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Séamus John James "Shay" Given (born 20 April 1976) is an Irishmarker footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Manchester City and the Republic of Ireland. After leaving Celtic in 1994 having been deemed surplus to requirements and after just 19 starts for the club, Given was part of the Sunderland team who won the Football League First Division title in 1995–96, while on loan from Blackburn Roversmarker.

He was signed by Newcastle United in 1997, and it was there that he began competing to be a first-choice Premier League goalkeeper. Given was part of the teams who came runners-up in the 1998 and 1999 FA Cup campaigns, and was named in the Premier League Team of the Season for 2001–02 and 2005–06. He played in the Champions League and UEFA Cup with Newcastle, and was involved in the club's title challenge in 2001–02. Although he submitted a transfer request during the 2000–01 campaign after losing his position in the starting lineup, it was denied, and Given went on to regain his place. On 1 February 2009, Given transferred to Manchester City for an undisclosed fee reported to be around £5.9 million.

He gained his first international cap in 1996, and has since competed in every FIFA World Cup qualifying and European Championship qualifying campaign for his national team. He played in goal during every match for his country during the 2002 FIFA World Cup campaign, helping them to reach the knockout stages. With 102 national caps, Given is the Republic of Ireland's joint most-capped player alongside Steve Staunton and Kevin Kilbane.

Club career

Early career

Born in Lifford, Co. Donegal in 1976, Given's footballing career began at local amateur side Lifford Celtic. He was propelled into the limelight when he played in the Football Association of Ireland's Junior Cup for Lifford Celtic in the semi-final in Dundalk. At the age of 14, Given's performances for the club attracted attention from Scottish side Celtic, the club he supports, and he was invited to train with their youth side during a pre-season tour of Ireland in 1991. Given signed for the club a year later, which was at the time managed by fellow Irishman Liam Brady. He spent two years at Celtic in the Scottish League, and despite being named to the substitutes bench for the Old Firm derby against Rangers on 1 January 1994, Given never made a first-team appearance. His performances for the youth team did, however, bring him to the attention of Blackburn Roversmarker manager Kenny Dalglish, and he signed for the English side on a free transfer in the summer of 1994.

Blackburn Rovers

The season after Given's arrival saw Blackburn win the Premier League title and Given was unable to oust first-choice goalkeeper and England international Tim Flowers from the team. He made two loan moves to Swindon Town. Given acted as understudy during his first spell at the Wiltshire club but helped them start their Championship winning Division Two campaign during the 1995−96 season. He played in five games for the Swindon before returning to Blackburn at the end of 1995. Given was sent on loan again in January 1996, this time to Division One side Sunderland. Given kept 12 clean sheets during his 17 games for the club, and formed part of the team who won promotion to the Premier League as champions. His performances on loan again caught the eye of Kenny Dalglish, who had recently been appointed manager of Newcastle United. Given signed for the North-East club in the summer of 1997 for a fee of £1.5 million.

Newcastle United

Given in Newcastle kit
Given was one of the first signings of then-newly appointed manager Dalglish. Given made his debut in Newcastle's 2–1 home victory over Sheffield Wednesday on 9 August 1997 and immediately established himself in the first team, beating fellow goalkeepers Pavel Srníček, Shaka Hislop and Steve Harper to the position. Newcastle advanced to the final of the FA Cup, and Given played the whole match as the team were defeated 2–0 by league champions Arsenal. The club also progressed to the final the following year, but Given was replaced by Steve Harper as Newcastle lost 2–0 in the final, this time to Manchester United.

Given submitted a written transfer request in December 2000, after failing to regain his place in the first-team from Steve Harper after a thigh injury had ruled him out of a match against Leeds United. Then-manager Sir Bobby Robson stated at the time: "A lot of clubs have a very good goalkeeper and one who stands by. I think we have two keepers - and Harper is proving that - who can play in the Premiership". The club rejected Given's request, which was then withdrawn by the goalkeeper, who later stated that his "intention was simply to express [his] frustration at being left out of the team," and that he "never had any intention of actually leaving the club." An injury to Harper led to Given being recalled to the first team, and he kept his place for the rest of the season.

In the 2001–02 season, Given played in every Premier League match as Newcastle's previously unexpected title challenge ended in a fourth-place finish in the league. Given was selected in the PFA Team of the Year and Newcastle's league position meant that they would enter the qualifying stages of the UEFA Champions League the following season.

During the summer he competed in the 2002 World Cup, but could not prevent the Republic of Ireland being eliminated by Spain after a penalty shoot-out.

Given warming up for Newcastle in 2007
Given again found himself competing with Steve Harper during the following season. After a 5–0 qualifying round win, Newcastle progressed to the group stages of the Champions League. He played in the first three group matches, all of which Newcastle lost. Given found himself out of the team for the next two games, as Harper replaced him in goal. Given returned for the final group match against Feyenoord in the Netherlands, and Newcastle's 3–2 win meant that they qualified for the second round. Internazionale scored four times past Given as Newcastle lost 1–4 in their opening match in the second group stage. Newcastle conceded a further three times away to Barcelona, beat Bayer Leverkusen at home and in Germany, and drew with Inter at San Siro, however a 2–0 loss at home against Barcelona meant that the club finished third in their group and failed to qualify for the knockout stages. Given played every game in the second round. Given played all 38 league games for the club, as well as his 12 European appearances, as the team finished in third place in the Premier League, meaning the club would enter the Champions League qualifying round in 2003–04.

Having finished third in the league in May 2003, Given and Newcastle lost 4–3 on penalties to Partizan Belgrade early in the 2003–04 season, meaning that Newcastle failed to reach the group stages of the Champions League. The club instead qualified for the UEFA Cup, where they reached the quarter-finals. A fifth-place finish in the league meant that the club qualified for the following season's UEFA Cup competition. Given played in every one of the club's league matches for a third successive season, as well as all 13 European games. The following year saw Graeme Souness replace Sir Bobby Robson as Newcastle manager after an early spell of poor form. Given overtook Alan Shearer as having played in the most European matches for the club on 16 September 2004 in a game against Bnei Sakhnin, and Given's 12 European and 3 FA Cup appearances helped Newcastle reach the UEFA Cup quarter-final and the FA Cup semi-final. Given missed two Premier League games as the club finished in 14th place.

Although the club entered the Intertoto Cup in 2005–06, a defeat by Spanish club Deportivo de La Coruña meant that they did not qualify for further European competition that season. Given played in all of the club's league matches as they finished in seventh position and he signed a new five-year contract with the club in the summer. His performances for Newcastle led to Given being named in the Premier League's Team of the Season. Given played in all of the club's FA Cup games as they reached the quarter-finals, and captained the team for three games during Alan Shearer's absence.

On 17 September 2006, Given suffered a one-centimeter tear in his bowel after a tackle by West Ham United striker Marlon Harewood. Doctors likened the injury to one more likely to happen in a car crash. Then-manager Glenn Roeder signed ex-Newcastle veteran Srníček as cover for Harper, and youth goalkeeper Tim Krul played a full match in Newcastle's 0–1 UEFA Cup win at Palermo on 2 November. Given returned on 18 November for Newcastle's 1–1 Premier League draw at Arsenal, and ended the season with 22 league appearances as the club finished in 13th place, and reached the last 16 of the UEFA Cup. Given did make his 400th appearance for the club during the season, however, in a New Year's Day match. Given's 2007–08 season was prematurely ended by injury in February when he had an occurrence of an old groin injury in the game with Manchester United.

The opening months of Newcastle's 2008–09 season were blighted by ownership and managerial turmoil, as well as numerous injury problems. This manifested itself on the pitch as the club struggled to direct itself clear of the relegation zone. On 2 January 2009, following the 5-1 defeat at home against Liverpool, in which Given had almost single-handedly kept his side in the game for the first half-hour, the player's lawyer released a statement saying that his client was "considering his future" at Newcastle, and requested permission to talk to representatives of Manchester City on 28 January after the club made a bid of £5 million which was subsequently rejected. Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear had already stated that the club was "not interested at all in selling him", and described the amount on offer for Given as "insulting". However, on 30 January, it was reported that Newcastle had given permission for Given to enter talks with his suitors.. After a transfer fee initially reported to be around £8 million was agreed between the clubs, Given signed for Manchester City on 1 February, with the transfer window set to close the following day. Although the fee for Given was expected to be around £8 million, in February 2009 Newcastle United Managing Director Derek Llambias revealed at a supporters panel meeting that Shay Given had been sold for an initial £5.9 million. Given was 34 games away from breaking Newcastle United's appearance record held by Jimmy Lawrence.

Manchester City

Given was formally paraded as a Manchester City player on 5 February, and was assigned squad number 37. In the subsequent press conference, he criticised Newcastle's management for not trying hard enough to keep him at the club. He also said that "I also felt that I should be at a club where we should be challenging for honours.You have a short career, and I didn't want to finish my career and later think that I regret it not taking this opportunity in joining Manchester City". Later in the interview he also mentioned that he believed "That the club would definitely take off and be going places over the next few years, and I am just honoured that the manager picked me to be part of this". Given kept a clean sheet in a man of the match performance in his debut, a 1-0 win against Middlesbrough on 7 February. He made his 500th Club appearance in a 2-1 win over FC Copenhagen on 26 February 2009. With Joe Hart leaving the club on loan Shay was given the number 1 jersey for the coming season. He made 400th League Appearance on 5 October 2009 against Aston Villa.

International career

Although he did not become a regular first team player for Blackburn Rovers, Given's performances while on loan at Swindon and Sunderland led to him being called up to the Republic of Ireland squad in 1996. He made his debut for the national team on 27 March 1996, in a game against Russia, and although Ireland failed to qualify for the 1998 World Cup or Euro 2000, Given had established himself as first-choice goalkeeper by 2002, and played in all of his nation's games at the 2002 World Cup. With draws against Cameroon and Germany and a 3–0 win against Saudi Arabia, the team reached the second round of the competition. Meeting Spain in the knockout round, Ireland forced penalties with the score at 1–1 at the end of extra time. Three missed penalties for Ireland ended their participation in the tournament, and Spain progressed to the next round. Given was part of the team for most of the World Cup 2006 qualifying campaign, however a draw with Switzerland meant Ireland failed to qualify for the finals of the competition in Germany. He equalled Packie Bonner's record of 80 caps against Slovakia on 28 March 2007, and is currently Ireland's second highest capped player and most capped goalkeeper, having played in 100 games for his country. Given obtained his 100th cap against Montenegro at Croke Parkmarker, Dublinmarker on 14 October 2009 in a 2010 World Cup qualifying game. On the 18th of November 2009 the Republic of Ireland were controversially denied passage to the World Cup by France. Ireland were eliminated by a goal scored by William Gallas after Thierry Henry had clearly handled the ball. Despite vigorous protests from Given among others the goal was allowed to stand.

Outside football

Given married Jane Cunningham in Hexhammarker, England, in a Roman Catholic ceremony in 2001. The couple received a papal blessing from Pope John Paul II, himself an amateur goalkeeper in his youth. They have two children: a boy, Shayne, born in 2004, and a girl, Sienna, born in 2007. In 2006 Given was awarded the freedom of County Donegal in a ceremony in his home town, Lifford.

Statistics

As of 5 October 2009




Honours

Sunderland:


Newcastle United:


References

  1. Retrieved on 30 December 2008
  2. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/8283753.stm
  3. Russia v Republic of Ireland stats. BBC Sport (6 October 2002) Retrieved on 10 May 2009


External links



1993–94 Celtic Premier Division 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

1994–95 Blackburn Roversmarker Premier League 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
1995–96 Swindon Town Second Division 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
1995–96 Sunderland First Division 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 0
1996–97 Blackburn Roversmarker Premier League 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
1997–98 Newcastle United 24 0 4 0 0 0 6 0 34 0
1998–99 31 0 6 0 2 0 1 0 40 0
1999–2000 14 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 17 0
2000–01 34 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 35 0
2001–02 38 0 5 0 1 0 6 0 50 0
2002–03 38 0 1 0 0 0 12 0 51 0
2003–04 38 0 2 0 0 0 13 0 53 0
2004–05 36 0 3 0 1 0 12 0 52 0
2005–06 38 0 4 0 2 0 3 0 47 0
2006–07 22 0 2 0 1 0 8 0 33 0
2007–08 19 0 3 0 2 0 0 0 24 0
2008–09 22 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 26 0
Manchester City 15 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 21 0
2009–10 7 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 9 0
0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0
400||0||34||0||16||0||67||0||518||0
400||0||34||0||15||0||67||0||518||0

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