Football/Soccer

Back in the Day - in The Irish News on September 4, 1998: Shay Given stunned by Dalglish's Toon exit

Shay Given was a protege of Kenny Dalglish, after the Scot brought him from Celtic to Blackburn Rovers, and then from Blackburn to Newcastle United
Neil Loughran

KENNY Dalglish's departure from Newcastle came as a big surprise to Shay Given.

It was a shock to everyone on Tyneside, but the news was a painful loss to the goalkeeper, Dalglish's protege.

“I couldn't believe it. It seemed strange to change the manager so soon into the season and despite what's been said, our start wasn't all gloom and doom.

“We had two draws and were playing okay. It certainly wasn't expected.”

Dalglish had a huge influence on the career of the modest Donegal man.

Twice the Scottish legend came looking for him and twice he obliged, moving first from Celtic to Blackburn, and then on to Newcastle.

“I have always thought of Kenny as a great manager. He's a legend in his own lifetime and when he talks, you listen.

“He's done it all and he knows what he's talking about. You have to respect

people like that.”

FORMER Antrim players Patsy Lynn and Frank Fitzsimons are believed to have joined the race to become the next Antrim manager.

Lynn, a former Cargin coach and player, has had additional coaching duties at Moneyglass and in Tyrone. He played for Antrim during the mid to late 1960s.

Lamh Dhearg's Fitzsimons, whose son also played for the county, is also reported to have submitted his interest in the job.

Lynn and Fitzsimmons join other interested candidates Dessie Reynolds (McDermott's), Frank Dawson (St Gall's) and manager of Antrim's 1997 and '98 campaigns, Ray McDonnell (Rossa).

NORTHERN Ireland's Michael Hughes has handed his support to his club's proposed move to Dublin.

The Wimbledon star said he was “all for” Premiership soccer being played in the south, and indeed in Northern Ireland.

Wimbledon players have avoided the ongoing debate of the club uprooting itself from its rented accommodation at Selhurst Park and moving to an all-purpose stadium in Dublin.

Larne-born Hughes though, believes the venture would make Wimbledon “one of the biggest clubs in the world.”

“Every two weeks we would have a massive home game in Dublin. We're talking about a 60,000 all-seater stadium which we would fill no problem,” said Hughes.

“People would come from all over Ireland to see the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Spurs and the rest. You would have to lock people out.

“There is, however, a flip-side to the coin, regarding the Wimbledon fans. They live in England and maybe we can't expect them to fly over to Dublin for games. They are real local fans.

“We (Wimbledon players) don't talk about the Dublin thing. It may not happen for a few years and some of us may not be at the club then.

“It would be a strange move for most players but after a few nights out in Dublin, I'm sure the lads would be in favour of it and it would be great for me because I have my family in the north.”

DARREN Clarke went from the ridiculous to the sublime in the space of a few minutes yesterday as he set the first round pace in the Canon European Masters in Switzerland.

Closing in fast on Lee Westwood at the top of Europe's Order of Merit – a £250,000 deficit six weeks ago is down to only £42,600 – the 30-year-old Dungannon man shot a seven-under-par 64 for a one-stroke lead over Swede Patrik Sjoland.

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