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The Ones That Got Away…Shay Given

The Ones That Got Away…Shay Given

Full Name: Seamus "Shay" Given
Date of Birth: 20th April 1976, Lifford
Nationality: Irish
Position: Goalkeeper
Internationals: Over 70 caps for the Republic of Ireland
Signed: 1994 (from Celtic)
Left: 1997 (Sold for £1.5 million to Newcastle United)
Clubs: (Prior to Rovers) Celtic, (after Rovers) Newcastle United

Shay Given, one of the finest goalkeepers in the Premiership at the moment would be brought to Blackburn Rovers by Kenny Dalglish, unfortunately for him at the time he would be up against and England International...

The Irish goalkeeper would be playing for his local men's side, Lifford Celtic by the time he was 14-years-old, and these appearances during the FAI's Junior Cup as Lifford advanced to the semi finals would be enough to alert the attention of Scottish giants Celtic.

When aged just 15 Given was invited to join Celtic by Liam Brady when they toured Ireland, signing for the club at 16-years-old. For the next two years he would represent Celtic at U18 level, being able to make the substitutes bench for the Old Firm game with Glasgow Rangers early in 1994.

Kenny Dalglish brought Given to Ewood Park for the 1994-1995 Championship winning season but in three-years with the club Given would only be able to make three first team appearances, always performing superbly well when called upon.

With the then England International Tim Flowers, although not the England number One as opposition for Given, with Flowers in his prime during Given's time with Rovers the Irishman would be very unlucky.

In order to gain first team football Given would have loan spells firstly with Swindon Town in 1995 and then, and spectacularly Sunderland in 1996, and it would be whilst with them that he would first be called into the Republic of Ireland squad.

In 17 games with Sunderland he kept an incredible 16 clean sheets. He would also win a Division One Champions medal when Sunderland won the Title despite not being with them when it was achieved, his ten or more matches needed qualified him for the honour.

Upon taking over at Newcastle United Shay Given would be one of Kenny Dalglish`s first signings in 1997 for £1.5 million. He would almost immediately become the number one at St James' Park, remaining so almost ever since.

His consistent performances have seen him named in the PFA team of the Year in both the 2001-2002 and 2005-2006 seasons, as well as amounting over 70 International caps with the Republic of Ireland, being their number one, as he has for so many years, in the 2002 World Cup Finals.

Had it not been for competition from the great Tim Flowers, Shay Given could have still been at Rovers now? Despite eventually seeing the fantastic Brad Friedel arriving that not many would swap for anyone, Shay Given certainly is one that got away...

The above information is as accurate to my knowledge as possible, up to and including 26th September 2006.

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Date:Sunday October 1 2006
Time: 9:42AM


Quality keeper isn't he, but I'd guess if he was at Ewood now he'd be out injured! Would mean Jason Brown would be getting a chance to shine, assuming Brad Friedel wouldn't have been signed anyway? We'll never know!
Hughes Da Man
01/10/2006 09:53:00
It's interesting because most Rovers would have loved to have kept Shay after seeing his performance for Newcastle but then we wouldn't have our hero Brad. I would rather have Brad!!!
01/10/2006 10:39:00
well ive never seen Tim Flowers play but from what ive herd he wasnt too bad same though if we had shay now or a few years back just think of where we would be now he is a class keeper but if we did have him would we of got friedel or brown ? We will never know
01/10/2006 12:23:00
Flowers was pure quality, had David Seaman not been around at the time he'd have been the England number one for years! Given was always too good to play second fiddle, even to the great Flowers. Had Given stayed and played Flowers would have gone, so at the time Flowers was the right choice. Don't think Friedel would have arrived had Given stayed, Brown would have though. Interesting to try and think what might have been had he not have been one that got away...
Hughes Da Man
01/10/2006 13:01:00
Hi Da Man i wanted to say that all the newspappers here in Egypt sais that Blackburn has begun negotiations with another Egyptian Center back called Amir Azmy Megahed who palyes for FC poak the greek football club so if u can check and know if this is true or not i would be gratful .
01/10/2006 14:53:00
I dont even remember him at Rovers!!!
01/10/2006 18:05:00
I had read something somewhere about Rovers maybe picking up a defender and now, not waiting until January so maybe Megahed is the one?
Hughes Da Man
02/10/2006 00:13:00
He was at Ewood simmy8_2000 just couldn't get a look in because of Tim Flowers, although he was very young at the time. Would have only been what 18 when he arrived, 21 when he left.
Hughes Da Man
02/10/2006 00:14:00
Given was def a good keeper but like was said when he was at the club he wouldnt have got a chance, Flowers was great but do think Friedel is the best the club have had in a long long time, up there with Hendry as one of the best players i've seen play in the clubs colours
02/10/2006 14:53:00
True Clint, can't complain with who they had in Flowers, who they got in Friedel and who they will eventually have now in Brown can we! Hendry will take his place in the Where are they now section soon, probably legends section also.
Hughes Da Man
02/10/2006 16:03:00
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