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Michael Quinn (born 2 May 1962) is an English retired professional footballer. Quinn was predominantly a centre forward from 1979 until 1996. Micky now works on UK radio station TalkSPORT, mostly on the Weekend Breakfast show.
|Full name||Michael Quinn|
|Date of birth||2 May 1962|
|Place of birth||Liverpool, England|
|Playing position||Centre forward|
|1994||→ Plymouth Argyle (loan)||3||(0)|
|1995||→ Watford (loan)||5||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Quinn played for Wigan Athletic, Stockport County, Oldham Athletic, Portsmouth, Newcastle United, Coventry City, Plymouth Argyle, Watford and PAOK Thessaloniki, during a career in which he played in 524 league matches and scored 235 league goals.
Quinn was born in the Everton area of Liverpool on Merseyside in 1962, the oldest of four children born to Michael Quinn and Patricia Silvano. From the age of five, Quinn lived on the Cantril Farm estate and from that young age he has been a supporter of Liverpool. Quinn is the grandson of Italian-born boxer Luigi Silvano (known professionally as Lou Sullivan)  who died in 1948 at the age of 39.
Quinn began his career as an apprentice with Derby County signing for the East Midlands club upon leaving school in 1978. However, Quinn only lasted four months at the Baseball Ground, and returned to his Merseyside home, suffering from homesickness. Eager to turn professional, Quinn joined Wigan Athletic in September 1979 as an apprentice and signed professional forms later in that season, being given his Fourth Division debut by manager Ian McNeill in April 1980, just prior to his 18th birthday. He went on to score 19 goals in 69 Fourth Division games for Wigan.
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, who were still in the Fourth Division, and it was at Stockport where Quinn established himself as a regular goalscorer. Now having proven his worth, Quinn attracted the interest of manager Joe Royle at Second Division Oldham Athletic and joined the club for £53,000 in January 1984. Quinn was at Boundary Park for just over two years and proved himself as a competent goalscorer at the higher level of football.
After scoring 34 goals in 80 Second Division games for Oldham, Quinn joined Portsmouth in March 1986, with manager Alan Ball paying £150,000 for Quinn's services in an attempt to push for promotion to the First Division, but Portsmouth just missed automatic promotion on the final day of the season – just as had happened the previous season. In April 1986, Quinn was found guilty of drink-driving and received a £100 fine, as well as a one-year driving ban for a similar offence committed in Liverpool during 1985. Quinn breached the driving ban twice later in 1986, and in January 1987 he was sentenced to 21 days in prison but was freed after serving 14 days. At the end of Portsmouth's home fixture against West Bromwich Albion on 25 October 1986, Quinn and teammate Paul Wood were both ejected from the ground by police officers after being overheard swearing at a linesman during the second half of the game. Chief Inspector David Hanna of Hampshire Constabulary said they would have been ejected at half-time if the incident had happened in the first half.
Despite this, Quinn was Portsmouth's top goalscorer with 24 goals in all competitions, as they finished Second Division runners-up and reclaimed their First Division place that they had last held in the late 1950s. However, Portsmouth were relegated back to the Second Division after just one year, with Quinn scoring 11 goals that season. Weighing in at around 88 kilograms (194 lb), Quinn's goals were celebrated by Portsmouth fans with the song "He's fat, he's round, he's worth a million pound, Micky Quinn, Micky Quinn!" In August 1987, Quinn was fined £5000 by The Football Association for declaring that he was "the hardest man in football."
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. Midway through the season, manager Alan Ball departed Fratton Park and was succeeded by John Gregory. 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 Quinn 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 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 £1.5 million 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. At the time, Quinn was one of the most expensive players ever to be signed by the Magpies.
Quinn scored four goals on his debut in a 5–2 home win over Leeds United on 19 August 1989 and finished as the Football League's top goalscorer for the 1989–90 season with 34 league goals. Quinn managed 39 goals in all competitions that season. The Magpies were beaten to one of the automatic promotion places by Leeds United and Sheffield United and their promotion hopes were ended when they lost to local rivals Sunderland in the play-offs. Quinn scored 20 goals for the Magpies the following season but the club's league form slumped and they finished down in tenth position. Before the season ended Quinn and his teammates had a new manager after Jim Smith resigned and was succeeded by Ossie Ardiles.
Quinn was ruled out of action for three months in October 1991, after he suffered a knee injury and managed just 7 goals in 22 matches. The 1991–92 season 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 and was 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". When the 1992–93 season started, Quinn was no longer a first-choice player on Tyneside and on 20 November 1992 was sold to Coventry City, whose manager Bobby Gould paid £250,000 for his services, after a bid from Aston Villa who were in the Premier League title race at the time was rejected by the North East England club. At the age of 30, Quinn would be playing in the top division of English football for only the second season in his career.
During his first six months at Highfield Road, Quinn scored 17 Premier League goals, 10 of which were in his first six games. Scoring in his first four games gives him the distinction of being one of only seven players to achieve this accolade and this would not be matched in the Premier League for 22 years. Quinn's run of goals included two goals each against Manchester City, Southampton, Liverpool and Aston Villa. Quinn's performances were not enough to take Coventry City beyond 15th place in the final league table, although they had occupied fourth place at one stage during the season. The club improved to 11th place the following season with Quinn scoring eight league goals, starting the 1993–94 season with a hat-trick versus Arsenal in a 3–0 away win at Highbury – the first game to be played at a remodelled all-seater Arsenal stadium.
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 injury but the international call-up from Graham Taylor never occurred. Quinn had already been 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. He was also eligible to play for the Italian national side due to having an Italian-born grandfather.
However, Quinn was dropped just three games into the 1994–95 season after falling out with the club's manager Phil Neal, following his dismissal versus Blackburn Rovers in the third game of the season and soon afterwards, Quinn was pushed further down the pecking order by the arrival of £2 million rated striker Dion Dublin, who had arrived from Manchester United. He then handed in a transfer request.
Quinn then had unproductive loan spells with Plymouth Argyle, in November 1994  and Watford, in March 1995 before newly appointed manager Ron Atkinson released him on 1 May 1995, the day before his 33rd birthday. After leaving Coventry City, Quinn had a brief spell playing in Greece with PAOK Thessaloniki. Shortly after signing for PAOK, his younger brother Sean died at the age of 25, and his mother died of cancer the following year.
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Quinn appeared on the BBC's Football Focus as part of their Cult Heroes series in 2005, inspired by his relatively prolific two seasons at Highfield Road. When at Coventry City, Quinn was nicknamed 'Sumo' and famously quoted that he was the Premier League's "fastest player over a yard". Quinn attracted the crowd chant of "Who Ate All the Pies?" due to his physique, which he used as the title of his 2003 autobiography. During his early days at Coventry, when he was in good goalscoring form, the affectionate chant "he's fat, he's round; he scores on every ground" was sung by fans. 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. Another nickname was the Mighty Quinn, another reference to his physique, from the song covered by Manfred Mann in 1967, although written by Bob Dylan.
Quinn applied for the manager's job at Burnley in 1996 but it went to Adrian Heath instead and he then decided to retire from football and concentrate on his career as a racehorse trainer. Quinn now has stables at Newmarket in Suffolk. Quinn also covers horse racing and football on the radio station TalkSPORT.
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- "Football: Police eject Portsmouth pair". The Times. London. 28 October 1986. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
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- 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.
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