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Niall Quinn
Quinn, Niall.jpg
Personal information
Full name Niall William Quinn
Date of birth 6 October 1966 (1966-10-06) (age 43)
Place of birth    Perrystown, Dublin, Ireland
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
Manortown United
Arsenal
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
1983–1990
1990–1996
1996–2002
Arsenal
Manchester City
Sunderland
Total
067 0(14)
204 0(66)
203 0(61)
474 (141)   
National team
1986–2002
1990
1986–1989
Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland B
Republic of Ireland U21
092 0(21)
001 00(2)
005 00(0)
Teams managed
2006 Sunderland

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Niall John Quinn (Irish name: Niall Seán Ó Cuinn) (Honorary) MBE (b. 6 October 1966 in Dublin, Ireland) is a former Irish international footballer, and the current chairman of Sunderland AFC. He is also heavily involved in the management side of horse racing. In 2003 Niall received the prestigious Beacon Fellowship Prize for his contribution to medical and children's charities.

Contents

Early and personal life

Both Quinn's parents are from Thurles,County Tipperary.[1] His father as well as his mother's brothers played hurling for Tipperary.[1] He now lives in Tipperary.[1]

Football playing career

Gaelic games

Niall Quinn played Gaelic football for Robert Emmets GAC in Perrystown, Dublin 12 [2]. He also played underage football and hurling for Dublin GAA (he played in the 1983 All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship Final) and was offered a lucrative contract to play Australian Rules football before settling on a career playing soccer.[3] He played Gaelic football [4] for Co. Kildare club Eadestown after his retirement, winning a junior C county title in 2008.[5]

Club career

He played as a youth for Irish club Manortown United, which was based at Greentrees Park, adjacent to Robert Emmets GAC (it not being unusual in Dublin to play two separate codes of football). He signed professional forms with English club Arsenal in 1983. He scored on his first-team debut against Liverpool in December 1985, against the mighty pairing of Hanson and Lawrenson earning himself the nickname "Mighty Quinn" and made the headlines on the back page of Sunday World Ireland's biggest selling tabloid- the original plate of which is still in his mother's home, but his form for the rest of that season was decidedly patchy.

Prior to being recruited to the Arsenal youth team Quinn played in the 1983 All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship final with Dublin.

Quinn took time to find form, but by 1986-87 had become a regular in the Arsenal side, helping them reach and then win the 1987 League Cup final. However, the arrival of fellow centre-forward Alan Smith that summer forced Quinn out of the Arsenal first team, and he became a fringe player. In all he scored 20 goals in 94 matches for the Gunners. He missed out on a league title winner's medal in 1989 after failing to appear in enough games.

Manchester City signed Quinn for £800,000 in March 1990. He scored 22 times in his first full season, and he went on to spend six years at the club, scoring 78 goals in 245 appearances; his time at City was hampered by a cruciate ligament injury in 1993-94.

His most notable game for City was 20 April 1991 when he scored early on and saved a Dean Saunders penalty as City beat Derby County 2-1, relegating Derby in the process.[6] City goalkeeper Tony Coton had been sent off before half time for fouling Saunders to concede the penalty. At this time teams rarely, if ever, named goalkeepers as substitutes, so Quinn replaced Coton in goal.

Quinn finished his career with a highly successful spell at Sunderland, joining the north-east club in 1996, although he missed six months of his first season due to a knee injury - similar to the one which ruined his World Cup chances three years earlier. His partnership with striker Kevin Phillips was one of the most prolific in the Football League and helped the club to promotion to the Premiership. Quinn also has the distinction of being the first player to score at Sunderland's Stadium of Light, against Manchester City in 1997. He became a local legend at Sunderland, winning both the Sunderland and North East Sportswriters' Player of the Year awards in 1999 after scoring 21 goals in Sunderland's record-breaking Division One title-winning season.

International career

Quinn made his debut for the Republic of Ireland in 1986, and went on to earn 92 caps . He retired as his country's all-time top scorer with 21 goals; this record was surpassed by Robbie Keane in October 2004. Quinn played for his country at two World Cups, in 1990 and 2002; he missed the 1994 FIFA World Cup because of injury. Quinn was also a member of the Irish squad that participated in the 1988 European Football Championship playing just once, as a substitute in Ireland's 1-0 win over England in Stuttgart.

Quinn famously scored the equaliser against the Netherlands in the 1990 World Cup which allowed Ireland to progress to the second round of that tournament. In the 2002 tournament, his header set up Robbie Keane's late equaliser against Germany, which was the only goal Germany conceded before the final.

Song

Niall also had his own song entitled "Niall Quinn's Disco Pants". The song was originally created by Manchester City fans during a night out on a pre-season tour in Penola, Italy. It was 1992.

There had been a bust-up with City team-mate Steve McMahon and Quinn had removed his torn and bloodied shirt and was dancing with Rick Holden wearing just a pair of cut-off jeans. He was "hardly aware" that there were a group of hardcore City fans watching and they treated him to "the first performance of the song that will follow me till the end of my career."[7]

The chorus went, to the tune of the standard football chant Here We Go:

Niall Quinn's disco pants are the best,
They go up from his arse to his chest,
They are better than Adam and the Ants,
Niall Quinn's disco pants!

The song was adopted by Sunderland fans and released as a single by the club's devoted fanzine A Love Supreme, reaching number 59 in the UK Singles Charts in April 1999.

Following the infamous EasyJet incident when Quinn paid for transport from Bristol International Airport to Sunderland after happy Sunderland supporters were thrown off the plane for singing a tribute to their chairman after a vital win, a new version of the song has been heard at recent matches:

Niall Quinn's taxi cabs are the best,
So shove it up your arse EasyJet,
Fat Freddy wouldn't do it for the Mags,
Niall Quinn's taxi cabs'

(Fat Freddy is a reference to Newcastle United chairman at the time, Freddy Sheperd)

In 2007 Quinn was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame as the Football Foundation Community Champion.

Testimonial

In 2002, he donated the entire proceeds of his testimonial match between Sunderland and the Republic of Ireland to charity, an act for which he received a number of awards, including an honorary MBE. Instead of receiving an appearance fee for the game, all the players received a letter from a sick child. Quinn played for both teams during the match, which is thought to have raised over £1 million.[8]

Pundit

Quinn retired in 2003 at the age of 37, taking a brief coaching role at Sunderland. Quinn has also made appearances as a television pundit and commentator for televised matches involving his former teams with Sky Sports.

Quinn also released an acclaimed autobiography Niall Quinn - The Autobiography (2002), which was ghostwritten by Tom Humphries and was nominated for a William Hill Sports Book of the Year award. The book is not structured chronologically, but rather in the context of Quinn's career swansong, the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan.

Sunderland Chairman

Heading the Drumaville Consortium of wealthy Irish businessmen, in June 2006 Quinn successfully brokered a deal to buy a controlling stake in Sunderland AFC.[9] In July 2006 Quinn became the chairman and manager of Sunderland.[10] The deal was finalised on July 27, 2006, with sufficient shares being sold to the consortium in order for them to take complete control.

His managerial career did not get off to a good start as the team lost its first four league games in a row. On 22 August Sunderland played Bury away in the Carling Cup where they lost 2-0.[11]

After the match Quinn said that a new manager would be appointed by Sunderland's next game. Quinn had found the man he wanted and duly moved over. Contrary to opinion, Niall Quinn didn't sack himself. He was in search of a world class name and stepped to one side (to continue in his role as Sunderland chairman) paving the way for Roy Keane to take charge. This was highly unexpected considering the huge rift between the two arising from Keane's infamous ejection from the 2002 World Cup. Keane was appointed manager of the club on 28 August 2006. The appointment matured into a great success, with Sunderland clinching an immediate Premier League comeback as Football League Championship champions. Quinn has also made substantial amounts of money available for buying new players, as he has a declared ambition to establish Sunderland as a top club.

He is often joined at Sunderland matches by his wife, the Irish model, Gillian Quinn, and their two children Aisling and Michael.

In 2008, he received the James Joyce Award of the Literary & Historical Society in University College Dublin.

On August 8, 2009, while competing in the Phoenix Park car races, Niall Quinn crashed his car and sustained minor injuries.

Quotes

"I learned my trade at Arsenal, became a footballer at Manchester City, but Sunderland got under my skin. I love Sunderland." - from his autobiography.

"These are my people, you cannot treat them like that" to a member of EasyJet's staff at Bristol airport after celebrating fans were made to leave the plane. Quinn subsequently paid for taxis to take the fans home to Sunderland.[12]

Playing statistics

Club football (all competitions, including substitute appearances)

International football
  • Ireland: 92 appearances, 21 goals

Career statistics

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
1983-84 Arsenal First Division 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1984-85 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1985-86 12 1 3 0 2 0 0 0 17 1
1986-87 35 8 4 1 9 3 0 0 48 12
1987-88 11 2 2 0 3 0 0 0 16 2
1988-89 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1
1989-90 6 2 1 1 2 1 0 0 9 4
1989-90 Manchester City First Division 9 4
1990-91 38 20
1991-92 35 12
1992-93 Premier League 39 9
1993-94 15 5
1994-95 35 8
1995-96 32 8
1996-97 Sunderland Premier League 12 2
1997-98 First Division 35 14
1998-99 39 18
1999-00 Premier League 37 14
2000-01 34 7
2001-02 38 6
2002-03 8 0
Total England 473 141
Career Total 473 141

Managerial stats

Team Nat From To Record
G W L D Win %
Sunderland England 25 July 2006 30 August 2006 6 1 5 0 16.67

See also

Footnotes

External links

Business positions
Preceded by
Bob Murray
Sunderland chairman
2006–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Kevin Ball
(caretaker)
Sunderland manager
2006
Succeeded by
Roy Keane







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