Don Givens – Caretaker Irish Soccer Manager
Don Givens has stepped in as caretaker manager of the Irish senior soccer team on two separate occasions. Givens is a former Irish international and spent almost ten years as the Republic of Ireland Under 21’s manager.
Givens who hails from Limerick is known for his fiery temperament and his passionate commitment to Irish soccer. During his playing career and his management of Irish teams he has been involved in controversy including sendings off and disagreements with players.
Don Givens Football Background
Don Givens was born in Limerick on 9th August 1949. A centre forward, Givens began his English football career with Manchester United. He only made eight appearances before he transferred to Luton Town. It is as a Queens Park Rangers player that he is best remembered. Givens made over 240 appearances for QPR scoring 76 goals.
Following six years with QPR he transferred to Birmingham City and made 59 appearances scoring ten goals. He then spent short periods with Bournemouth, on loan, and Sheffield United.
Don Givens’ last football club was Neuchâtel Xamax in Switzerland. He made almost 150 appearances for the Swiss outfit and scored 34 goals. Givens retired from playing football in 1987.
Don Givens – International Career
Don Givens made his debut for the Republic of Ireland on 27th May 1969 in a 1970 World Cup qualifier against Denmark. The Irish team lost 2-0 and it would be another 12 matches and more than three years before Givens would taste victory in the green jersey of Ireland. Don Givens scored his first goal for Ireland in his second match in June 1969 in a home match against Hungary.
Givens announced himself on the international football stage with a outstanding hat trick in a sensational 3-0 victory over a powerful USSR side in a 1976 European championship qualifier. Almost exactly one year later Givens repeated the feat once again at Dalymount Park. In fact he went one better by scoring four goals against Turkey and scoring the fastest Irish international hat trick in the process. It is also the most goals ever scored by an Irish international in a single match.
Don Givens went on to become the highest Irish goal scorer with 19 goals from 56 matches. He has subsequently joined on 19 goals by Tony Cascarino, and been eclipsed by Frank Stapleton, Niall Quinn, and Robbie Keane. Givens last match for the Republic of Ireland was on 14th October 1981 in a 3-2 win over France at Dalymount Park in the 1982 World Cup qualifiers.
Don Givens as Caretaker Republic of Ireland Manager
Don Givens was appointed the Republic of Ireland Under-21 manager in 2000 and he held this position until March 2010. On two separate occasions he was asked to take charge of the senior team in a caretaker capacity.
Following the the resignation of Mick McCarthy as Irish manager in November 2002 Givens managed the Irish team for a friendly match against Greece in Athens. The match ended scoreless.
Givens was once again appointed as caretaker manager of the Republic of Ireland following the dismissal of Stephen Staunton in October 2007. This was for the final match of the Euro 2008 qualifiers against Wales on 17th November 2007. The Irish team was well out of contention by this stage and the match ended in a 2-2 draw with Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle scoring the goals for Ireland.
He also managed Ireland in a friendly match against Brazil in February 2008. Brazil won the encounter 0-1 at Croke Park.
Don Givens’ Record as Irish Manager
Republic of Ireland Football Managers – Irish Manager’s Records
Mick Meagan – Liam Tuohy – Sean Thomas – John Giles – Alan Kelly Snr – Eoin Hand – Jack Charlton
Irish Football Players
John Aldridge – George Best – Packie Bonner – Liam Brady – Shay Brennan – Noel Cantwell – Johnny Carey