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Shay Given Named Donegal Person of the Year

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Shay Given's been named as the 2017 Donegal Person of the Year.

The sportsperson, who's from Lifford, is well known locally, nationally and internationally for his soccer career.

His autobiography 'Any Given Saturday' was shortlisted as the Bord Gáis Energy Sports Book of the Year.

He started his soccer career with Lifford Celtic and at the age of 15 and he moved to Glasgow Celtic.

He later went to Blackburn, Swindon, Newcastle, Sunderland, Manchester City, Aston Villa and Stoke City.

At the age of 19, he was called up by Mick McCarthy to play for the Republic of Ireland.

This kick-started his international career, which lasted 16 years.

He followed in the footsteps of former Donegal Person of the Year, Packie Bonner in taking his place in the Republic of Ireland goals.

He's previously spoken of the fact that he owes a great debt of gratitude to his upbringing in Donegal.

He's said that some of the highlights of his youth include catching fish, using jumpers for goalposts, building bonfires for Halloween and gathering potatoes for his father.

Shay was also awarded the Freedom of Donegal in 2006.

President of the Donegal Association, Hugh Harkin said: "Shay Given has been at the top of his profession and has attributed much of his success to his upbringing in Donegal.

"Shay has shown great determination, courage and honesty all through his successful career. He has also been extremely generous in sharing the fruits of his success, especially to cancer related charities which are very close to Shay's heart.

"In fact, I believe that Shay is a personality who epitomises the best in Donegal."


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