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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.
|Full name||Daniel Joseph Givens|
|Date of birth||9 August 1949|
|Place of birth||Limerick, Republic of Ireland|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|1972–1978||Queens Park Rangers||242||(76)|
|1979–1980||→ AFC Bournemouth (loan)||5||(4)|
|1969–1981||Republic of Ireland||56||(19)|
|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)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
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 8 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 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.
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. 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.
Givens time in an Ireland shirt began during the ill-fated 1970 World Cup qualifying campaign, when an Irish team with great names including Givens, Mick Meagan and John Giles, could not find enough consistency to make an impact, and finished last in a group containing Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Denmark. Givens did open his competitive scoring account for Ireland with goals against Hungary and Denmark.
In the following 1972 European Championship and subsequent 1974 World Cup, Ireland faced tough opposition and never found themselves in with a chance of qualification. Givens did not score in either of these tournaments.
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.
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.
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.
By the 1982 World Cup, Ireland had acquired a world class team, with Liam Brady, Frank Stapleton, Mark Lawrenson, Chris Hughton, Gerry Daly and others, and there was excitement that this team could not only qualify for the World Cup, they could make some waves there. It was therefore devastating to the team to hear their draw: Belgium, France, Holland, Cyprus. Ireland would end up losing out to France on goal difference, but Givens was no longer the main threat, and Givens last appearance for Ireland was in the 3–2 win at home to France.
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.
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.
- Scores and results list Ireland's goal tally first.
|27 May 1969||Away||Denmark||0–2||World Cup qualifier|
|8 June 1969||Home||Hungary||1–2||World Cup qualifier||1 (60')|
|21 September 1969||Home||Scotland||1–2||Friendly||1 (11')|
|7 October 1969||Away||Czechoslovakia||3–0||World Cup qualifier|
|15 October 1969||Home||Denmark||1–1||World Cup qualifier||1 (10')|
|5 November 1969||Away||Hungary||0–4||World Cup qualifier|
|6 May 1970||Home||Poland||1–2||Friendly||1 (84')|
|9 May 1970||Away||West Germany||1–2||Friendly|
|14 October 1970||Home||Sweden||1–1||European Championship qualifier|
|8 December 1970||Away||Italy||0–3||European Championship qualifier|
|10 May 1971||Home||Italy||1–2||European Championship qualifier|
|30 May 1971||Home||Austria||1–4||European Championship qualifier|
|11 June 1972||Neutral||Iran||1–2||Friendly||1 (67')|
|18 June 1972||Neutral||Ecuador||3–2||Friendly|
|25 June 1972||Neutral||Portugal||1–2||Friendly|
|15 November 1972||Home||France||2–1||World Cup qualifier|
|13 May 1973||Away||Soviet Union||0–1||World Cup qualifier|
|16 May 1973||Away||Poland||0–2||Friendly|
|19 May 1973||Away||France||1–1||World Cup qualifier|
|6 June 1973||Away||Norway||1–1||Friendly|
|21 October 1973||Home||Poland||1–0||Friendly|
|5 May 1974||Away||Brazil||1–2||Friendly|
|8 May 1974||Away||Uruguay||0–2||Friendly|
|12 May 1974||Away||Chile||2–1||Friendly|
|30 October 1974||Home||Soviet Union||3–0||European Championship qualifier||3 (22', 30', 70')|
|20 November 1974||Away||Turkey||1–1||European Championship qualifier||1 (61')|
|1 March 1975||Home||West Germany B||1–0||Friendly|
|10 May 1975||Home||Switzerland||2–1||European Championship qualifier|
|18 May 1975||Away||Soviet Union||1–2||European Championship qualifier|
|21 May 1975||Away||Switzerland||0–1||European Championship qualifier|
|29 October 1975||Home||Turkey||4–0||European Championship qualifier||4 (25', 28', 34', 88')|
|24 March 1976||Home||Norway||3–0||Friendly|
|26 May 1976||Away||Poland||2–0||Friendly||2 (5', 11')|
|8 September 1976||Away||England||1–1||Friendly|
|13 October 1976||Away||Turkey||3–3||Friendly|
|17 November 1976||Away||France||0–2||World Cup qualifier|
|9 February 1977||Home||Spain||0–1||Friendly|
|30 March 1977||Home||France||1–0||World Cup qualifier|
|1 June 1977||Away||Bulgaria||1–2||World Cup qualifier||1 (66')|
|12 October 1977||Home||Bulgaria||0–0||World Cup Qualifier|
|21 May 1978||Away||Norway||0–0||Friendly|
|24 May 1978||Away||Denmark||3–3||European Championship qualifier|
|20 September 1978||Home||Northern Ireland||0–0||European Championship qualifier|
|25 October 1978||Home||England||1–1||European Championship qualifier|
|2 May 1979||Home||Denmark||2–0||European Championship qualifier||1 (66')|
|19 May 1979||Away||Bulgaria||0–1||European Championship qualifier|
|22 May 1979||Home||West Germany||1–3||Friendly|
|29 October 1979||Home||United States||3–2||Friendly||1 (66')|
|21 November 1979||Away||Northern Ireland||0–1||European Championship qualifier|
|6 February 1980||Away||England||0–2||European Championship qualifier|
|30 April 1980||Home||Switzerland||0–2||European Championship qualifier||1 (12')|
|16 May 1980||Home||Argentina||0–1||Friendly|
|10 September 1980||Home||Netherlands||2–1||World Cup qualifier|
|15 October 1980||Home||Belgium||1–1||World Cup qualifier|
|19 November 1980||Home||Cyprus||6–0||World Cup qualifier|
|24 February 1981||Home||Wales||1–3||Friendly|
|14 October 1981||Home||France||3–2||World Cup qualifier|
- "Givens appointed team coach at Arsenal". Irish Times. 3 June 1997. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
- Mamrud, Roberto (12 April 2018). "Ireland – Record International Players". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
- "Don Givens". Hugmans Footballers.com.
- "Givens takes the safer route". Independent.co.uk.
- "From The Boardroom". Luton Town.co.uk.
- "A Moment In Time – When QPR Almost Won The League". Soccer Souls.com.
- "GREAT FOOTBALL LEAGUE TEAMS 12: SHEFFIELD UNITED, 1981-2". The Two Unfortunates.com.
- "The Don Givens Interview". QPR Net.com.
- "Hamburg 3–2 Xamax". UEFA.com.
- "HISTORIQUE • PALMARÈS". Xamax.ch (in Swiss).CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
- "Le grand retour de Don Givens à Neuchâtel". Sport Album.ch.
- "FAI History Chapter 16 – Don Givens' golden goals". FAI.ie.
- "FAI History Chapter 17 – World Cup 1978". FAI.ie.
- "FAI History Chapter 18 – European Championship 1980". FAI.ie.
- "Best Irish Football Players Ever: 30–21". Green Scene.me.
- "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. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- The Book of Irish Goalscorers by Seán Ryan & Stephen Burke 1987