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Dave MacKay RIP

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:15 am
by Rob R
Just heard the sad news Dave MacKay has passed away.

Re: Dave MacKay RIP

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:31 am
by bluedragon
That is sad news. Dave Mackay was one of the greats as a player and a leader and overcame serious injury. My memory of him as a player was very much in the “second half” of his career winning the FA Cup with Spurs in 1967 and then leading Brian Clough’s great Derby County side. He is one of those players who name crops up time and time again when looking at football in that period. Here are three very recent incidents that I have come across:

Junior International

In 1953 Scotland had played their first Junior international of the season and had a good win against Ireland. The view was that the team should be selected en bloc for the next game against Wales at Easter Road on 7 March 1953. However, the left half, Jacky Stewart (Shettleston) signed for Dundee leaving a vacancy. The Glasgow Evening Times put out the warning signs prior to the team selection being announced. With the game to be played at Easter Road, Edinburgh, they ran the headline "More East players in the Scotland Junior team against Wales?" So with the team selected by committee was there a fear that the location of the game rather than the form of the players may influence selection? The Evening Times made a strong case for Willie Niven (Irvine Meadow) to fill the vacancy: "There is not a better left half in the country than Willie Niven of Irvine Meadow". Niven already had seven caps and had captained the team in five matches. However in a typical “salt or sauce” moment, the Edinburgh Evening News said that Murphy (Armadale Thistle) should get the nod as the top East half-back. In the end the selectors went for neither but selected 18 year old Dave Mackay of Newtongrange Star.

Player

One of the iconic photographs of British football is of Dave Mackay grasping Billy Bremner by the shirt collar in a Spurs v Leeds United game. The look in Billy Bremner's face says it all! From the right is referee Norman Burtenshaw running towards the two Scots. Quite what he intended to do when he got there I am not sure! In his autobiography Norman Burtenshaw recalled Dave Mackay and that incident when he wrote "The test of a hard man is whether he can take it as well as give it out. Dave Mackay the toughest player in my time, could take it.......it was the third minute of the match and Bremner tackled Mackay. Mackay leapt to his feet and seized Bremner's shirt front - a ridiculous response. I thought. The foul had been given; there was no need for him to do anything or say anything. But that was Mackay's weakness. He was an explosive character. Both Mackay and Bremner spoke in such broad Scots accents that I couldn't understand what they were saying."

Manager

As manager of Nottingham Forest Dave signed Scot Doug Fraser from West Bromwich Albion. This was in the days of one substitute and no indicator board. The referee had seen Dave frantically signalling for Doug to come off to be replaced by the substitute. The referee ran alongside Doug Fraser and said:

“Doug, they want you subbed”.

Doug’s reply was:

“My manager tells me if I am going to be taken off NOT the referee!”

At this point Doug sprinted off to the farthest corner of the pitch out of earshot of Dave Mackay and avoiding eye contact. The story goes he remained on the field for the remainder of the game. Quite what was said in the dressing room by Dave Mackay remains a mystery!

Dave Mackay RIP

Re: Dave MacKay RIP

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:03 am
by Scottish
Very sad news indeed. Much has been said about Dave Mackay's successes with Hearts, Spurs and Derby - and rightly so. But one little-known piece of information is that he made his first Wembley appearance on Apr 15th 1950 (the same day as Scotland lost to England at Hampden and as a consequence refused to go to the World Cup in Brazil.)

It was the first ever schools international at Wembley and ended up almost as badly as the 9-3 game over a decade later. Mackay (Edinburgh South) wasn't down to play but came on as a sub (a real rarity in those) in the first half. Scotland scored first, lost two players through injury, kept it to 1-1 at the break but ended up losing 8-2. Another making his Wembley debut the same day was Johnny Haynes.

Re: Dave MacKay RIP

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:32 pm
by Scottish
A postscript on that schools international. Ray Parry of Bolton became the youngest ever player (at that time) in the First Division a year later. The crowd was 53,049 and according to http://www.englandfootballonline.com/Te ... 947-50.htm the match was televised live.

Re: Dave MacKay RIP

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:39 pm
by Snuff
bluedragon wrote:
In 1953 Scotland had played their first Junior international of the season and had a good win against Ireland. The view was that the team should be selected en bloc for the next game against Wales at Easter Road on 7 March 1953. However, the left half, Jacky Stewart (Shettleston) signed for Dundee leaving a vacancy. The Glasgow Evening Times put out the warning signs prior to the team selection being announced. With the game to be played at Easter Road, Edinburgh, they ran the headline "More East players in the Scotland Junior team against Wales?" So with the team selected by committee was there a fear that the location of the game rather than the form of the players may influence selection? The Evening Times made a strong case for Willie Niven (Irvine Meadow) to fill the vacancy: "There is not a better left half in the country than Willie Niven of Irvine Meadow". Niven already had seven caps and had captained the team in five matches. However in a typical “salt or sauce” moment, the Edinburgh Evening News said that Murphy (Armadale Thistle) should get the nod as the top East half-back. In the end the selectors went for neither but selected 18 year old Dave Mackay of Newtongrange Star.


Wish I had seen this before I wrote my Mackay obituary - his Junior International cap was something I had never otherwise seen listed.

Re: Dave MacKay RIP

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:12 am
by bluedragon
I may have missed it in all the excellent tributes paid to Dave Mackay but I was wondering if anyone knew about other footballers in the Mackay family? In the Edinburgh Evening Times archive there is mention of a brother - Tommy - who was an outside right and a year or so older than Dave. Tommy also appears to have been a good footballer playing representative schoolboy and Junior football, played for Edinburgh City and - I think it said - a provisional signing for Hearts.

I checked in the usual places but could not find any reference to a subsequent league career except in John Litster's disk that has a record of a Frank Mackay - an outside right - making the Slateford Athletic/Edinburgh City/Hearts career path in the mid-1950's but was only at Hearts for 18 months and did not play any League/Cup games.

Re: Dave MacKay RIP

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 8:16 pm
by cowdenbeather
Dave's brothers Tommy and Frank Mackay played for Slateford Athletic. I believe both were later on Hearts books and also played for Edinburgh City. Frank was offered a trial by Manchester United and during his national service played for the army alongside Duncan Edwards and Bobby Charlton. He then joined Everton. He played as inside forward for Alloa in season 1959/60 but his career came to an abrupt end due to a bad knee injury. Dave Mackay’s nephew Alan Dixon played for Hibs in the 1991 Youth Cup final and then joined Cowdenbeath in 1992.

Re: Dave MacKay RIP

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 8:24 pm
by bluedragon
Many thanks Cowdenbeather. Much appreciated.

Re: Dave MacKay RIP

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:46 am
by Sat31March1928
I was talking to one of Dave's relatives at the funeral.

He told me that Dave had told him

"I never lost any Cup Final I played in at any level 4o plus finals"

Not sure how we can find out them all but a remarkable record.