Today's Shay Given Talking Points
Séamus John James "Shay" Given (born 20 April 1976) is an Irish professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Premier League club Stoke City.
Having surpassed the total of 100 caps required for membership, he is part of the FIFA Century Club. Given gained his first international cap in 1996 and played in goal during every match for his country during the 2002 FIFA World Cup campaign, helping them reach the knockout stage. He was later on the pitch in Paris when the Republic of Ireland were knocked out of the play-offs for a spot in the 2010 FIFA World Cup by France before helping his team qualify for UEFA Euro 2012. Given played at UEFA Euro 2012 and was selected in Martin O'Neill's 23-man squad for UEFA Euro 2016 but didn't appear in any of Ireland's four matches at the tournament. Given is the second most capped Republic of Ireland player (after Robbie Keane). He announced his international retirement in July 2016, having amassed 134 caps for his country and kept 52 clean sheets.
Given started his career at Celtic, however he never made a first-team appearance and he was released and signed by Blackburn Rovers on a free transfer in 1994. Given was part of both the Sunderland team who won the Football League First Division title in 1995–96 and the Swindon Town team who won the Football League Second Division title that same season, while on loan from Blackburn Rovers. He was signed by Newcastle United in 1997 for a fee of £1.5 million, 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 UEFA 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 line-up, it was denied, and Given went on to regain his place.
On 1 February 2009, Given transferred to Manchester City for £6 million on a four-and-a-half year contract. While Given was at Manchester City, the club qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in its history after finishing third in the Premier League, as well as winning the FA Cup, though he did not appear in the league in the campaign that City reached the Champions League, nor did he play in the FA Cup. On 18 July 2011, he joined Aston Villa for a fee believed to be around £3.5 million, signing a five-year contract. Four years later, Given joined Stoke City in July 2015.Close