Shay Given explains why he signed for Celtic instead of Manchester United in 1991

Celtic U-20s

Shay Given signed for Celtic instead of Manchester United in 1991.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Shay Given has explained why he opted to sign for Celtic in 1991, despite Manchester United wanting to bring him to Old Trafford.

Given said: “I was a Celtic supporter growing up. My dad helped me make the decision, and he basically said: ‘you’ve got more chance breaking into the Celtic team’. And for me, it was that getting into the first-team and getting games.”

Given started career in Ireland’s youth leagues, before moving to Parkhead in 1991 to link up with the Bhoys’ youth system.

He has admitted that he opted to head to Scotland rather than Manchester as the chances of playing first-team football were much higher with Celtic, than under Alex Ferguson.

However, Given never actually made an appearance for the Bhoys - who he supported as a child - although he did once appear on the substitutes bench for an Old Firm derby against Rangers.

His performances in the Celtic youth team brought him to the attention of Kenny Dalglish, who opted to sign him for Blackburn in 1994, and his impressive Premier League career started.

This career has taken in spells with Newcastle, Manchester City, Aston Villa, and he is currently on the books at Stoke City, where the 39-year-old is back-up keeper to the talented Jack Butland.

He is often considered as one of the best and most consistent goalkeepers in Premier League history, and his choice to join Celtic over Manchester United has certainly been rewarded in the last 20 years.

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