After nearly six decades in football, first as a player, then as a coach and a scout, Chelsea opposition scout Mick McGiven has retired, the club announced on Tuesday. McGiven had been in his current role since 2006, when Jose Mourinho named him opposition scout after a decade spent coaching Chelsea’s youth and reserves teams.
Prior to Chelsea, the former FA Youth Cup champion (Sunderland 1968-69) and top flight defender (Sunderland, West Ham) coached at West Ham and served as assistant then later head coach at Ipswich Town in the early ‘90s, leading them to promotion and a couple seasons of survival in the fledgling Premier League — his tenure as head coach is somewhat unacknowledged as John Lyall was the official manager but basically acted as a director of football before his sacking in late 1994. McGiven had briefly spent time as a Chelsea youth coach in the 1980s as well, then re-joined after the Ipswich job and never left.
McGiven played a key role in the development of John Terry and that generation of youth players, and there are some lovely words in tribute to him on the official website.
There’s no word who, if anyone, might be taking over his share of the opposition scouting duties — a department headed up by James Melbourne — or if the backroom roles are still in flux due to the departure of Michael Emenalo last year and the lack of any official word about a reorganization at Chelsea ever since.
We wish all the best to McGiven in his retirement.