In 1997 Newcastle United signed a young Shay Given, from Blackburn Rovers. The keeper went on to make 462 appearances, becoming a fan favourite with some famous performances, including European nights.
The goalkeeper, though retired from international service, still continues to play in the Premier League at Stoke City. He has been there to step in for the injured Jack Butland and has made five appearances so far this season.
Reflecting on a long career
In a recent apperance on the BBC's Premier League Show, the former Magpie keeper reflected on his long career. Namely remembering his 12 years on the Tyne fondly.
The ex Republic of Ireland international said, “I don’t really look back in life that much in general. I always try to look to today, tomorrow and the next day."
Given continued, "But, obviously my time at Newcastle - being there almost 12 years - was a very successful time in terms of a playing point of view. I was playing nearly every week."
The now 40 year old has enjoyed many spells at different clubs and he commented on this also, saying “I did enjoy my time at Manchester City too. They were a club really going places and they brought me to the football club when they could have brought any goalkeeper in the world to the club. So I felt really good about that."
However, he states that his time with the Black and White Army was the most memorable: “But probably looking back over the course of my career, to be at a club for that amount of time as I was Newcastle, it’s a long time, and I’ve still got family and friends in the North East as well. I’d like them back in the Premier League as soon as possible."
Back to where it started
Alongside his reflection on his illustrious career, as it begins to come to an end, Given talked about where it all started for him in terms of playing in net: “It started because my dad was a goalkeeper. I used to go and watch him. I probably caught the bug from him."
Given further explained how it runs in his family, "I had four brothers as well, so I used to dive around the garden because I was always in goal."
He added, “But I enjoyed that. I loved them trying to score past me and the jumpers for goalposts, that sort of thing,"
Continuing to paint this picture, he concluded by saying: “I used to dive around the garden like a man possessed and I enjoyed making saves and winding my brothers up. Even then I was trying to be the best I possibly could.”
Though past his best years, the keeper will be noted down in, especially Newcastle United, history as a great.