Welcome to Last Word on Football’s ‘Families in Football’ series. Over the next few weeks, we take a look at siblings, cousins and even parents and children that have played the beautiful game. Some have played cup finals together while others have been on opposing sides. Today, we look at brothers Andy and Michael Dawson.
Families in Football: Andy and Michael Dawson
Andy Dawson is the older brother of former Nottingham Forest, Hull City and Tottenham Hotspur defender, Michael. Like his more famous sibling, Andy was also a defender and his career spanned from 1997 to 2015 when he decided to call time.
He started out at Nottingham Forest, just as Michael did, but he only made one appearance at first-team level and moved on to play for Scunthorpe United. His career really took flight in 2003 when he joined Hull City on a free transfer, proving to be a shrewd piece of the business by the club.
When Dawson joined Hull, he became a first-choice left-back under manager Peter Taylor and was a vital part of the two successive promotion seasons that saw the teams’ quick rise to the Championship, and eventually the Premier League. Dawson was one of three players to play for Hull in each of the four divisions. The other players were Boaz Myhill, Ryan France and Ian Ashbee. Andy rarely missed a game for Hull in the Premier League and was still a mainstay when the club were eventually relegated back to the Championship.
Dawson signed several contract extensions and when he signed his final one-year extension in 2012, he earned the right to a testimonial. Andy had completed ten seasons with Hull and entered the history books when he became the first player in the clubs’ history to win four promotions. He achieved this feat when, at the end of the 2012/13 season, he helped the club return back to the Premier League.
Sadly for Andy, he was then released and never got the chance to play once more in the top league that he had done so much to help achieve promotion to, but he did get his testimonial game in August 2013 against Real Betis.
Since ending his playing career, Andy has held coaching roles with Scunthorpe and Hull.
Younger brother Michael started his career playing for local sporting boys outfit Northallerton Juniors before he signed as a youth professional with Nottingham Forest at the age of 14. In November 2000, he signed his first professional contract and made his debut against Walsall but was on the wrong side of a 3-2 scoreline.
Michael enjoyed breaking into the first team and in the 2002/03 season, he became a regular at the back alongside club legend Des Walker. It was a season that saw Forest reach the playoff semi-finals but they threw away a first-leg advantage over Sheffield United and were defeated 5-4 on aggregate.
In 2005, Dawson was part of an £8 million double swoop by Tottenham Hotspur which involved the transfer from Forest of his teammate Andy Reid. It wasn’t until the end of that season that Dawson made his debut for Spurs in a 2-2 draw against Liverpool.
The following season saw Michael become a fan favourite at White Hart Lane and he scored his first goal for the club against Chelsea at White Hart Lane in a 2-1 win for Spurs. Dawson then went on to become club captain against Chelsea in the 2006/07 FA Cup quarter-final with Ledley King and Robbie Keane both being absent due to injuries.
The defender was unlucky in 2008 to pick up an injury, meaning he missed the League Cup final when Spurs beat Chelsea. The following season, Spurs had the chance to retain the trophy and this time Dawson played but Spurs were woeful in the penalty shoot-out and Manchester United took the trophy.
The 2009/10 season was a campaign that saw Dawson excel at the back and he claimed the club’s player of the year award.
Hull City was a prominent club in the Dawson’s family footballing career and it was Hull that Michael joined in 2014 for a fee of around £3.5 million. Dawson was the captain on 17 occasions but it would see Hull relegated back to the Championship. Despite relegation, the defender helped the club return to the top-flight.
Dawson returned to Forest for the remainder of his career and finally retired at the end of the 2020/21 season. He made his full international debut in 2010 against Hungary in a friendly tie.
Michael is now a club ambassador along with Ledley King at his former club Tottenham.
Games Played Against Each Other
The brothers never played on the same team as each other but faced off on two occasions when Michael was at Spurs and Andy at Hull.
Andy and Michael Dawson also have brother Kevin. Like the siblings, he too played football but failed to hit the same heights. Most notably, he spent three years at Chesterfield before dropping down into non-league football.