David John Ian Dunn (born 27 December 1979) is an English former professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. He spent the majority of his career playing for Blackburn Rovers. Following a short-lived player-manager spell at League One club Oldham Athletic, Dunn returned to Blackburn Rovers in February 2016, working alongside former teammate Damien Johnson as Under 23s assistant coach. He is currently the club's first team coach, assisting head coach Tony Mowbray.
He also played for Birmingham City in between his two spells with Blackburn Rovers, and made his only appearance for England in 2002.
Dunn joined Blackburn Rovers as a trainee at the beginning of 1997 and made his debut during a goalless draw with Everton on 26 September 1998. Dunn came off the bench after 70 minutes, but was taken off again on 81 minutes, due to the sending off of Martin Dahlin.
In his second appearance Blackburn beat Newcastle United at St James' Park in the League Cup and Dunn scored the winning penalty in the shootout.
His first goal came in a 3–1 victory against Aston Villa on 26 February 1999, but the team was subsequently relegated in this, his first full season. In 2000–01 Blackburn entertained Rochdale in the League Cup where Dunn scored a hat-trick from the penalty spot. He reached double figures in terms of goals in 2000, and continued his good form in 2001–02 when the club won the League Cup. Dunn starred in Rovers return to the Premier League, putting in a string of impressive performances, notably in the 7–1 win over West Ham United and the 3–3 draw at Arsenal, where he managed to score two goals, one a last minute equaliser.
A string of fine performances in 2001 put Dunn in contention for a call-up to the England squad, but he did not win his first cap until September 2002, when he replaced Kieron Dyer. He impressed against Portugal but has not been given another chance on the big stage since. Dunn began the 2002–03 season in good form but a loss of form did not help his cause and he fell out with then Blackburn manager Graeme Souness. Subsequently, Dunn was ready to move on to another club in the summer of 2003. Blackburn initially rejected offers from a number of clubs, but Birmingham City's revised bid of £5.5 million was accepted, and Dunn moved to the West Midlands in time for the start of the 2003–04 season.
After signing a four-year contract, Dunn's Birmingham City career started brightly with a debut goal in the 1–0 victory over Tottenham on 16 August 2003.
A niggling hamstring sustained in February 2004 meant that Dunn spent much of the second half of that season on the sidelines. The beginning of 2004–05 again saw Dunn quickly re-establishing himself in the heart of the Birmingham midfield and chipping in with some vital goals. A recurrence of Dunn's hamstring problems in November 2004 limited him to just a handful of performances for the remainder of 2004–05 and kept him out of the side until midway through 2005–06.
Ultimately, Birmingham were relegated from the Premier League with Dunn still not returning to fitness.
In October 2006, Dunn was linked with a return to Blackburn in the upcoming transfer window. However, both Dunn and Rovers' manager Mark Hughes denied this.
Return to Blackburn Rovers
On 17 January Dunn returned to Blackburn Rovers for an undisclosed fee on a three-and-a-half-year deal believed to be £2.2 million.
He managed to play a small part in the remainder of the 2006–07 season and earned a free kick against Sheffield United which led to Rovers scoring a last minute winner.
On 3 February 2007, he played his first Premiership match since his return to Blackburn Rovers against Sheffield United. At the end of this campaign he managed to feature in 16 games in all competitions in total, including appearing in 11 Premier League matches.
Dunn was a regular for Rovers in the 2007–08 season, in which he made 31 league appearances and scored once, against Arsenal. He was appointed vice-captain by new manager Paul Ince for the 2008–09 season, but managed only 17 appearances in all competitions, scoring once, in a season disrupted by niggling injuries.
On 26 January 2010, with Dunn's contract expiring at Rovers, he signed a new two-and-a-half-year contract to keep him with the club until at least July 2012.
On 2 February 2011, in the match against Tottenham Hotspur at Ewood Park, he made his 100th Premier League appearance since returning to the club for a second spell which ended in a disappointing 1–0 defeat. At the start of the new 2013–14 season, Dunn signed a new one-year deal to remain at Blackburn until summer 2014.
Dunn was released by Blackburn following the end of his contract on 1 July 2014, but re-signed for the club on 11 July of the same year.
On 27 April 2015, Dunn announced he would be departing Blackburn at the end of the season.
On 30 July 2015, Dunn signed for League One club Oldham Athletic on a one-year deal. Manager Darren Kelly stated that his addition would make the team's midfield one of the strongest in the league for the upcoming 2015–16 season.
Managerial and coaching career
On 13 September 2015, following the sacking of Kelly, Oldham Athletic confirmed that Dunn would take charge of all first team matters with immediate effect, on an interim basis. On 7 October 2015, the Oldham board confirmed Dunn would be appointed on a permanent basis after a recent unbeaten run.
On 12 January 2016, with Oldham laying 22nd in the table and facing relegation, the club announced they had sacked Dunn as first-team manager. Dunn's tenure lasted just three months.
On 25 February 2016, Dunn returned to his former club Blackburn Rovers to work alongside his former teammate Damien Johnson in the academy setup as Under 23s Assistant Coach. His appointment as coach saw Dunn hang up his boots after an 18-year-spell as a professional footballer.
On 22 February 2017, Dunn was promoted to first team coach under new club head coach, Tony Mowbray.
Dunn has represented England at international level making 22 appearances scoring three goals for the England Under-21 team between 1999 and 2002.
In 2001, Dunn was called up to the England squad, but he did not win his first cap until 7 September 2002, when he replaced Steven Gerrard against Portugal at half-time.
As of 12 January 2016
Dunn was born in Great Harwood, Lancashire. He has a daughter, Mia, with his ex-fiancée, Emmerdale actress Sammy Winward, and a son, Isaac (born 2008). As of January 2016, Isaac was a member of Blackburn Rovers' Academy.
David Dunn at Soccerbase