Player name in full: Niall John Quinn
To/from dates: 1990-1996
Number of appearances: 218
Goals scored: 78
Niall Quinn was born on 6th October 1966 in Dublin and started his sporting career as a boy playing Gaelic Football and Hurling.
His football career started in 1983 when he signed as a professional with Arsenal making his first team debut in 1985 against Liverpool and scoring one goal in a 2-0 victory. At the end of that season he received his first call up to the Republic of Ireland squad. In total Niall made 94 appearances for Arsenal, starting in 81 games, and scoring 20 goals.
Niall was signed for Manchester City in March 1990, by manager Howard Kendall for £800,000, and he made his debut on 21st March against Chelsea at Maine Road scoring the only goal in a 1-1 draw. In the following season Niall was a regular and scored 22 goals.
Over the course of 6 seasons he made a total of 218 appearances scoring a total of 78 goals although he suffered a cruciate ligament injury in the 1993/94 season and only made 18 appearances during that season. His final appearance was on 5th May 1996 against Liverpool in a 2-2 draw at Maine Road.
His most famous game during his City career was on 20th April 1991 when he scored early on and then later saved a penalty as City beat Derby County 2–1, relegating Derby in the process. This was due to the City goalkeeper Tony Coton being sent off before half time for fouling Dean Saunders to concede the penalty. As teams rarely named goalkeepers as a substitute at that time, Niall replaced Coton in goal.
In August 1996, Niall signed for Sunderland for a club record £1.3M. His final appearance for Sunderland came on 19 October 2002 against West Ham. In total he made 218 appearances scoring 67 goals.
He also has the distinction of being the first player to score at Sunderland's then new stadium, The Stadium of Light, against Manchester City in 1997. In 2006, he also briefly managed Sunderland as well as becoming club chairman where he remained until October 2011.
Niall Quinn also had an illustrious international career winning 92 caps playing for the Republic of Ireland and scoring 21 goals, which was a record at that time, subsequently overtaken by Robbie Keane.
In 2002 he had a testimonial match between Sunderland and the Republic of Ireland. He donated the entire proceeds to charity, an act for which he received numerous awards, including an honorary MBE. He played for both teams during the match, raising over £1 million. The Republic of Ireland won the match 3–0.
In his full league career lasting 19 years, he played a total of 475 times in both the Premier League and Football League, scoring 141 goals.
Since retirement, he has had a career in television including being a pundit on Sky Sports.
In January 2020, Quinn was appointed as interim deputy chief executive officer of the Football Association of Ireland, not taking any salary, until the financial future of the organisation could be secured.