Don Givens

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Don Givens
Personal information
Full name Daniel Joseph Givens
Date of birth (1949-08-09) 9 August 1949 (age 73)
Place of birth Limerick, Ireland
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Position(s) Forward
Youth career
1966–1969 Manchester United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1969–1970 Manchester United 8 (1)
1970–1972 Luton Town 83 (19)
1972–1978 Queens Park Rangers 242 (76)
1978–1981 Birmingham City 59 (10)
1979–1980AFC Bournemouth (loan) 5 (4)
1980–1981 Sheffield United 11 (3)
1981–1987 Neuchâtel Xamax 149 (34)
Total 457 (147)
International career
1969–1981 Republic of Ireland 56 (19)
Managerial career
1993–1997 Neuchâtel Xamax (youth coach/coach)
1997–2000 Arsenal (youth coach)
2000–2010 Republic of Ireland U21
2002 Republic of Ireland (caretaker)
2007–2008 Republic of Ireland (caretaker)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Daniel Joseph "Don" Givens (born 9 August 1949) is an Irish former footballer and coach. A forward, Givens played club football for Manchester United, Luton Town, Queens Park Rangers, Birmingham City, AFC Bournemouth, Sheffield United and Neuchâtel Xamax, and was capped 56 times for the Republic of Ireland. His 19 senior international goals was a national record for several years. He went on to coach at Xamax and Arsenal, and spent ten years as manager of the Republic of Ireland U21 team.[1][2][3]

Club career[edit]

Playing as a centre forward, Givens started his career at Manchester United in 1968. He made his scoring debut against Shamrock Rovers in May 1969 but he played just eight more games before moving to Luton Town. He then transferred to Queens Park Rangers in 1972. He helped the club win promotion to the old First Division in his first season, scoring a sum of 23 times. The next few years would see him reach his peak, scoring a combined 49 goals in four seasons and helping QPR not just hold onto their top-flight status but contend for the league title. After an unsuccessful season in 1977–78, scoring just four goals in 37 appearances, he parted ways with QPR. He made a total of 243 appearances and scored 76 goals for the Hoops. Given went on to transfer to Birmingham City in the summer of 1978. At Birmingham he helped see the club be promoted to the First Division in the 1979–80 season. While there he also had a month long loan spell in March 1980 at AFC Bournemouth. Givens moved on to Sheffield United a year later. His time at Sheffield will forever be remembered for the time he missed a last minute penalty in the last match of the 1980–81 season against Walsall at Bramall Lane in the old third division. If he had scored, The Saddlers would have been relegated, instead it was Sheffield United who were consigned to the 4th division for the first time in their history.[4][5][6][7][3][8]

In 1981, escaping the negativity of his time at Sheffield United, Givens moved to Switzerland to play for Neuchâtel Xamax. In the 1981–82 UEFA Cup Givens scored at Hamburger SV in a quarter-final tie.[9] He had the honour of leading Neuchâtel to their first Swiss National League A championship in the 1986–87 season. He make 144 appearances in all for Xamax, scoring 34 goals. Givens brought an end to his playing days soon afterwards.[3][10][11]

International career[edit]

The 1976 European Championship qualifiers pitted Ireland against the Soviet Union again, along with Turkey and Switzerland. The winner of this group would have to play-off against the winner of another group to determine the qualifier. This may have seemed a bridge too far but it would prove to be Givens finest moment in a green shirt as he scored a hat-trick against the USSR to give Ireland a 3–0 win in the opening game and a fighting chance of making that play-off. He scored again in a 1–1 draw against Turkey in Izmir. Ireland had peaked too early in the group though, and after a 2–1 loss to the Soviet Union in Kiev and a 1–0 defeat at the hands of Switzerland in Berne, Ireland last match against Turkey was not expected to mean anything, since the Soviets were already a point ahead with a game in hand. Even a win meant that the Soviet Union would need only two points in their final two games to finish on top. Ireland won the game 4–0, with Givens scoring all four goals, the first and only time an Irish player has done this. But it was not enough and the Soviet Union went on to top the group.[12]

In the 1978 World Cup qualifiers, Ireland was paired with France again, and Bulgaria. Ireland beat France 1–0 in their new home stadium, Lansdowne Road, but lost 2–0 in Paris. Givens scored in Sofia, but it was a consolation as Ireland lost 2–1 and subsequently went out of the World Cup places with a 0–0 draw in the final game against Bulgaria at Lansdowne Road.[13]

For the 1980 European Championships, Ireland was drawn in a Group alongside England, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria and Denmark. It was a disappointing campaign for Givens, who, despite scoring against Denmark, was unable to make an impact in a group where Ireland would manage just two wins from eight games.[14]

Altogether Givens made 56 appearances for the senior team between 1969 and 1982, scoring 19 goals, including a record four goal haul against Turkey, and becoming his country's leading goalscorer for a period. He currently ranks as the joint fourth alltime topscorer for the Irish.[15]

Coaching career[edit]

During 1993 Givens took up the role of a coach at Swiss side Xamax. Four years later he joined up with Arsenal to coach at the club's academy. Givens went on to manage the Republic of Ireland U21 team from 2000 until 2010 when he stepped down.[16][1]


Neuchâtel Xamax[11]


  1. ^ a b "Givens appointed team coach at Arsenal". Irish Times. 3 June 1997. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  2. ^ Mamrud, Roberto (12 April 2018). "Ireland – Record International Players". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Don Givens". Barry Hugman's Footballers.
  4. ^ "Givens takes the safer route".
  5. ^ "From The Boardroom". Luton
  6. ^ "A Moment In Time – When QPR Almost Won The League". Soccer
  8. ^ "The Don Givens Interview". QPR
  9. ^ "Hamburg 3–2 Xamax".
  10. ^ "HISTORIQUE • PALMARÈS". (in French).
  11. ^ a b "Le grand retour de Don Givens à Neuchâtel". Sport
  12. ^ "FAI History Chapter 16 – Don Givens' golden goals".
  13. ^ "FAI History Chapter 17 – World Cup 1978".
  14. ^ "FAI History Chapter 18 – European Championship 1980".
  15. ^ "Best Irish Football Players Ever: 30–21". Green
  16. ^ "Don Givens steps down as U-21 manager". RTÉ Sport. 24 March 2010. Archived from the original on 27 March 2010. Retrieved 24 March 2010.


  • The Book of Irish Goalscorers by Seán Ryan & Stephen Burke 1987

External links[edit]