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Philip Andrew Babb (born 30 November 1970 in Lambethmarker, Londonmarker) is a former Englishmarker-born Irishmarker professional football, who played mainly as a central defender.

Football career

Babb began his career with Millwall FC as a trainee, but failed to make an appearance for the first team before signing for Bradford City in the summer of 1990, after their relegation to the Football League Third Division.

He scored on his debut for the club as a substitute in their 2-1 win over Reading in the league on 8 September 1990. He would make 34 appearances in the league that season and score 10 goals - making him one of the highest scoring defenders in the Football League that season. His good form continued into the following season, as he played in all 46 league games and scored 4 goals. However, he was unable to lift Bradford out of the Third Division, and when Coventry City made a £500,000 bid for him at the end of the season, he accepted the offer and the transfer went ahead on 21 July 1992. [254900]

Babb went straight into the first team at Highfield Roadmarker as the "Sky Blues" became founder members of the FA Premier League, and defied all the odds to avoid relegation in 1992-93. Although they finished 15th in the final table, they had spent much of the season in the top five and managed a string of impressive results - particularly a 5-1 home win over Liverpool. Babb's strong form continued into 1993-94, as he helped Coventry finish 11th. He played three games for them in 1994-95 before completing a £3.6million move to Liverpool on 1 September 1994. At the time, he was the most expensive defender in English football. [254901]

Babb struggled to adapt to the tactics employed by manager Roy Evans, although he did play regularly as they finished fourth in 1995 (also winning the Football League Cup), third in 1996 (also being FA Cup runners-up), fourth in 1997 (after leading the table for most of the season until late January), and third in 1998. [254902] He scored once during his time at Liverpool, ironically against his former club Coventry in September 1996.

Babb fell out of favour with new boss Gérard Houllier, who took over at the start of the 1998-99 season, and had a loan spell at Tranmere Rovers before leaving the club on a Bosman transfer in the summer of 2000. He signed for Sporting Clube de Portugal and was voted the best defender in his second season, as the Lions conquered both the league and cup. He later moved to Sunderland AFC, overseeing their relegation in 2003, and retired a year later after watching them narrowly miss out on promotion and suffer an FA Cup semi-final defeat.

Babb's career hit controversy in August 2000, when he and Mark Kennedy were ordered home from the Republic of Ireland squad after appearing in court accused of causing criminal damage, causing a breach of the peace and being drunk and disorderly. They were rolling across car bonnets while replicating scenes from Starsky and Hutch, but unfortunately chose an unmarked police car.

Babb earned 35 full international caps, including four complete matches at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, as the nation reached the last-16. His final match for Ireland was an Euro 2004 qualifier against Russia, played in Moscowmarker. He would come into the game as an 85th-minute substitute, with his first touch of the ball being diverted behind Irish goalkeeper Shay Given for an own goal. The Republic of Ireland lost the game 4–2, with ironically all three of manager Mick McCarthy's substitutes (Gary Doherty, Clinton Morrison and Babb) "scoring".

In 2006, Babb helped to save the award-winning publication Golf Punk Magazine. He, alongside former Sunderland teammates Thomas Sorensen, Michael Gray, Jason McAteer and Stephen Wright, had been an earlier investor in the publication.

References

  1. Keane faces fitness test
  2. Opening Euro scare for France
  3. Babb bails out Golf Punk


External links




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