Micky Quinn

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For other people named Michael Quinn, see Michael Quinn (disambiguation).
Micky Quinn
Personal information
Full name Michael Quinn
Date of birth (1962-05-02) 2 May 1962 (age 54)
Place of birth Liverpool, England
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Centre forward
Youth career
1978–1979 Derby County
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1979–1981 Wigan Athletic 69 (19)
1982–1983 Stockport County 63 (39)
1983–1985 Oldham Athletic 80 (34)
1985–1988 Portsmouth 121 (54)
1989–1992 Newcastle United 115 (59)
1992–1995 Coventry City 64 (25)
1994 Plymouth Argyle (loan) 3 (0)
1995 Watford (loan) 5 (0)
1995–1996 PAOK Thessaloniki 10 (1)
Total 535 (227)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Michael "Micky" Quinn (born 2 May 1962) is a retired English professional footballer. He was predominantly a centre forward from 1979 until 1996. Micky is now a scout at Wigan Athletic F.C. and covers sports on UK radio station TalkSPORT.

He had spells with Wigan Athletic, Stockport County, Oldham Athletic, Portsmouth, Newcastle United, Coventry City, Plymouth Argyle, Watford and PAOK Thessaloniki during a career in which he scored 228 goals from 515 games in the Football League.[1]

Early life[edit]

Quinn was born in Everton, Liverpool, in 1962, the oldest of four children born to Michael Quinn and Patricia Silvano. From the age of five, he lived on the Cantril Farm estate.[2] He was the grandson of Italian-born boxer Luigi Silvano (known professionally as Lou Sullivan[3]) who died in 1948 aged 39.

Club career[edit]

Quinn began his career as an apprentice with Derby County signing for the East Midlands club upon leaving school in 1978. However, he only lasted four months at the Baseball Ground, and returned to his Merseyside home due to homesickness. Eager though to turn professional, Quinn joined Wigan Athletic in September 1979 as an apprentice and turned professional later that season, scoring on his Fourth Division debut in April 1980 just before his 18th birthday.

After helping Wigan gain promotion to the Third Division in 1982, manager Larry Lloyd considered Quinn too inexperienced for the higher level of league football, and was given a free transfer to Stockport County, where he did establish himself as a regular goalscorer. Now having proven his worth, he caught the eye of Joe Royle at Second Division Oldham Athletic, and joined the club for £53,000 in January 1984. He was at Boundary Park for just over two years, and proved himself as a competent goalscorer at this higher level.


Quinn joined Portsmouth just shy of transfer deadline day in March 1986 - Alan Ball paying £150,000 for Quinn's services in an attempt to push for promotion to the First Division, but just missed automatic promotion on the final day of the season. In April 1986, he was found guilty of drink-driving and received a £100 fine as well as a one-year driving ban, for an offence committed in Liverpool during 1985. He breached the driving ban twice later that year, and in January 1987 was sentenced to 21 days in prison, but was freed after serving 14 days.[4][5]

Despite this, he was Portsmouth's top goalscorer with 24 goals in all competitions as they finished Second Division runners-up and reclaimed the First Division place that they had last held in the late 1950s. However, Portsmouth were relegated back to the Second Division after just one season. Quinn stayed at Fratton Park for the 1988–89 season and scored 20 league goals, but Portsmouth finished 20th in the league and their good early season form was perhaps all that saved them from a second successive relegation. Halfway through the season, manager Alan Ball had left to be succeeded by John Gregory, and this transition was largely blamed for Portsmouth's slump in form. Gregory did appoint Quinn as the new first team captain and when his contract expired at the end of the season, he was offered a new deal but rejected the offer and put in a transfer request, hoping for a transfer to a First Division club.

Newcastle United[edit]

Newcastle United manager Jim Smith paid £680,000 for Quinn in July 1989, just after their relegation to the Second Division. Portsmouth manager John Gregory had demanded £1.5million for Quinn (an exceptionally large sum for a Second Division player at the time), but Smith had offered just £250,000 and the fee was set by a tribunal. Other clubs interested in signing Quinn at the time included Watford and a Manchester City side who had just been promoted to the First Division.

He scored four goals on his debut in a 5–2 home win over Leeds United on 19 August and finished as the Football League's top goalscorer in 1989–90 with 34 league goals. He managed 39 in all competitions. Newcastle were beaten to the automatic promotion places by Leeds and Sheffield United, and their promotion hopes were ended when they lost to local rivals Sunderland in the playoffs. He scored 20 goals for them the following season, but the club's league form slumped and they finished 10th. Before the season ended, Quinn and his team-mates had a new manager after Jim Smith resigned to be succeeded by Ossie Ardiles.

Quinn was ruled out of action for three months when in October 1991 he suffered a knee injury, and managed just seven goals in 22 games. 1991–92 was arguably the worst season in Newcastle United's history as they only narrowly avoided relegation to the third tier of the English league. Ardiles was sacked on 5 February 1992 to be succeeded by Kevin Keegan, but Quinn fell out with Keegan soon afterwards over newspaper speculation that Quinn had condemned the set-up as a "shambles".[6] When the 1992–93 season began, Quinn was no longer a first choice player in the team and on 20 November 1992 he was sold to Coventry City, whose manager Bobby Gould paid £250,000 for Quinn, after an undisclosed bid from Aston Villa (who were in the Premier League title race at the time) was rejected.

Coventry City[edit]

During his first six months at Highfield Road, Quinn scored 17 Premier League goals – 10 of them in his first 6 games. Scoring in his first four games makes him one of only seven players to perform this feat,[7] which would not be matched in the Premier League for 22 years, and included a brace against each of Manchester City, Southampton, Liverpool and Aston Villa. His performances were not enough to bring Coventry City beyond 15th place in the final table (although they had occupied fourth place at one stage), but they improved to 11th place the following season with Quinn scoring eight league goals, starting the 1993–94 season with a hat-trick against Arsenal in a 3–0 away win.

Quinn had been seriously considered for inclusion into the England squad in early 1993, at a time when Alan Shearer and David Platt were both unavailable due to injuries, but the international call-up from Graham Taylor never materialised. He was also approached by Jack Charlton with a view to playing for the Republic of Ireland, but was not able to do so as his closest Irish-born relative was a great-grandfather and any player representing the Republic of Ireland would need at least one Irish-born grandparent.

However, he was dropped from the team at the end of August after falling out with manager Phil Neal following his dismissal against Blackburn Rovers in the third game of the season, and within two weeks he was pushed further down the pecking order by the arrival of £2 million striker Dion Dublin from Manchester United.

Later Career[edit]

He had unproductive loan spells with Plymouth Argyle (in November 1994),[8] and Watford (in March 1995) before new manager Ron Atkinson gave him a free transfer on 1 May 1995. On leaving Coventry, Quinn had a brief spell playing in Greece with PAOK Thessaloniki FC.[9] Around this time, his younger brother died in his mid-twenties, and his mother died of cancer.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Quinn appeared on BBC TV's Football Focus as part of their Cult Heroes series in 2005, inspired by his relatively prolific two seasons as Highfield Road. Whilst at Coventry, he was nicknamed 'Sumo' and famously quoted that he was the Premier League's "fastest player over a yard". He attracted the crowd chant of "Who Ate All the Pies?" due to his physique, which he used as the title of his 2003 autobiography. Other nicknames included "Sumo", "Hippofatamus", and "Bob", the latter from football fans who claimed that he bore a physical resemblance to the television presenter Bob Carolgees.

Quinn applied for the manager's job at Burnley in 1996, but it went to Adrian Heath instead, and he decided to retire from football and concentrate on his career as a racehorse trainer. He now has stables at Newmarket, Suffolk. Quinn's horse trainers licence was revoked in March 2001 after he was found guilty of neglecting three horses in his care following a complaint to the RSPCA.He was banned for two and a half years but this was subsequently reduced on appeal to eighteen months and he resumed his training career in early 2003.[11] He also covers horse racing and football for the radio station TalkSPORT.

OnTalkSPORT's YouTube channel, one caller expressed his deep love for Quinn claiming he still wished Quinn played for Newcastle United because 'He scored so many (sic) gooallls', before proceeding to burst into tears on air. The clip has become a viral sensation for the channel.


  1. ^ "Mickey Quinn". UK A–Z Transfers. Neil Brown. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  2. ^ "'Canny' Farm's finest on Tosh, Kev & Pompey - Liverpool FC". Liverpoolfc.tv. 2003-10-17. Retrieved 2012-04-08. 
  3. ^ "Football: The Day Fash The Bash Lost His Focus .. Mainly Because I'D Stuck A Right Hook On Him. - Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. 2003-05-25. Retrieved 2012-04-08. 
  4. ^ "Top-scoring Quinn is jailed for driving while banned" (reprint). The Times. NewsBank. 21 January 1987. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  5. ^ "Quinn out of prison a week early" (reprint). The Times. NewsBank. 3 February 1987. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  6. ^ Quinn, Micky; Harvey, Oliver (2003). Who Ate All the Pies?: The Life and Times of Mick Quinn. Virgin. ISBN 1-85227-072-1. , serialised in The Sunday People: "Once upon a Tyne, I thought Kev was God" (reprint). The Sunday People. NewsBank. 25 May 2003. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "Coyle happy to take a loan". Bolton News. Newsquest Media. 2011-03-04. Retrieved 2011-03-04. 
  8. ^ Micky Quinn Greens on Screen. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
  9. ^ Mastrogiannopoulos, Alexander (26 April 2003). "Greece 1995/96". RSSSF. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  10. ^ Shaw, Phil (9 June 2003). "Book of the Week" (reprint). The Independent. NewsBank. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  11. ^ "Quinn regains training licence". BBC News. 8 January 2003. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Quinn, Micky; Harvey, Oliver (2003). Who Ate All the Pies?: The Life and Times of Mick Quinn. Virgin. ISBN 1-85227-072-1. 
  • Sharpe, Graham (2003). Classic Horse-Racing Quotes: Horse-Racing History in the Words of Those Who Made It. Anova Books. ISBN 1-86105-859-4.