Shay Given – Why Did He Ever Leave Newcastle?


Shay Given has talked to the Evening Chronicle today, and Newcastle’s best ever goalkeeper thinks Newcastle can win the game tomorrow against Sunderland.

Shay Given – when playing for Newcastle

Shay Given talked to the Evening Chronicle today:

“You cannot walk the streets in Newcastle without somebody talking to you about football – not least during derby week.” “That shows just how much it all means up there.”“It is certainly one in which you just do not want to lose.”

“I had a lot of great memories from derby games, but the one which probably sticks out the most was when we won 1-0 at the Stadium of Light in 2002 when Nikos Dabizas scored and we were on our way to the Champions League.”

“Any game like that when you have helped the team to get the result is satisfying, especially against the local enemy.” “I hope the atmosphere will still be alive when I go back and they are still talking about a derby win.” “I have to say I fancy Newcastle to do it as well.”

“I hope that is not putting the kiss of death on them, but I know there is more than enough quality within the ranks to get a result. The lads will be up for it and I fancy them to take those important three points.”

Shay is one of the few players to play for both Newcastle United and Sunderland, as he was at Sunderland, on loan from Blackburn, in season 1995-1996 and played 17 times for the Wearside club. He joined Newcastle in the summer of 1997 for £1.5M, when former Blackburn manager Kenny Dalglish was managing the Magpies.

Given left the club in January of 2009, and if he hadn’t left at that time, and Joe Kinnear did his utmost to keep the Irishman, we don’t think Newcastle would have been relegated, but he seemed to be just so fed up with Mike Ashley, and the way he ran the club at that time.

It all happened at the Liverpool game on Sunday, 28th December of 2008, when Liverpool hammered us 5-1 at St. James’ Park and but for Given the score could have been 10-1.

Just before that game, Ashley had announced that he had finally taken the club off the market, and made it clear he was going to stay in charge at Newcastle, and we think that is why  Shay then wanted out.

He moved onto Manchester City, but has warmed the bench this season for a spell, for the first time for a very long time, with England goalkeeper Joe Hart now the number one at Eastlands.

Shay was Newcastle’s best ever goalkeeper with 462 total appearances (we just counted them), for the Tyneside club.

When he returns to St. James’ Park, maybe next year (and perhaps for Arsenal?), we’re not sure if he will be booed or not.

But he shouldn’t be – because Shay was a very loyal servant of the Newcastle United club for a full 12 years, and played when Newcastle were a top side under the great Bobby Robson and was always one of our best players.

You cannot just boo players simply because they left the club.

Comments welcome.



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39 comments so far

  • sirjasontoon

    Oct 30, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #1

    Get back on your Bench Shay and Shut the Fk Up.

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  • Solaidback

    Oct 30, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #2

    I’m sorry Ed but I think if Shay had just stayed until the summer, we may have survived but he decided to leave & that meant chucking Steve Harper in at the deep end, so imo, he’s as much to blame for our demise in the second half of the season as the rest of those mercenaries who all jumped ship.. 🙁

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  • cynicaltoonfan

    Oct 30, 2010 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #3

    @Soliadback
    No one wants to be in a team that is relegated
    I remember the liverpool game we got beat 5-0
    and you could see the hurt on Givens face and i knew then he was definetly off.
    If you are honest with yourself a keeper of Shays quality should not have been with us in the first place so to tag him along with the likes of Owen and Viduka is pretty shallow mate.
    He left us when he had too, city came in with an offer and i remember people saying harper was as good ( which is obviously not true ) so in theory there was a replacement

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  • listie

    Oct 30, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #4

    To quote Indiana Jones “fortune and glory kid” thats why he left. He saw the writing on wall and also the lush green grass over the fence, an bolted.
    As has been said before on this blog, he was injured, but flew through the city medical!

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  • Howay The Lads

    Oct 30, 2010 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #5

    “I remember the liverpool game we got beat 5-0
    and you could see the hurt on Givens face and i knew then he was definetly off.”

    It was 5-1, but anyway, during that game, he did a goalkick and when he hit it, he shouted, “We’re sh*t”. After that I knew we were down.

    I’m not sure whether I’d cheer or boo Shay. He was my idol (I’m a keeper myself) when I was a bit younger, but the way in which he left has left a sour taste in my mouth

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  • toonpigeon

    Oct 30, 2010 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #6

    I think Shay was a good goalie for us but the way he left us suprised me and a few other fans. I’m not sure i would call him our best goalie because there was times when I felt he should have done better when he didn’t save a few shots that ended up going in.

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  • Mag 48

    Oct 30, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    Comment #7

    Shay good keeper but not the best. As a 71 year old and a toon supporter for most of them Ive seen better (and worse). He decided to go so he must live with that decision.I don’t think there should be any going back.

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  • Howay The Lads

    Oct 30, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #8

    Oh come on!

    Who has been better? Willy McFaul?

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  • Mag 48

    Oct 30, 2010 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #9

    Jack Fairbrother and Ronnie Simpson!!

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  • Solaidback

    Oct 30, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #10

    Cynicaltoon – IF he’d stayed, we may never have been relegated, if Harper had saved that Villains goal, we’d have stayed up, so if it had been Shay in goal instead of Harper, he may have saved that & other goals that we conceded which sent us down, so to say he had to leave us is complete bo!!ocks fella, it was his choice to jump ship when he did, he could have stayed until the summer & then left but he decided he wanted to play for Manc ‘cheating’ Citey & now he’s a bench warmer, tuff titties….. 🙁

    Also if Shay was too good a goalie to play for us in the first place, how come he was with us 12 years before seeking greener grass??? He was a very good short stopper & probably one of our best goalies but he wasn’t the best goal in the PL or we’d have never been able to keep him as long as we did, even before those cheating gits brought him of us for a song, I mean, if Craig Gordon cost more than Given did, so what does that say about him!!!

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  • daffy

    Oct 30, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #11

    Listen to you lot! Shay Given has been one of Newcastles most loyal servants in recent history , i mean 12 years!! How many players stay at clubs that long in this day & age? He went to a better team to possibly pick up a medal or two before his carrer ends , which he was never gonna do at Nufc . Boo him ? Just really shows what your like at the end of the day! He should have played for Sunderland ! Ha,way the Red & Whites , stick it up them tmra!

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  • seetow1

    Oct 30, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #12

    a turncoat, that’s what he is. why would anyone not boo at a deserter? as per military law, deserters get shot. why should he be any different?

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  • Solaidback

    Oct 30, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #13

    Sorry Daffy but Harper has been at the club far longer than Given, played second fiddle to him for 12 years & is still with us, no matter who came calling, so Given was a loyal servant until someone offered him more money & he saw we were struggling & didn’t like what Ashley was doing, so jumped ship, it’s that simple!!

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  • Solaidback

    Oct 30, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #14

    Oh another thing Daffy, Given did play for your lot but in the end couldn’t stand the smell so signed for us for 12 years…. lol lol 🙂

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  • jesus was a geordie

    Oct 30, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    Comment #15

    I, along with the facts would disagree that we would’ve stayed up had Given stayed with us!

    Check the facts (I used the bbc website last year to total this up) but basically, Steve Harper played 2 or 3 more games than Shay Given, however, had a better clean sheets AND goals-per-games ratio than Given…Our problem was not, and hasn’t been (in the past 15 years) down to the man between the sticks! Our problem was our inability to put the ball past the opposition goal keeper!

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  • Solaidback

    Oct 30, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #16

    Jesus – so you’re saying that over the past 15 years, we’ve not been able to score goals or enough of them to make it count in comparison to how many we conceed yeah???

    So according to you, it wouldn’t have mattered who was in goal for us in the last 4 months of last season, we’d still have been relegated because our strike force of Own, Martin, Viduka, Shola & Smith wasn’t any good??

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  • jesus was a geordie

    Oct 30, 2010 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #17

    As for booing Given, I won’t do it, he’s never come out and say anything bad about the fans or the clubs, merely our situation, but anyone with 2 sets of eyes could see that. At the end of the day he got onto the City bandwaggon, probably thinking he’d have at least a league cup medal and guaranteed starting berth by now!

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  • Solaidback

    Oct 30, 2010 at 4:43 PM

    Comment #18

    So how come, over the last 15 years/seasons,. we’ve played in the Champions League 3 times & played in Europe 6 times in total if we were unable to score goals???

    You only get to those sort of competitions if you finish in the top 6 of the PL, so we must have scored enough goals to do that yeah??

    Also, just a quick stat, since 93, our total goals for is 898, our total goals against is 790, so we’ve scored 108 goals more than we’ve conceded.. 🙂 go figure!!!

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  • Solaidback

    Oct 30, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #19

    Jesus – well the odd saying goes, ‘the grass isn’t always green on the other side! now he’s a gloryfied bench warmer for Joe Hart .. lol

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  • Brutooon

    Oct 30, 2010 at 5:02 PM

    Comment #20

    Harper is the most loyal player in nufc history, how many years he prefer to be 2nd choice keeper behind shay given?

    even harper play for us in the championship

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  • daffy

    Oct 30, 2010 at 5:03 PM

    Comment #21

    Solaidback- As good as Harper is he couldnt shift Given from number 1 during all those years & under numerous managers , i dont understand why he didnt move on ? was it that no club was interested in him or was he just happy to be num 2 ?

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  • CT

    Oct 30, 2010 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #22

    daffy, I`m gonna stuff Cattermole t`morrow, so duck back to where you came from!

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  • jesus was a geordie

    Oct 30, 2010 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #23

    Solaidback, no, quite clearly not.

    Our problem has generally up until around 5 years ago been our back 4…Since around 5 years ago, I believe our biggest problem is a lack of creativity (and that contributed to us going down – we were beaten by Villa 1:0, we could and should’ve at least had a shot on target in that game – unfortunately we did not!)

    And yes, it’s quite well documented that our strike force of Owen (injured/lazy and uninspiring) Martins (injured and missed simple chances) Viduka (injured and injured) Shola (injured and not in any sense prolific in the prem) and Smith (yet to score for us) weren’t any good!

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  • john_cena163

    Oct 30, 2010 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #24

    Although he is my fav player I wl boo him. V got relegated al coz of him he could hav left us at the end of the season if he wantd to leave.

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  • daffy

    Oct 30, 2010 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #25

    Yeah , if you could go easy on Bruce , Cattermole & Bramble it would be appreciated !

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  • jesus was a geordie

    Oct 30, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #26

    I understand the European days were different: Tino, Pedro, Ginola, Ferdinand, Shearer, Bellamy, Dyer, Robert, Speed – All players who could create and score goals…

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  • CT

    Oct 30, 2010 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #27

    Solaidback, thanks for your kind comments earlier, I am settling in very nicely thankyou, and love this city of yours. My mate Drogba wants to join me here next season as well. By the way I`ll get that Shitee thug who did Bennyboy when they come here on Boxing day for all of you!! HWTL, see I even know the lingo!!

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  • Howay The Lads

    Oct 30, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #28

    daffy, it’s just club loyalty. I stand by my statement that Harper would have played for England if he’d had regular football. But, unfortunately, he was stuck behind one of the best keepers in the world.

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  • will die for the toon army

    Oct 30, 2010 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #29
  • lou9brasil

    Oct 30, 2010 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #30

    Who ever the guy is that wrote the daily star article about why we should get rid of hoots is an absolute arse hole, I can’t believe he has been paid to write that sh1t….

    How about this for a head line ” why employees for the daily star should be shot” point one: the paper is a complete laughing stock and and any one who believes what is written must have a mental age of 3….

    Nothing in that article makes sense we were in the championship last year and apparantly shouldn’t be happy that we are lying 9th in the prem, if u ask me that’s a lot to be happy about considering where we were 2 years ago, hope the guy who wrote that article gets run over by a truck f@cking bum bandit

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  • pearceet

    Oct 30, 2010 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #31

    Shay would have kept us up easily, he is worth much more than a point more than harper

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  • daffy

    Oct 30, 2010 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #32

    Im goin for an away win tomro not sure of the score but to be honest would prob settle for a draw , what do ya think lads?

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  • HeRR_

    Oct 30, 2010 at 10:34 PM

    Comment #33

    Shay Given = Class!

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  • bobby_ollox

    Oct 30, 2010 at 10:50 PM

    Comment #34

    So what if we had stayed up – that would have just prolonged the rot that was everywhere – getting relegated got rid of the fat and happy and saved this club.
    I’m sorry that he left , really I am. . But it was his time to go. He has (had) a prodigous talent and each year that the club fell short of his ambitions through no fault of his own, his loyalty would have been tested further. Not his fault he had to go. Im sorry he didnt get what he needed.

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  • Rowan Milsted

    Oct 31, 2010 at 12:45 AM

    Comment #35

    Slagging of Given is ridiculous. I’d never boo him and I miss watching him play. As a keeper myself he’s my idol. He served us long and true and – at least in my memery – is the best keeper we’ve had. He stuck with us through a lot of thick and thin and i’ll always respect him for that.

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  • Rowan Milsted

    Oct 31, 2010 at 12:48 AM

    Comment #36

    Post 33 – exactly – 12 seasons with one team is a hell of a record, shows a lot of loyalty and commitment, especially with all the problems the team has had. Given’s not a Geordie, so the way he stuck with us so long is all the more commendable. I’ll never discard all that just because he left us in the end.

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  • Sav

    Oct 31, 2010 at 1:04 AM

    Comment #37

    I’m with the last two posters on Shay. It’d be shameful to think of booing him. We may have been relegated a couple of seasons earlier without our Irish no.1.
    But its worked out badly for Shay (not his bank balance though) and we have two emerging goalkeepers besides Harps who is a Toon ‘lifer’, more’s the pity for him.
    Looking forward to the Krul/Foster battle next year to displace Harper.

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  • onlyoneshearer

    Oct 31, 2010 at 6:13 AM

    Comment #38

    I agree with rowan milsted, shay was one of the most devoted players newcastle have had in the premiership years. At times it seemed as if he was a one man wall for us, baring in mind the awful defences we have had, ie carr, bramble, boumsong and babayaro is one woeful defence that stays in mind.

    I think Given clearly just did not like Ashley, and when citeh came knocking it was at the stage of his career where he wont be getting many more offers as tempting as that. He is in a total different mold to the likes of owen, who clearly didnt care about the club.

    I would be very suprised if hes bench warming after the next transfer window, he’ll be at another club or forced his way back into citeh.

    I hope he doesnt get booed when he returns, i think it wouldnt be justice to the years of fantastic service he gave the club.

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  • Robby Bobson

    Oct 31, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #39

    Given deserves as much stick as every other player who left.

    Sometimes i think 50/50 about given because he was here for so long and had so many great games and in the top 3 keepers ever in the prem IMO, but he ran when times were tough half way through the season.

    Thinking back I cant think of any keeping mistakes by harps in the second half of the season so not sure how much effect he would have had staying, but it was clear we were in for a tough 2nd half of season and he did one…so sorry Shay shut up and concentrate on sitting on the bench for city!

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