Dave Mackay

This article is about the footballer active in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. For the footballer active in the 2000s and 2010s, see Dave Mackay (footballer, born 1980). For the runner, see Dave Mackey.
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, Midlothian, Scotland
Date of death 2 March 2015(2015-03-02) (aged 80)
Place of death Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England
Height 5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
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.

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

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]



Davie McLean's sudden death on 14 February 1951 saw Tommy Walker promoted to the position of manager. Walker's reign was to prove the most successful period in the club's history.[3] The side he inherited included the Terrible Trio forwards of Jimmy Wardhaugh, Willie Bauld and Alfie Conn, Sr., the full back pair of Bobby Parker and Tam McKenzie, and John Cumming and Freddie Glidden at wing half.

To this established core Walker added the crucial name of Dave Mackay. Mackay supported Hearts as a boy and had been at Tynecastle as a schoolboy before being signing as a professional in 1952 (initially part-time whilst also working as joiner). Cumming's pairing with Mackay at wing half was to become the nucleus of the team in the middle of the pitch. Mackay was a supremely talented all round player of ferocious tackling, endless running and sublime ball control. Cumming's Iron Man nickname says much of his fearless determination. Despite his commitment he retained control of his temper and was never booked in his career. Cumming was the only player to collect medals for all seven of the trophies Hearts won under Walker. "He never had a bad game. It was either a fairly good game or an excellent game," said Mackay later of his former team-mate.[4] Both went on to become full Scotland internationalists while playing for Hearts.

In 1953–54, Wardhaugh became the A Division's top scorer with 27 goals as Hearts appeared set to win the League championship. However in the Scottish Cup quarter final 3-0 defeat to Aberdeen, Parker broke his jaw, Conn injured his back, and Wardhaugh collected a serious shin bone injury. To add to this was Bauld was sidelined for weeks with a troublesome back injury. A stuttering end to their season saw Celtic overtake them.[5] The young Mackay was given his first team debut in November of that 1953-54 season.

The team was boosted by the signing of Ian Crawford in August 1954. Mackay was given his extended place in the team in the 1954-55 season with Glidden now playing at centre half. They promptly became a trophy winning force lifting the first of seven trophies over nine seasons between 1954 and 1963. In 1954–55 they won their first trophy since 1906, 48 years before. They beat Motherwell 4–2 in the 1954 Scottish League Cup Final. Bauld scored three and Wardhaugh scored one in the final giving the team their break through trophy. Hearts gained some recompense against Celtic from the season before by beating them home and away in that 1954–55 Scottish League Cup group stage.

After signing Alex Young and Bobby Kirk, Walker’s side proceeded to win the 1955–56 Scottish Cup.[6] They thrashed Rangers 4-0 in the quarter finals with goals from Crawford, Conn and a Bauld double.[7] Cumming's commitment to the team was typified in that 1956 Scottish Cup Final before 132 840 fans. With blood streaming from a head injury from a clash with Celtic's Willie Fernie he said, "Blood doesn't show on a maroon jersey". He returned to the playing field in the 3-1 win and was man of the match. That quote is now displayed above the entrance to the players tunnel at Tynecastle.

Wardhaugh was the top tier's leading scorer again that season. The scorers in the cup final win over Celtic were Crawford with two and one from Conn. Conn ended that 1955-56 season at the peak of his powers aged 29 with a career best 29 goals from 41 games. On 2 May 1956 two weeks after the cup win Conn became the third of the terrible trio to collect a full Scotland cap. At Hampden Park he put his side ahead after 12 minutes in a 1–1 draw with Austria. However the following September he suffered a broken jaw playing against Hibernian keeping him out til January.[8][9] The days of the Terrible Trio as a combined force were nearing their end.

17 year old Gordon Marshall debuted in 1956. The future England under 23 internationalist became a Hearts goalkeeping regular until 1963. Walker completed the set of having won all three major Scottish football trophies with the League Championship in 1957–58. Conn suffered a serious ankle injury meaning he only played in five league games all season. Injury hit Conn left Hearts for Raith Rovers in September 1958 just two years after his 1956 zenith. With an injury hit Bauld only playing nine times in the league title win a new Hearts attacking trio were dominant. For a third time Wardhaugh was the League's top marksman with 28 strikes. This was one ahead of Jimmy Murray's 27 and four more than Young's 24. Mackay was fourth in Hearts' league scoring charts with 12. Hearts won that League title in 1957–58 with record-breaking points, goals scored and goal difference. Their record from 34 league games of 62 points out of a maximum possible 68 was 13 more than their nearest rival. They scored 132 goals (still the Scottish top tier record) with only 29 against for a record net difference of +103. This was Hearts' greatest ever league side. Murray and Mackay both played for Scotland at the 1958 FIFA World Cup where Murray scored in a 1-1 draw against Yugoslavia.

In the 1958–59 Scottish League Cup group stage Hearts eliminated Rangers. That October 1958 Scottish League Cup Final was won with a heavy 5-1 defeat of Partick Thistle. Bauld and Murray each scored two and Johnny Hamilton netted one. This was the fourth and last Hearts trophy for Mackay who left the following March for Tottenham Hotspur. Mackay's name as a club mainstay at half back was taken over by Billy Higgins.


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.[10][11] 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.[12] Brian Clough claimed in 2003 that Mackay was Tottenham Hotspur's greatest ever player.[13] 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.[14]

Mackay made 268 league appearances for Tottenham.[10][11]


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.[15] 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.


He spent his final season as a player with Swindon Town.[16]


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.[17]

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.[12] The following season, he managed the club to a respectable fourth-place finish in the league, the semi-finals of the FA Cup,[15] 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.[18] 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,[13] a year after being linked with the Scotland manager's job (which ultimately went to Andy Roxburgh).[19] Mackay's reign at Belle Vue lasted until March 1989[20] 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,[20] and then a further three years in Qatar before retiring from football altogether in 1997.[13]


George Best praised Mackay as the toughest opponent he ever faced

In 2004 The Real Mackay was published, an autobiography written with Martin Knight.[21] Mackay had previously published Soccer My Spur in the early 1960s.[22]

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,[11] Two years later, he was an inaugural inductee of the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.[23] 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.[24]

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.[25]

George Best (1946–2005), of 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".[26]

Mackay died on 2 March 2015 at the age of 80.[27] 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".[28] 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".[29]



Heart of Midlothian
Tottenham Hotspur
Derby County


Derby County
Al-Arabi SC

Managerial statistics


Team From To Record
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. 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. Price, P12
  4. John Cumming
  5. "Willie Bauld Biography - Part 2"
  6. Hearts 3 Celtic 1 British Pathe highlights on youtube
  7. Hearts 4 Rangers 0 Londnhearts.com
  8. Hearts FC Alfie Conn obituary
  9. Lomax, Andrew (7 January 2009). "Hearts legend Alfie Conn senior dies aged 82". Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  10. 1 2 "Dave Mackay". www.11v11.com. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  11. 1 2 3 "Dave Mackay — National Hall of Fame". www.nationalfootballmuseum.com. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Dave Mackay: Scotland and Tottenham legend dies aged 80". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  13. 1 2 3 4 Snow, Mat (1 May 2009). "Dave Mackay: One-on-One". FourFourTwo. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  14. "Why Dave Mackay hated the picture of him confronting Billy Bremner". The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  15. 1 2 3 4 "Derby County is saddened to learn that former Rams player and manager Dave Mackay has passed away at the age of 80.". www.dcfc.co.uk. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  16. "BBC Local Live: Derbyshire". BBC News. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  17. "Dave Mackay". www.scotlandfootballstats.co.uk. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  18. "The forgotten story of ... Derby's second league title". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  19. "Fergie steps down. The other contenders". Evening Times. 16 June 1986. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  20. 1 2 3 Ken Ferris (1 March 2013). The Double: The Inside Story of Spurs' Triumphant 1960-61 Season. Mainstream Publishing. pp. 50–. ISBN 978-1-78057-803-3.
  21. "The Real Mackay: The Dave Mackay Story". Amazon. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  22. "Soccer My Spur". Amazon. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  23. "Dave MacKay". Scottish Football Hall of Fame. The Scottish Football Museum. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  24. "Royal Mail's best of British football stamps for FA's 150th anniversary: in pictures". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  25. 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.
  26. The Times
  27. "Dave Mackay of Scotland, Hearts, Tottenham and Derby, dies aged 80". The Guardian. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  28. "DAVE MACKAY: 1934 – 2015". Heart of Midlothian F.C. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  29. "DAVE MACKAY". Tottenham Hotspur F.C. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  30. "Hearts realise a dream of half a century". The Scotsman. 23 April 1956. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  31. "First major trophy win for 48 years". The Scotsman. 25 October 1954. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  32. "Most accomplished team in Scotland – Hearts' win a formality". The Scotsman. 27 October 1958. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  33. "Dave Mackay's managerial career". Racing Post. Retrieved 3 March 2015.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/1/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.