Premier League Career: Coventry City (1992-1994)
Mick Quinn made 64 Premier League appearances for Coventry City and his return of 25 goals in that time is very impressive figures.
He was born in the Everton area of Merseyside but grew up as a Liverpool FC fan. He began his career in the late 1970s as an apprentice at Derby County but would turn professional with Wigan Athletic in September 1979. He made 69 appearances for Wigan, scoring 19 times for them as they were toiling at the time in the old Fourth Division.
Despite helping Wigan to promotion in 1982, he was given a free transfer and moved to Stockport County, before a spell at Oldham Athletic. At both of these clubs, he started to become a prolific goalscorer.
Totals of 54 goals in 121 appearances for Portsmouth and 57 strikes in 110 appearances for Newcastle United showed his instincts of finding the back of the net. Between 1985 and 1992, Quinn was one of the top strikers outside of the top-flight. He did have one season with Portsmouth in the First Division in 1987-1988 but it ended in relegation. During his Pompey spell, he also spent two weeks in jail after breaching a driving ban which had been handed down to him for a drink-driving charge.
At Newcastle, he scored 34 times in the 1989-1990 season, including four on his debut against Leeds United. Quinn ended up as the Football League’s top goalscorer for that season. Newcastle’s form in the Second Division dropped off after 1990 as they missed out on promotion via the play-offs. He fell out with Kevin Keegan on his arrival as manager and was sold to Coventry City in November 1992 for £250,000.
Coventry manager Bobby Gould got an immediate payment back on Quinn’s signature as he scored 17 goals in his first six months at Highfield Road. Nicknamed ‘Sumo’ by the supporters, he scored braces against Manchester City, Southampton, Liverpool FC and Aston Villa. The latter two sides lost heavily (5-1 and 3-0) respectively as the Midlands side reached the dizzy heights of fourth in the table. They couldn’t maintain their early season tempo and faded to 15th in the final standings.
Quinn made a rip-roaring start to the 1993-1994 campaign, scoring a stunning hat-trick on the opening day as Coventry stunned one of the title favourites, Arsenal 3-0 at Highbury. Another five goals followed as the Sky Blues improved to 11th under the guidance of Phil Neal, who had succeeded Gould in October 1993.
He started the first three games of the next campaign but his Coventry career effectively ended after an unnecessary red card at Ewood Park against Blackburn Rovers. When he left the field midway through the second half, the game was firmly in the balance at 0-0. By full-time, Blackburn won 4-0. Neal was furious with Quinn and signed Dion Dublin for £2 million in the aftermath of this defeat. He never started a game again for Coventry and made his final appearance on New Years’ Eve 1994 in a 4-0 loss at home to Tottenham.
Unproductive loan spells followed at Plymouth Argyle and Watford before a brief spell in Greece with PAOK. Shortly after his signature in Greece, his younger brother died at the age of just 25. He left the Greek club in February 1996 and decided to retire from the game with immediate effect.
Today, he has racehorse stables in Newmarket, does some scouting work for Wigan Athletic and covers football and horse racing for radio station talkSPORT.