Here’s the run down so far
Shay started playing his football in his Dad’s front garden, if fact anywhere a ball would bounce. Shay’s three elder brothers would thump the throttle out of Shay, day in day out, so it was no surprise when he was playing for the local mens team Lifford Celtic at age 14, which in fact first brought Shay to the Limelight playing in the FAI’s Junior Cup for Lifford in the Semi-Final in Dundalk, getting beat 1:0 but Shay was definately a big talking point in goal holding his own and looking very assured for a 14-year old.
Shay also played anything with a ball in it at his old School St. Columba’s College Stranorlar, in Co. Donegal.
Shay was invited to join Celtic on a pre-season tour of Ireland when he was just 15 and then signed terms at 16.
He moved to bonny Scotland before in 1994 moving down to Blackburn Rovers to join Kenny Dalglish. Kenny was instrumental then in bringing Shay to the north-east again joing Kenny in the top flight with Newcastle United in 1997 costing 1.5 million, a bargain really. It hasn’t always been easy but Shay’s enjoyed the best season ever and received due honour from his fellow professionals, being selected for the Premiership top 11. Long may it continue.
Shay had his work cut out for him at Blackburn Rovers trying to replace Tim Flowers an England international. Shay played only 2 games at Ewood Park before going on loan at first to Swindon Town and then at Sunderland 1995-1996, keeping 16 clean sheets out of 17 appearances for Sunderland. Even though brought back to Blackburn, Sunderland sent on the “Division One winners medal” to Shay.
He played in the 1998 FA Cup Final and then missed out on the 1999 FA Cup Final when displaced by Steve Harper, but after sitting out the start of the 1999/2000 season, ended the campaign in possession of the first-team place. In 2000/01, Shay was once again in magnificent form for club and country and earned most supporters’ awards as their Player of the Season.
Shay lost his place briefly to Steve Harper (friend and rival) due to injury and handed in a hasty transfer request out of protest on being fit again after 2 games out. The request was more a protest rather than a genuine wish to ever leave the club. The club rejected the request and luckily for Shay, Steve Harper injured himself in training and he was back in and hasn’t looked back since with his best ever season in 2001/02.
Last year was a bumpy one for Shay injury wise with him needed more surgery in Munich Germany to relieve groin trouble. He says now that he feels like a new man and that seems to be reflected in his opening games for Newcastle United this season.
Manchester City F.C. have brought Shay to their club for an ‘undisclosed-fee’ and joins younger keepers ‘Hart’ and ‘Schmeichel’ in the now growing Man City squad.
Shay is recovering from his shoulder injury sustained after a save against Arsenal at their ground.