

Despite finishing as the Premier League's joint top scorer during for 1997-98 season, Dublin was controversially excluded from the England 1998 FIFA World Cup squad. However, his exploits at club level were still attracting significant attention and in the autumn of 1998 he chose to move to Coventry's arch-rivals Aston Villa for £5.75m. In his first 3 games for the club, he would score 7 goals including a memorable hat-trick against Southampton in only his second game for the Villans. In December 1999 whilst playing for Aston Villa against Sheffield Wednesday, he sustained a life threatening broken neck as a result of which he permanently has a titanium plate holding three neck vertebrae together. In April 2000, a week after returning to the team, he helped Aston Villa reach their first FA Cup final in 43 years (which they lost 1-0 to Chelsea) scoring a penalty in the semi-final shoot-out with Bolton Wanderers. Having regained his fitness, Dublin remained on the Villa Parkmarker payroll until 2002. Faced with competition for a first team place by Juan Pablo Ángel and Peter Crouch, Dublin spent several weeks on loan at First Division Millwall. In his time there he scored 2 goals (against Stockport County and Grimsby) in 5 league matches to help them in to the play offs where despite Dublin's goal in the first leg of the semi final, Millwall lost to Birmingham City 2-1 on aggregate. Returning to Villa, he found himself again a first choice striker, partnering Darius Vassell up front. Dublin was sent off at Villa Parkmarker for a headbutt on Robbie Savage in the Birmingham derby match, which ended 2-0 to Birmingham City.

Leicester City

When his contract expired in the summer of 2004, he was given a free transfer. He was signed by Leicester City, who had just been relegated from the Barclays Premier League to the newly named Coca Cola Championship. In his first season with the Foxes, he scored only 4 goals in 38 league and cup matches. During season 2005-06 he lost his place as the team's main striker to Mark de Vries, but continued to appear as a defender. His contract at Leicester City was terminated by mutual consent on 30 January 2006.


He was snapped up quickly by Celtic Manager Gordon Strachan, to cover for the loss of Chris Sutton, on a contract until the end of the season. At Celtic, Dublin achieved double success, with Scottish League Cup and Scottish Premier League winner's medals. He came on as a sub and scored the final goal as Celtic won the Scottish League Cup final, and also played enough matches with Celtic to merit a title medal. In the league, he made three league starts and eight substitute appearances for Celtic, scoring once against Kilmarnock. Despite one or two decent performances in the Green and White, Dublin was released by manager Gordon Strachan.

Norwich City (second spell)

On 20 September 2006, Norwich City announced that Dublin had joined them until the end of the 2006–07 season. It marked a return, almost 20 years after leaving, for Dublin to the club where he began his career. He made his debut on 23 September 2006 when he came on as substitute against Plymouth Argyle. He scored his first competitive goal in Norwich City colours in a 3–3 draw against Queens Park Rangers on 14 October 2006 at Loftus Roadmarker. Steve Wilson cited Dublin as the main inspiration behind Norwich's 4–1 FA Cup 3rd Round win at Tamworth, in which the striker scored two goals and set up numerous chances for other team mates. Dublin was an important figure in Norwich securing safety from relegation to League One and the supporters recognised his contribution by voting him in second place in the Norwich City player of the year award, and on 23 May 2007 he ended speculation about his future by signing a new 1-year contract at Norwich, keeping him at the club until the end of the 2007–08 season. On 2 September 2007, Dublin, whilst a pundit on the Aston Villa v Chelsea game, said that this season would be his last as a footballer, citing the fact that his 'bones have started to talk to him' as the reason, meaning that he didn't think his body can handle another season.

During Spring 2008, Dublin was approached by Jimmy Quinn, then manager of Cambridge United, about joining his old club for the 2008–09 season. However, the player would not change his mind about retiring. He was voted the club's Player of the Year and awarded the Barry Butler trophy on 26 April 2008 in his final season as a footballer, at his penultimate game, and on his final appearance at Carrow Roadmarker. Dublin played his final game on 4 May 2008, featuring in Norwich's 4–1 loss to Sheffield Wednesday in front of 36,208 fans at Hillsboroughmarker – the highest Championship attendance that season. When he was taken off in the 66th minute, Dublin received a standing ovation from both sets of supporters, players and referee Mark Clattenburg.

After football

Since retiring, Dublin has worked in the media as a pundit for Sky Sports. As well as appearing on Ford Super Sunday with Richard Keys, Dublin has done commentary on a number of games including the UEFA Champions League games with Martin Tyler.

Career statistics


  1. [1]
  2. Match report on Soccerbase

1987-88 Norwich City First Division 0 0
1988-89 Cambridge United Fourth Division 21 6
1989-90 46 15
1990-91 Third Division 46 16
1991-92 Second Division 43 15
1992-93 Manchester United Premier League 7 1
1993-94 5 1
1994-95 Coventry City Premier League 31 13
1995-96 34 14
1996-97 34 13
1997-98 36 18
1998-99 10 3
1998-99 Aston Villa Premier League 24 11
1999-00 26 12
2000-01 33 8
2001-02 21 4
2001-02 Millwall First Division 5 2
2002-03 Aston Villa Premier League 28 10
2003-04 23 3
2004-05 Leicester City Championship 37 5
2005-06 21 0

2005-06 Celtic Premier League 11 1

2006-07 Norwich City Championship 33 5
2007-08 37 7

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