Born 2nd June 1962, Mick Quinn is a racehorse trainer and former footballer who has led a colourful existence.
Mick grew up in Cantril Farm (now Stockbridge Village), and wanted to be a footballer from an early age. However after being accepted as an apprentice at Derby County when he was 16 in 1978 he lasted just 4 months, returning home due to homesickness.
The following season Mick joined 4th Division Wigan Athletic, which allowed him to live at home but his career nearly ended before it began when he was rumbled for continuing to sign on the dole - luckily for him the DSS didnt prosecute and allowed him to pay the money back weekly whilst Wigan's manager simply didnt tell the chairman.
Wigan were promoted in 1982 but their manager Larry Lloyd didnt think Mick was ready to make the step up and he was given a free transfer to Stockport County, for whom he scored 39 goals in 63 appearances. Despite his robust physique, Mick had an eye for goal and was good at shaking off defenders abnd getting shots on goal. This attracted the attentions of 2nd Division Oldham who signed him for £53,000 in January 1984.
After 34 goals in 80 appearances Mick attracted the attentions of promotion hopefuls Portsmouth who signed him for £150,000 in March 1986. Portsmouth narrowly missed promotion that season but in 1986-7 he was their leading scorer as they were promoted to the 1st Division. This is despite a 3 week stint in jail for driving whilst disqualified.
During the 1987-8 season Mick wasnt a regular in the side and Portsmouth were relegated, but he remained there for the 1988-9 season when he was again in and out of the side. At the end of that season Mick's contract was up and he sought a move after a credible 54 goals from 121 games.
Mick hoped to move to a top flight club but when Newcastle United,who were languising in the 2nd Division came in for him he couldnt turn it down. Mick was attracted by the clubs potential and passion of the fans and wanted to play for them, but he was greeted at St James Park by a demonstration against the board and a banner proclaiming "Who the F**k is Mick Quinn". Mick responded by scoring 4 goals on his debut, a 5-2 win over Leeds and celebrated by getting drunk and urinating in the plantpots of the hotel where he was staying.
Newcastle just missed out on promotion that season but Mick finished as their top scorer with 36 goals. Mick enjoyed his time in Newcastle where he never needed to buy himself a drink,and he was a regular in the betting shops as well. This led to regular bust ups with his partner who complained of very little of his earnings making it was to her and on one occasion she stabbed him in the hand with a kitchen knife, missing a tnedon by millimetres.
Mick eventually fell out of love with Newcastle when Kevin Keegan took over as manager in 1991-2 and he got a surprise move to the Premiership with Coventry City, who paid £250,000 for him. Mick again kept banging in the goals despite tauints from opposition fans who thought he looked anything but a premiership footballer. This included one against boyhood idols Liverpool in a 5-1 drubbing of Graeme Souness's side in December 1992. Mick made no mistake of his love for the Reds and on one occasion promised to do all he could to dent Manchester united's title chances, a game which eventually saw him get sent off for pushing their keeper Peter Scheicel over.
In 1993-4 Mick suffered his first major injury of his career whilst playing against old club Newcastle and after that he struggled to get back in the side, with manager Phil Neal preferring other options. Neal was sacked in 1994-5 but new boss Ron Atkinson admitted he wanted to build a team of promising youngsters and not use experience. As such Mick had unfruitful loan spells at Plymouth and Watford before moving to Greece with PAOK Salonika in 1995.
Mick found life in Greece different in that he couldnt go to the betting shop or pub but he enjoyed spending time with his new parner and enjoying a fifferent culture. The fans were fanatics and after he scored the winning goal on his debut in a cup game against a team in Crete the players had to be escorted off the pitch and all the windows of the coach were smashed on its way to the airport. Mick scored 7 goals in 15 appearances for PAOK before his contract was terminated in February 1996 as the chairman admitted he couldnt afford to pay the players wages after the stadium was closed following crowd violence in a game against AEK Athens.
Rather than drop down the divisions Mick decided on a whole change of career and moved into racing. With a helping hand from ex team mate trainer Mick Channon he started off at the bottom mucking out stables,working his way up to get his trainers licence in October 1997 and opening stables in Oxfordshire. Owners whose horses he trained included Brookside star Paul Byatt and Everton footballer Duncan Ferguson.
Channon had warned Mick that a Scouse ex footballer would not be welcome in the gorse racing world and any breaches of conduct would be punished severely. These words came back to haunt him in the summer of 2001 when Mick was suspended for 2.5 years for failing to look after 3 of his horses properly. This was later reduced by a year on appeal and he has since successully returned to training, now being based in Newmarket.
Apart from his racing interests, Mick does occasional media work and was a star in ITVs Celebrity Fit Club in 2006, winning the competition by losing 4 stone.
Mick's personal life during his football career was a succession of booze ups, one night stands and betting. He estimates he earnt £750000 from playing footbal but at the end of his career didnt own a house or car. He is now far more settled and became a father for the 4th time in May 2007 but admits he can still drink when social necessity arises.Mick is still a regular visitor to Merseyside where 3 of his children, father, brother and sister still live.