Shay Given Just Concentrates On Next Game

Shay Given, our great Irish goalkeeper makes his 451st appearance for the club on Saturday and he talked yesterday of his chances of overtaking Jimmy Lawrence, who was born February 16, 1885 in Glasgow, and played for Newcastle United 496 times between 1904-1921.

Shay Given – practicing for Ireland last year
Shay said yesterday:

“I don’t look at it too much. I made my 450th appearance against Aston Villa, but I didn’t know that before the game.” “I always just look to the next game, given the injuries I’ve had in the last couple of years.”

“You’re one challenge away from never playing again, so I don’t like to look too far ahead.” “I’d love to get it, but if I don’t, then so be it. You just do your best for the club, and see where that takes you.”

Given was a Kenny Dalglish signing back in the summer of 1997, and we were at his debut at St. James’ Park against Sheffield Wednesday in August of that year, when we won 2-1, with two goals from Faustino Asprilla.

We paid just £1.5M for the Irishman, when we got him from Blackburn Rovers, in the summer of 1997, and his performances so far this season suggest that he has returned as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League. He has twice been voted the best goalkeeper in the Premier league by his fellow players.

The 3 players still above Shay in the number of appearances for Newcastle are:

Jimmy Lawrence (1904-22) – 496
Frank Hudspeth (1910-29) – 472
Frank Clark (1962-75) – 457

Frank Clark of course played in our 1969 Fairs Cup win, when Bobby Moncur captained the side.

Given wants to stay at Newcastle United and finally win that trophy for our faithful fans, and he said yesterday:

“A lot of players’ loyalties towards their clubs gets questioned, but I’ve been very happy from day one at this club.” “I just want to get the club back moving forward again.”

“The fans, and the whole place, deserves to be back challenging again with the big boys at the top. We’re a bit off that, and we need to get back there.”

Given is scheduled to make his 91st appearance for Ireland in next Wednesday’s friendly with Poland at Croke Park in Dublin. This will make Shay, Ireland’s joint third most-capped player, along with current Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn.

Former Sunderland winger Kevin Kilbane will make his 92nd appearance if he gets a game next Wednesday, and Steve Staunton has the current record with 102 matches for Ireland to his name.

Given is a real professional and a terrific role model for the kids, and all he wants to do for the next few years is continue playing for Ireland and Newcastle United, and we can even see Shay getting better, if anything, in the future.

He’s been a wonderful servant to the Newcastle United club.
Comments welcome.

15 comments so far

  • AO

    Nov 13, 2008 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #1

    Here is a message for the whining, whingeing, self-pitying, self-indulgent and deluded fans on Tyneside, otherwise known as the Toon Army: Kevin Keegan is not the Messiah; Alan Shearer is not an aspect of the trinity; Mike Ashley is not the Devil; Tony Jimenez is not on the secret payroll of Sunderland; and Dennis Wise is not an evil dwarf.

    Newcastle United are not a “massive” club and do not have a divine right to remain in the Premier League; St James’ Park is not the world’s greatest stadium; and, in case you were wondering, your team will not break into the top four any time soon, with or without Ashley, Keegan, Wise or any of the other men who are heroes, villains and sometimes both in the febrile imaginations of the world’s most whimsical supporters.

    Oh, and you are not the most loyal, valiant and wonderfully dependable fans on the planet. Check out the attendances when Newcastle were languishing in the second division at the start of the 1990s and you will get the measure of the myth that has clung to the black-and-white-shirted men and women for far too long. That’s right, they were often much fewer than 20,000 and with the Gallowgate end partially deserted. Is that what you call loyalty?

    The banners castigating Ashley for being a southerner during Saturday’s comically self-important protest were the final straw for many of us who have long endured the tedious soap opera on Tyneside. That and the ill-informed, conspiracy-laden and melodramatic messages posted on the dozens of message boards that these fans seem to spend their lives reading.

    Wise likes a challenge but this is lost cause
    Where is the gallows humour, the sense of irony, the satirical edge? Where is the old-fashioned self-mockery that characterises most other groups of English football fans when their team are having a bad time of it?

    The only way that Newcastle fans are ever going to be truly happy is when they have formed a collective to buy the club and have made a pig’s ear, as they inevitably would, of a kind that would make Freddy Shepherd’s last remaining strands stand on end. When they have rehired Keegan to manage the team, Shearer to be his assistant and the ghost of Jackie Milburn to do the scouting. When they have got control of the club and discovered that their own volatility makes it practically ungovernable.

    Sure, passion and commitment are great things and we all know that in a big city with only one football club, there is bound to be a siege mentality and more than a little self-absorption. But many Newcastle fans have turned navel-gazing into an art form. They need to get out more and discover that their beloved club, who have not won a trophy for decades, are virtually unknown beyond these shores. They need a little perspective, not least in terms that passion does not equate to knowledge, nor does enthusiasm equate to expertise on how to run a football club.

    This is a group of fans who agitated for the sacking of Sam Allardyce after only six months because the football was not pretty enough, even though he had put in place a much-needed science support structure and cleared out the dead wood from the Shepherd era. These are fans who want nothing to do with Ashley because he is from “down South” and because he insisted on a continental scouting system to support a manger who, by his own admission, had not attended a live match for three years and so was the last person who could have done the scouting job.

    Sure, mistakes were made by Ashley, not least in the appointment of Keegan – something that was bound to end in tears – and in spheres of responsibility not being properly spelt out to the main protagonists. But let’s get real. The fundamental problem with Newcastle is no longer the corporate management, but those who used to be described as the club’s greatest assets: the fans – or at least those who are making all the noise at present.

    first post

  • beyethegreat

    Nov 13, 2008 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #2


    why do you come on here

  • Monster

    Nov 13, 2008 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #3

    In fairness to AO, at least his hypocrisy is amusing.


    Nov 13, 2008 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #4

    Completely off topic AO!

    Given is the most outstanding newcaslte professional and his loyality will pay out! Thank you Given – also for the many years to come!

    I rate him today as the one equal to Gigi Buffon!

  • singapore magpie

    Nov 13, 2008 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #5

    i want to ask the same qns as beyethegreat. hahaha don’t you have a spurs fan blog to visit? so happy to have you here.. keep supporting newcastle AO! 🙂

  • KK FOREVER (Ross)

    Nov 13, 2008 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #6

    Here AO, you’ve posted that on like the past four aticles, how desperate are you to have people read this few paragraphs you’ve wrote slagging newcastle off? you seem pretty excited about it, saying as you’re going to all this effort!
    you’re merely forcing me to scroll further down every page i read, as i read the first two or 3 lines before ignoring it, as i’m sure everyone else did. Give up, nobody cares what you think son!

  • AO

    Nov 13, 2008 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #7

    Jossies giants are the most famous team in newcastle.

  • beyethegreat

    Nov 13, 2008 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #8

    arsenals the most famous team in north london

  • AO

    Nov 13, 2008 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #9

    beythegreat- correct!

  • The Alchemist

    Nov 13, 2008 at 3:11 PM

    Comment #10

    AO what is the point of you coming on here trying to wind us up. People come on here to try and have a decent discussion about the toon. None of us think we are a ‘top 4 club’ ask any nufc fan what they want and they’ll say ‘Stability, supporting the manager with funds, and a team that goes out and attacks opponents’

    Now wind your neck in and **** off!

  • lesh

    Nov 13, 2008 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #11

    Let’s hope the rest of the defence concentrate on the game!!

  • lesh

    Nov 13, 2008 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #12

    As far as AO’s concerned, don’t encourage the plonker by responding to her/his juvenile taunts.

    S/he’s obviously got an a desperate need for attention and like a kid that’s acting itself, just ignore the posts and s/he’ll get sick of the lack of responses and disappear.

  • Norn Iron magpie

    Nov 13, 2008 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #13

    We are spoiled. We have 2 great keepers. How many apperances has Steve Harper? Can come in and do a great job no problem.

  • reillers

    Nov 13, 2008 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #14

    AO in case you haven’t noticed this is about wee Given, not you, not your grievances, oppinions. We are not interested in lisenting to you crying about poor ole you. If you hate Newcastle and it’s fans so much, then why are you here??
    Surely you’ve something better to be doing with your time, I mean surely..well probably anyway.

    What you think of Newcastle, it’s fans, it’s status, I really couldn’t care less and I can pretty much guarantee you not many here do. This is about our wee Shay Given, a legend, more gent you’ll never meet. This wee lad has given more to football then you could ever imagine, or appreciate in your tiny wee head.

    So MAYBE just MAYBE you could stick on topic, keep your wee grievences to yourself if it’s not too much to ask, that is unless ED decides to make a topic on what other fans think then it’s happy days for you, but I wouldn’t count on it.

    So instead of crying to us and looking for attention, maybe we could discuss what this topic is really about..the greatest keeper in the really is that too much to ask??

  • Turkish Magpie

    Nov 13, 2008 at 7:59 PM

    Comment #15

    Given has rejected Arsenal many times, what does that say?


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