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Obituary - Dave Mackay

Posted on 3 March 2015  - 13:10

Dave Mackay is considered by many to be the most complete player ever to wear the Spurs shirt.

Dave MackayDave with Bill Nicholson on our double parade, 1961Dave, back row, standing, with the team after clinching the First Division championship in 1961Dave in party mood with double-winning captain Danny Blanchflower

The barrel-chested leader could play anywhere in defence or midfield, slotting in effortlessly to wherever his skills were needed.

He arrived from Heart of Midlothian on March 16, 1959 and moved on to Derby County on July 24, 1968. We paid a record fee at the time for a wing-half of £32,000 and recouped £5,000 on his departure nine years later.

His time with us was certainly eventful, featuring in the first Double of the 20th century; retaining the FA Cup in 1962; missing out through injury of our 1963 European Cup-Winners’ Cup Final triumph; and returning from a twice broken leg to captain the side to victory in the 1967 FA Cup Final.

The record books show he scored 42 goals in 268 Football League appearances for us, five in 17 European games and four in 33 FA Cup matches. He made his debut against Manchester City on March 21, 1959 and his final appearance versus Wolves on May 11, 1968.

The major influence in our successful early 1960’s side, he first captained the team against Leicester City on April 30, 1962. Bravery and determination were needed in abundance when he broke a leg at Old Trafford during December, 1963. Nine months later, on his return against Shrewsbury Town reserves, he broke the same leg at White Hart Lane. On returning to action in August, 1965 he was made captain and held the role until he left.

One of his business ventures saw his name appear on club merchandise for many years after leaving, having set up the local company Dave Mackay Ties.

He was inducted into our Hall of Fame along with his Double winning colleagues during 2004.

David Craig Mackay was born at Musselburgh, Midlothian on November 13, 1934. A Scottish Schools Cup winner with Edinburgh he played for Scotland Schoolboys whilst attending Saughton school and also won Junior honours before joining the full time game. Already under Heart of Midlothian’s wing, he worked as an apprentice joiner and played for local clubs Slateford Athletic and Newtongrange Star prior to signing professional forms for Hearts on April 1, 1952.

A Scottish League Cup winner during 1955 and Scottish Cup winner the following year, he won the League title in 1958 and another League Cup in 1959. His seven years at Tynecastle yielded 27 goals in 135 League appearances plus two goals in 44 cup matches. He was voted Scottish Footballer of the Year for 1958.

Dave won 22 Full caps to add to the four won at Under-23 level. He also captained Derby County and Swindon Town before hanging up his boots during 1972.

Managerial spells over the next 25 years included Swindon Town, Nottingham Forest, Derby County, Walsall, Al-Arabi (Kuwait), Shabab (Dubai), Doncaster Rovers, Birmingham City, Zamalek (Egypt) and the Qatar Youth team.

He wrote two books, “Soccer my Spur” published by Stanley Paul in 1961 and “The Real Mackay” by Mainstream Publishing in 2004.

Dave sadly passed away at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham on the evening of Monday, March 2.

Our thoughts are with his wife, Isobel, family and friends at this sad time.