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Shay Given

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Shay Given started out at Celtic and joined Newcastle from Blackburn Rovers in 1997. He went on loan to Swindon and Sunderland in 1995-1996 because of a lack of first team opportunities and performed magnificently, earning a reputation which spread throughout the game. Kenny Dalglish, who had taken Shay to Blackburn from Celtic in 1994, moved in to bring him to St James' Park for 1.5m.

Shay started getting capped by the Republic of Ireland, and has produced many fantastic displays for his country since 1996.

Given played in the 1998 FA Cup Final loss to Arsenal in his first season after edging out fans favourites Shaka Hislop and Pavel Srnieck, but missed out on the 1999 Final by close friend Steve Harper.

Given lost his place briefly in the first team over Christmas and New Year period in 2000-01 and handed in a transfer request, but decided against it. He earned his place back and played brilliantly throughout the season to earn most fans Player of the Season awards.

Given repeated the feat in 2001-02, but he played so well helping Newcastle to a Champions League spot, that he got into the Barclaycard Premiership Team of the Year. He went on to play in the 2002 World Cup for Ireland, and helped them get to the second round.

Shay played in every league game the following season, producing some fine displays and narrowly missed out on the award for most clean sheets as he helped United to a third position in the table.  He also broke the Newcastle record for most international appearences when he played his 41st game for the Republic in April 2003, beating Alf McMichael's record.

Playing Position: Goalkeeper

Date of Birth: 20th April 1976

Height: 6'0"

Squad Number 1

Date Signed/Fee July 1997/ 1.5m

NUFC debut: 9 August 1997 v Sheff Wednesday (H)

Previous Clubs: Celtic, Swindon (Loan), Sunderland (Loan), Blackburn

International Career: Republic of Ireland full caps

NUFC Games/Goals: 227 (1) 0