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Graham Anthony Kavanagh (born 2 December 1973) is an Irishmarker footballer who is player/coach for Carlisle United, having also played for Home Farm, Middlesbrough, Stoke City, Cardiff City, Wigan Athletic, Sunderland and two loan spells at Sheffield Wednesday.

Kavanagh is well known for his hard tackling abilities as well as being able to add a creative dimension to his play. Nicknamed G-Man he has recently operated in a holding central midfield role, a slight contrast to his previous role at Cardiff, where he operated a more advanced attacking role as well as being club captain. Kavanagh is easily recognised due to his distinctive grey hair He is known by his team mates as the sheep because of the grey hair and his voice.

Club career

Kavanagh began his career at Home Farm, before joining Middlesbrough in 1991 but struggled to ever hold down a first team place and was sold to Stoke City in 1996, after a short loan spell at the club, for £250,000. He was eventually to move to Cardiff City in 2001 for £1m, and went on to score fifteen times in his first season at the club and help them to promotion the following year when they beat Queens Park Rangers in the Division two play-off final. He scored one of Cardiff's goals as they memorably knocked out then Premiership Leeds United in the FA Cup third round in 2002.

During the 2004-05 season Cardiff chairman Sam Hammam revealed that the club was in serious financial trouble and as such a number of players left the club to attempt to regain losses, including Kavanagh who signed for Wigan Athletic for a fee close to £400,000. Whilst at Wigan he started in the 2006 Football League Cup Final. On 31 August 2006, he signed a three-year deal with Roy Keane's Sunderland for £500,000. During that season he played 14 games, scoring one goal against Leeds, before he was ruled out for the majority of games due to lingering injury problems.

He joined Sheffield Wednesday on 21 September 2007 on a loan deal to regain his fitness where he played seven games, scoring one goal against Watford on October 2. On 29 December, Leicester City made a bid for Kavanagh, together with Márton Fülöp. However, on 31 January 2008 Kavanagh again joined Wednesday on a loan deal until the end of the season.

Kavanagh joined League One side Carlisle United on a month's loan on 10 October 2008. This loan was extended for a further month on 7 November. It was again extended on 18 December and would expire on 3 January 2009. On 9 January, Kavanagh was released by Sunderland and returned to Carlisle on a permanent basis as a player-coach.

International career

Kavanagh has 16 international caps for the Republic of Ireland, the last of which he picked up on 16 August 2006 against the Netherlands.

Personal life

Graham is married to the sister of Liam O'Brien.


With Cardiff City

With Wigan Athletic

With Sunderland


  1. "Kavanagh takes up Carlisle role" BBC Sport Retrieved on 9 January, 2009

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