Thursday, 29 March 2012

Dion Dublin

Dion Dublin Biography
Dion Dublin (born 22 April 1969 in Leicester, Leicestershire),[1] is a retired English footballer. He was capped four times for England. Dublin started his career as a centre back with Norwich City, but made his name at Cambridge United as a goal-scoring centre forward. However, in his later years he showed his versatility by becoming an accomplished defender. He had spells with Norwich City (twice), Cambridge United, Manchester United, Coventry City, Millwall, Aston Villa, Leicester City and Celtic.
Away from football, Dublin is also an accomplished amateur percussionist. He invented a percussion instrument, which he called "The Dube", and in 2011, he accompanied Ocean Colour Scene in a gig at the University of East Anglia, in Norwich.[2]
Norwich City
Whilst at school in Leicestershire, Dublin played for Wigston Fields; the local team in a small South Leicester Town. Dublin then went on to begin his professional footballing career with Norwich City after leaving school in 1985, but he never made a first team appearance and was released from the club in 1988.
[edit] Cambridge United
In August 1988, he joined Cambridge United on a free transfer,[3] as a centre-half, which had been his position at Norwich City. However, his new club recognised that Dublin had greater potential as a striker. United's then manager, Chris Turner, and assistant manager, John Beck, have both since claimed sole credit for spotting Dublin's ability as a striker.[citation needed] Whoever was responsible, very soon his prolific goalscoring helped United to successive promotions. During the 1988–89 season, Dublin was then loaned out for a short spell to Barnet. The 1989–90 season saw Cambridge promoted from the Fourth via the play-offs, when Dublin became the first ever scorer in a Wembley play-off final. In the 1990–91 season, the club were champions of the Third Division, and the club also reached the sixth round of the FA Cup in both seasons, with Dublin scoring at Arsenal in 1991. In the 1991–92 season, he played a big part in helping Cambridge to their highest ever finishing position in the football league, by finishing in fifth place in the last ever season of the old Second Division, but when Cambridge failed to win promotion to the top flight via the play-offs Dublin was put up for sale. He has since spoken many times of his affection for Cambridge United.
[edit] Manchester United
Having seen Dublin in a cup tie, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson signed him for £1 million on 7 August 1992, fighting off competition from Chelsea and Everton.[4] Dublin was something of a surprise purchase for United,[citation needed] after Ferguson had tried to sign Alan Shearer from Southampton but lost out to Blackburn Rovers.[5]
He scored in the fourth Premier League game of the 1992–93 season, a last minute winner in United's first Premier league victory – 1–0 against Southampton at The Dell.[6] However, on 2 September, he suffered a broken leg against Crystal Palace in a 1–0 win at Old Trafford, after a tackle by Eric Young,[7] and was out of action for six months.[8] By the time he had recovered, however, United had signed Eric Cantona and the Frenchman was firmly established as first choice strike partner to Mark Hughes. United won the league that season for the first time since 1967, but Dublin failed to make the 10 Premier League appearances required to automatically gain a title winner's medal. However, he was given a medal as a result of special dispensation from the Premier League, meaning goalkeeper Les Sealey was the only major first team player not to get a medal.
In the 1993–94 season, Dublin regained his fitness, but his first team chances were restricted by the excellent form of Eric Cantona. In December 1993, Ferguson agreed a deal with Everton manager Howard Kendall, that would have seen Dublin moving to Goodison Park, but a member of Everton's board of directors, apparently feeling that Dublin was not worth the money Kendall had offered United, intervened to prevent the transfer going through – this incident led directly to Kendall's resignation as Everton manager and Dublin ended up staying at Old Trafford until the end of the season.
He managed five league appearances that season, scoring once in a 3–2 home win over Oldham Athletic in early April.[9] He also managed a further goal in the Football League Cup second round first leg, as United were beaten 2–1 by Stoke City at the Victoria Ground. The goal against Oldham, was the only competitive goal, that Dublin scored for United at Old Trafford. He was left out of the FA Cup winning team, and failed to make enough appearances to merit another Premier League title winners medal, and soon after the end of the season, he was sold to Coventry City for £2 million.[10][11]
[edit] Coventry City
In four-and-a-half years with Coventry, Dublin established himself as one of the Premier League's top strikers and during the 1997–98 season won the first of his four England full caps. That season, he equalled the Coventry City record for most goals in a top division season with 23 goals in all competitions.
Following Phil Neal's departure in 1995, the arrival of Ron Atkinson and Gordon Strachan would see Dublin fit into an attacking team in the typical Atkinson mould. It included the likes of Noel Whelan, John Salako and Darren Huckerby to add to the already attack minded Peter Ndlovu. The addition of Gary McAllister, following Euro 96, should have provided mid table stability but the teams defensive frailties often undermined Dublin's scoring at the other end. This culminated in possibly one of the greatest escapes in Premiership history in May 1997. Sitting second from bottom, Coventry City needed favourable results elsewhere whilst needing an away win at White Hart Lane. This game followed on from an away win at Anfield (Dublin scoring in the dying seconds) and a home win against Chelsea. But at Tottenham Hotspur that afternoon, cheered on by a large travelling contingent of Sky Blues faithful, Dublin scored in the first half before Paul Williams netted to secure an unlikely 2–1 win. The game reached a nerve racking climax which included a memorable late save from City keeper Steve Ogrizovic. The following season however, the Sky Blues enjoyed an impressive home record and at long last a season of mid table security. Dublin formed a dynamic partnership with Darren Huckerby which not only produced some memorable goals but also propelled the Sky Blues to the FA Cup Quarter Final against Sheffield United; a game they narrowly lost in a penalty shoot out. The 1997/98 season also saw Dublin share elite status as the Premier League's top scorer with Blackburn's Chris Sutton and Liverpool's Michael Owen – each Englishman scoring 18 league goals. During this season, Blackburn manager Roy Hodgson tabled a bid which Dublin rejected. He remained at Highfield Road and contributed to Coventry's best finish to date in the Premiership (11th). Despite Dion Dublin's fantastic form he was not included in England's 1998 World Cup Squad.
Although many people saw the eventual sale of Robbie Keane in 2000 as the principal catalyst in Coventry City's 2001 relegation, the goalscoring deficit left by the sale of Dion Dublin is often overlooked. His ability to score over 15 goals per season, often in tightly contested relegation battles, was to prove irreplaceable. His transfer to Aston Villa caused some rancour amongst City fans, who suggested a lack of loyalty from the No.9, he was jeered by Coventry fans when Aston Villa played against Coventry during 1998/1999 season but today memories have mellowed and no City fan would deny the enormous contribution that Dion Dublin made to the club's fortunes. No other Coventry City player has scored more goals for the Sky Blues in England's top division.
[edit] Aston Villa
Dublin was controversially excluded from the England 1998 FIFA World Cup squad, despite being the Premier League's joint top-scorer in the 1997–98 season, alongside Michael Owen. However, his exploits at club level were still attracting significant attention and in the autumn of 1998, he chose to move to Coventry's arch-rivals Aston Villa for £5.75 million.[12] In his first four games for the club, he would score 7 goals including a memorable hat-trick against Southampton in only his second game for the Villans. As a result, he is one of only six players to score in the first four consecutive games for a club.[13]
In December 1999, whilst playing for Aston Villa against Sheffield Wednesday, he sustained a life threatening broken neck,[14] as a result of which he permanently has a titanium plate holding three neck vertebrae together. In April 2000, a week after returning to the team, he helped Aston Villa reach their first FA Cup final in 43 years, which they lost 1–0 against Chelsea,[15] scoring a penalty in the semi-final shoot-out against Bolton Wanderers.[16] Having regained his fitness, Dublin remained on the Villa Park payroll until 2002.
Faced with competition for a first team place by Juan Pablo Ángel and Peter Crouch, Dublin spent several weeks on loan at First Division Millwall. In his time there, he scored two goals, against Stockport County,[17] and Grimsby Town[18] in five league matches to help them in to the play offs where despite Dublin's goal in the first leg of the semi final,[19] Millwall lost to Birmingham City 2–1 on aggregate.[20] Returning to Villa, he found himself again a first choice striker, partnering Darius Vassell up front. Dublin was sent off at Villa Park for a headbutt on Robbie Savage in the Birmingham derby match, which ended 2–0 to Birmingham City.
[edit] Leicester City
When his contract expired in the summer of 2004, he was given a free transfer. He was signed by Leicester City, who had been relegated from the Premier League to the Championship.[21] In his first season with the club, he scored only four goals in 38 competitive matches. During the 2005–06 season, Dublin lost his place as the team's main striker, but continued to appear as a defender. His contract at Leicester City was terminated by mutual consent on 30 January 2006.
[edit] Celtic
He was snapped up quickly by then Celtic manager Gordon Strachan, to cover for the loss of Chris Sutton, on a contract until the end of the season.[22] At Celtic, Dublin achieved double success, with Scottish League Cup and Scottish Premier League winner's medals. He came on as a sub and scored the final goal, as Celtic won the Scottish League Cup final,[23] and also played enough matches with Celtic to merit a title medal. In the league, he made three league starts and eight substitute appearances for Celtic, scoring once against Kilmarnock.[24] Despite one or two decent performances for the Parkhead outift, Dublin was released by manager Gordon Strachan
Dion Dublin
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funny goal by Dion Dublin
Dion Dublin on Milner, Karaoke with Lee Sharpe and dressing up as Henry VIII

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