Player of the Day: Mick McGiven

by Ashley Houghton

Defender in the spotlight.

Frizzy-haired centre-half Mick McGiven made 127 appearances in five years on Wearside between 1969 and 1974.

McGiven joined Sunderland as a schoolboy from Newcastle and was thrown straight into the team by manager Alan Brown.

During McGiven’s first full season he made 46 appearances, featuring in every league game as Sunderland suffered relegation from Division One.

Brown’s side lost Colin Todd at the beginning of the 1970-71 campaign as former Sunderland man Brian Clough took Todd to Derby County for £175,000.

McGiven played 15 times as the Lads struggled to adapt the life in the second tier, though McGiven did chip in with three goals two of which were winners against Norwich City and Bristol City at Roker Park.

The following campaign was much improved for Sunderland as they finished fifth in the table, losing out on promotion by only four points.

McGiven featured more prominently too as he recorded 38 appearances in all competitions, scoring four goals.

After a poor start to the 1972-73 campaign, manager Brown was dismissed with Billy Elliott taking caretaker charge prior to Bob Stokoe’s appointment.

In one of the most memorable years in club history, McGiven played 20 games but didn’t feature in the latter rounds of the FA Cup winning campaign, though he did play in the two games against Notts County in the third round.

McGiven played five more games for Sunderland during the 1973-74 campaign before joining West Ham United on loan – a move he would later make permanent.

The Tyneside-born defender went to East London with the daunting task of replacing World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore.

McGiven spent four years with the Hammers, playing 48 league games before joining the coaching staff.

Since coaching at West Ham, he has also had similar roles with Ipswich Town and Chelsea.