4) Shay Given – 1997
When a club make a move for a player in the transfer market, they can hope that the individual will be with them for an extended period of time and contribute to success. When a goalkeeper arrives for £1.5 million, one would not immediately assume that the shot-stopper will make over 400 appearances.
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That is exactly what Newcastle United received with the signing of Shay Given, and he was involved in many special moments for the Toon.
One of manager Kenny Dalglish’s first signings when he took over in 1997, the Irish international was with the Magpies until 2009 when he signed with Manchester City. Given finished behind only Jimmy Lawrence and Frank Hudspeth for the highest number of matches for Newcastle with 462.
An aspect of his United career that should not be over-looked was his ability to fight for his starting position, as a multitude of other keepers and various managers did not allow him to just assume the number one spot would be guaranteed.
Given’s sharp instincts and passionate spirit became a trademark of the teams he played with, and he was an uplifting presence at the back for defenders.
Determination can push players towards success, and that is what took place for Shay Given at Newcastle United.