Dublin 2011: Irish connections part 2
- 24 June 2011 12:37
- Posted by Will Unwin
City's recent history has benefited from key contributions by several Irishmen, not least Niall Quinn, a goalscoring Dubliner who ranks among the club's best-loved players.
He made his name initially with Arsenal but in four years with the Gunners was never able to establish himself as a first-team regular, and Howard Kendall lured him to City in 1990.
Quinn scored four goals in the final nine games of the 1989/90 season to confirm City’s place in the top flight before travelling to Italy for World Cup duty.
He scored 66 goals in 204 league appearances to delight Blues fans, whose "Niall Quinn's Disco Pants" homage remains one of football's most idiosyncratic terrace songs.
Quinn eventually left City to join Sunderland in 1996, and has since become chairman of the north-east club.
Richard Dunne made the short trip from Merseyside to link up with Joe Royle’s City side at the start of the Millennium and soon became the heart and soul of the team.
In almost ten years with the Blues the Dubliner made 296 league appearances, and captained the team from 2006 until his departure for Aston Villa in 2009.
The centre-half, who won the club’s Player of the Year Award for four consecutive years from 2005 to 2008, has 65 international caps for the Republic of Ireland.
Midfielder Stephen Ireland came through the Academy and made his first-team debut aged 19 against Bolton and went on to play in a variety of positions for the Blues.
He was Player of the Year for 2008/09 but never reached those heights again in a blue shirt, and was sold to Aston Villa in the summer of 2010.
He had six caps when he quit international football
City had a collection of inexperienced goalkeepers when Shay Given arrived from Newcastle in 2009’s winter transfer window to fight off Joe Hart's strong challenge for the No.1 spot.
But when Hart returned from a brilliant loan spell at Birmingham, the England goalkeeper stepped up and Given spent much of last season on the bench, limited to rare outings in cup competitions.
Despite being second choice for City he has maintained his position as Ireland’s top keeper, and his 133 appearances make him the Republic of Ireland’s most-capped player.