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Dave Mackay

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Title: Dave Mackay  
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Language: English
Subject: Billy Bremner, Did you know nominations/Colin Bloomfield, John White (footballer, born 1937), Eddie Turnbull, Carlos Roberto Cabral
Collection: 1934 Births, 1958 Fifa World Cup Players, 2015 Deaths, Association Football Sweepers, Association Football Wing Halves, Birmingham City F.C. Managers, British Expatriates in Egypt, British Expatriates in Kuwait, Derby County F.C. Managers, Derby County F.C. Players, Doncaster Rovers F.C. Managers, English Football Hall of Fame Inductees, Expatriate Football Managers in Egypt, Expatriate Football Managers in Kuwait, Expatriate Football Managers in Qatar, Football Managers in Kuwait, Heart of Midlothian F.C. Players, Living People, Newtongrange Star F.C. Players, Nottingham Forest F.C. Managers, Qatar National Football Team Managers, Scotland International Footballers, Scotland Under-23 International Footballers, Scottish Football Hall of Fame Inductees, Scottish Football League Players, Scottish Football League Representative Players, Scottish Football Managers, Scottish Footballers, Scottish Junior Football Association Players, Sportspeople from Edinburgh, Swindon Town F.C. Managers, Swindon Town F.C. Players, The Football League Managers, The Football League Players, The Football League Representative Players, Tottenham Hotspur F.C. Players, Walsall F.C. Managers, Zamalek Sc Managers
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Dave Mackay

Dave Mackay
Dave Mackay
Mackay in 2006
Personal information
Full name David Craig Mackay
Date of birth (1934-11-14)14 November 1934
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Date of death 2 March 2015(2015-03-02) (aged 80)
Place of death Nottingham, England
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position Left half, later sweeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1953–1959 Heart of Midlothian 135 (25)
1959–1968 Tottenham Hotspur 268 (42)
1968–1971 Derby County 122 (5)
1971–1972 Swindon Town 26 (1)
Total 601 (82)
National team
1957–1965 Scotland 22 (4)
1957–1958 Scottish League XI 3 (0)
Teams managed
1971–1972 Swindon Town
1972–1973 Nottingham Forest
1973–1976 Derby County
1977–1978 Walsall
1978 Al-Arabi Kuwait
1983 Al-Shabab
1987 Al-Arabi Kuwait
1987–1989 Doncaster Rovers
1989–1991 Birmingham City
1991–1993 Zamalek
1994–1995 Qatar

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

David Craig Mackay (14 November 1934 – 2 March 2015) was a Scottish football player and manager. Mackay was best known for a highly successful playing career with Heart of Midlothian, the Double-winning Tottenham Hotspur side of 1961, and winning the league with Derby County as a manager. He also represented Scotland 22 times, and was selected for their 1958 FIFA World Cup squad. Mackay tied with Tony Book of Manchester City for the Football Writers' Association's Footballer of the Year award in 1969 and was later listed by the Football League in their "100 Legends", as well as being an inaugural inductee to both the English and Scottish Football Halls of Fame. He was described, by Tottenham Hotspur, as one of their greatest players.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
    • Club 2.1
    • International 2.2
  • Management career 3
  • Legacy 4
  • Honours 5
    • Player 5.1
    • Manager 5.2
  • Managerial statistics 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early life

Mackay was born in Edinburgh. His father was a printer who worked for The Scotsman newspaper.[1] As a young footballer, he was a Scottish Schoolboy internationalist.[2]



After signing schoolboy forms with the club he supported, Heart of Midlothian, Mackay was farmed out to junior club Newtongrange Star. He joined Hearts as a professional in 1952, initially part-time whilst also working as joiner.[2] He won all three Scottish domestic honours with the club. He captained the side in 1957–58, when the club won the Scottish league title.[3] The team broke a British league goalscoring record, with 132 goals for and only 29 conceded.[4]

He was signed by Tottenham Hotspur for £32,000 in March 1959 making his debut on 21 March in a 3–1 home win against Manchester City.[5][6] During the 1960s his fierce determination and skill contributed to the team which won the Double in 1960–61, further FA Cup victories in 1961–62 and 1966–67, and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1962–63.[7] Brian Clough claimed in 2003 that Mackay was Tottenham Hotspur's greatest ever player.[3] In 1966 Mackay was photographed in an on-pitch confrontation with Leeds United's Billy Bremner. Mackay's face contorted, he is seen grabbing Bremner's shirt. The image is seen as one of the most iconic in football although Mackay hated it as it portrayed him as a bully.[8]

Having made 268 league appearances for Tottenham,[5][6] in 1968 he was transferred to Derby County for £5,000, after Brian Clough and Peter Taylor persuaded him to sign. In his first season at the Baseball Ground, in which the club gained promotion to the First Division, he was chosen FWA Footballer of the Year, jointly with Manchester City's Tony Book.[9] When he was a player at Derby County, Clough made Mackay play in a sweeping role and used his influence on the team to encourage them to turn defence into attack through a passing game. He left Derby in 1971, a year before they won the First Division title, and he spent his final season as a player with Swindon Town.[10]


Mackay made his debut for Scotland on 26 May 1957 in a qualifying game for the 1958 World Cup, against Spain at the Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid. Scotland qualified for the tournament in Sweden, with Mackay playing a single game, on 15 June 1958, against France; a 2–1 defeat at the Eyravallen Stadium in Örebro. He first captained his country in his third international, on 18 October 1958, in a 3–0 away win against Wales in the British Home Championships. He scored four goals for his country. His first coming in a friendly game in the Prater Stadium in Vienna on 29 May 1960 in a 3–1 away defeat to Austria. He made 22 national appearances, his last coming on 2 October 1965, again in the British Home Championships, a 2–3 away defeat to Northern Ireland.[11]

Management career

In 1971 Mackay was appointed player-manager of Swindon Town but left after just one season to take charge of Nottingham Forest. He remained at the City Ground until October 1973, when he returned to Derby as manager following Clough's resignation. In his first season Derby finished third in the table. In his second season in charge of Derby, he guided the team to the 1974–75 league title.[7] The following season, he managed the club to a respectable fourth-place finish in the league, the semi-finals of the FA Cup,[9] and a second-round exit to Real Madrid in the 1975–76 European Cup. Having beaten them 4–1 in the first leg, a weakened Derby side were beaten 5–1 in the return leg.[12] At one stage the side had been in the running for the Double. Mackay was sacked in November 1976 after a poor start to the 1976–77 season.

Mackay then had a spell as Walsall manager from March 1977 to August 1978. This was followed by nine years coaching in Kuwait. He returned to the UK and was appointed manager of Doncaster Rovers in 1987,[3] a year after being linked with the Scotland manager's job (which ultimately went to Andy Roxburgh).[13] Mackay's reign at Belle Vue lasted until March 1989[14] before he moved to Birmingham City, who had just been relegated to the third tier of the league for the first time in their history. His task was simple – to get Birmingham promoted to the Second Division. But he was unsuccessful in trying to achieve this and resigned in 1991. After that, he returned to the Middle East for two years managing Zamalek, a Cairo club team, with which he won the Championship in both seasons,[14] and then a further three years in Qatar before retiring from football altogether in 1997.[3]


George Best praised Mackay as the toughest opponent he ever faced

In 2004 The Real Mackay was published, an autobiography written with Martin Knight.[15] Mackay had previously published Soccer My Spur in the early 1960s.[16]

Mackay was made an inaugural inductee of the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002 in recognition of his impact on the English game as both a player and manager,[6] Two years later, he was an inaugural inductee of the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.[17] In 2006, he also became an inaugural inductee of the Heart of Midlothian Hall of Fame in recognition of his success as a player in the 1950s. In 2013, Mackay was one of eleven British football stars chosen by Royal Mail to feature on a set of stamps marking the 150th anniversary of The Football Association.[18]

Mackay appears as a character in David Peace's novel The Damned Utd, a fictionalised account of Brian Clough's time as manager of Derby County and Leeds United. In the film adaptation of the book, The Damned United, Mackay is played by Brian McCardie. Mackay successfully took legal action against the makers of the film over its inaccurate portrayal of the events surrounding Clough's departure from Derby and Mackay's appointment.[19]

Manchester United, one of Tottenham's fiercest rivals in the 1960s, described Mackay as "the hardest man I have ever played against – and certainly the bravest".[20]

Mackay died on 2 March 2015 at the age of 80.[21] Heart of Midlothian stated "It is with deep regret that we have to advise of the death of Dave Mackay who was possibly the most complete midfield player that Scotland has ever produced".[22] Tottenham wrote in an obituary "Dave Mackay will certainly always be remembered here as one of our greatest ever players and a man who never failed to inspire those around him. In short, a Spurs legend".[23]



Heart of Midlothian
Tottenham Hotspur
Derby County


Derby County
Al-Arabi SC

Managerial statistics


Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Swindon Town 31 May 1971 1 November 1972 61 18 18 25 29.51
Nottingham Forest 2 November 1972 23 October 1973 44 13 14 17 29.55
Derby County 23 October 1973 25 November 1976 160 71 45 44 44.38
Walsall 9 March 1977 5 August 1978 72 30 27 15 41.67
Birmingham City 26 April 1989 23 January 1991 87 31 27 29 35.63

See also


  1. ^ "Dave Mackay, legendary Spurs and Derby defender and former Forest manager, dies at the age of 80". Nottingham Post. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Ponting, Ivan (3 March 2015). "Dave Mackay: Dynamic footballer whose extraordinary will to win helped Tottenham to the League and FA Cup double". The Independent. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Snow, Mat (1 May 2009). "Dave Mackay: One-on-One".  
  4. ^ Rae, Alan (1 November 2012). Hands on Hearts: A Physio's Tale. Luath Press Ltd. p. 79.  
  5. ^ a b "Dave Mackay". Retrieved 5 March 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c "Dave Mackay — National Hall of Fame". Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "Dave Mackay: Scotland and Tottenham legend dies aged 80". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "Why Dave Mackay hated the picture of him confronting Billy Bremner". The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Derby County is saddened to learn that former Rams player and manager Dave Mackay has passed away at the age of 80.". Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "BBC Local Live: Derbyshire". BBC News. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "Dave Mackay". Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "The forgotten story of ... Derby's second league title". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "Fergie steps down. The other contenders".  
  14. ^ a b c Ken Ferris (1 March 2013). The Double: The Inside Story of Spurs' Triumphant 1960-61 Season. Mainstream Publishing. pp. 50–.  
  15. ^ "The Real Mackay: The Dave Mackay Story". Amazon. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  16. ^ "Soccer My Spur". Amazon. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  17. ^ "Dave MacKay". Scottish Football Hall of Fame. The Scottish Football Museum. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  18. ^ "Royal Mail's best of British football stamps for FA's 150th anniversary: in pictures". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  19. ^ McGivern, Mark (25 March 2010). "Football legend Dave Mackay wins legal action over portrayal in movie The Damned United". Daily Record. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  20. ^ The Times
  21. ^ "Dave Mackay of Scotland, Hearts, Tottenham and Derby, dies aged 80". The Guardian. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  22. ^ "DAVE MACKAY: 1934 – 2015". Heart of Midlothian F.C. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  23. ^ "DAVE MACKAY". Tottenham Hotspur F.C. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  24. ^ "Hearts realise a dream of half a century". The Scotsman. 23 April 1956. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  25. ^ "First major trophy win for 48 years". The Scotsman. 25 October 1954. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  26. ^ "Most accomplished team in Scotland – Hearts' win a formality". The Scotsman. 27 October 1958. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  27. ^ "Dave Mackay's managerial career".  

External links

  • Dave Mackay and  
  • Dave Mackay Hearts Career Record
  • Dave Mackay Scotland Record
  • Dave Mackay Scotland Football League Record
  • Dave Mackay Profile
  • MEHSTG Dave Mackay obituary
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