|Full name:||Dion Dublin|
|Date of birth:||April 22, 1969|
|Clubs played for:||Norwich, Cambridge, Manchester United, Coventry, Aston Villa, Millwall (loan), Leicester, Celtic, Norwich|
Having left Norwich without making a first-team appearance, centre-back Dublin dropped down the leagues to sign for Cambridge, where no-frills manager John Beck took one look at the powerfully-built 6ft 2in teenager and converted him to centre-forward. Successive promotions followed and United almost made it into the new Premier League, before selling their prize asset to Manchester United.
But Dublin broke an ankle early in his first and only season at Old Trafford and was allowed to leave for Coventry, almost single-handedly keeping the Sky Blues in the top-flight, not just through his sheer weight of goals, but also as a makeshift centre-half when required.
He was one of the few footballers to make the switch from Highfield Road to Villa Park without incurring the fans' wrath, and began at a canter, but suffered a broken neck in 1999. He wound down his career with Martin O’Neill at Leicester and Celtic before, with neat symmetry, ending it at Norwich.
Dublin's impressive form for Coventry earned him a surprise call-up to Glenn Hoddle's England squad for a friendly against Chile in 1998. He debuted in a 2-0 defeat and went on to make two more appearances but was omitted from the squad for France 98. His last international cap came in November 1998
International Career Stats
Coventry 2-1 Tottenham (Premier League, May 11, 1997)
Going into the last game of the 1996-97 season, Coventry were sitting in the final relegation spot. Goals from Dublin and Paul Williams gave them a 2-0 lead before Spurs' Paul McVeigh pulled one back. Having heard that results elsewhere were going in their favour, Gordon Strachan's men staged a desperate rearguard action with Dublin operating as an extra defender. After a few close calls, the scoreline was enough to keep City in the Premier League by a single point.
Coventry 3-2 Chelsea (Premier League, August 9, 1997)
Dublin made his 100th league appearance for Coventry on the first day of the 1997-98 season. Having equalised in the first half, he waited until City were 2-1 down with eight minutes remaining before netting twice to stun a Blues side featuring Zola, Poyet and Di Matteo.
Southampton 1-4 Aston Villa (Premier League, November 14, 1998)
Dublin’s first 16 days as a Villa player weren’t too shabby. He scored twice on his debut against Spurs, added a hat-trick against the Saints, notched another two in a 4-2 home defeat by Liverpool and then started for England against the Czech Republic.
Did You Know...?
Dublin reportedly had a sense of humour failure when a book 'Staying Up' – written with the approval and co-operation of Coventry – repeated a light-hearted conversation between chairman Bryan Richardson and Dublin’s former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson. Referring to the striker's impressive manhood, Ferguson said: “Big? It isn't big. It's magnificent! I've seen some whoppers in my time, but Dion's is something else!"
After being dumped by Norwich, Dublin worked in a sock factory for £80 a week, a leisure centre and an ice cream factory before signing for Cambridge.
Urban legend had it that Dublin's dad was the drummer in '70s pop combo Showaddywaddy. Alas, it’s not true, but Dublin’s bassist dad was close friends with the dismal doo-woppers’ brilliantly-named sticksman Romeo Challenger.
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