Jumpers for Goalposts


Ah, those were the days.  When we used to have a kick-about in the street outside my house, there would invariably be someone who wanted to be Peter Osgood, one who’d play as Peter Lorimer or Georgie Best or even  Derek Hales (well I had to look up to someone, didn’t I ? and I reckoned I was better than Killer was, anyway.) We didn’t have anyone who was hard enough to pretend to be Dave McKay.

Take a look at one of the great sports photos of the 70s. There’s old Dave about to throttle that little-shit-of-little-shits, Billy Bremner – no softie himself. But where Bremner – like  Ron Harris, Nobby Stiles and anyone who put a Leeds Utd shirt on – was a kind of slide-my-studs-down-your-calf-and-into-your-achilles-when-ref-isn’t-looking-sorta-bloke, Big Dave was a sort of snap both your shinbones in two if you try to get past me, in front of the ref, the linesmen, the opposition bench, the BBC TV camera and four JPs and still argue the toss that I played the ball first-sorta-bloke. A very very tough bloke. A great photo.

McKay is reported to be in poor health. It will be a shame to lose another character of my childhood. A reminder of when football was a contact sport, professional players could be built like Fannie Lee and still get picked for the side, and Alan Rough and Derek Hales were in gainful employment, somehow.

Wishing Dave McKay all the very best. Let’s hope the today’s millionaire show-ponies spend a little less time crying and rolling around on the grass this weekend. Big Dave would have given them something to cry about.

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6 thoughts on “Jumpers for Goalposts

  1. I’m old enough and lucky enough to have seen him play. You wouldn’t think it but he was a very skillful player as well as hard. And he could take it as well as dish it out. I’m glad I never saw him break his leg at Old Trafford but I remember my uncles practically in tears when they heard about it. (http://www.scotsman.com/sport/real_mackay_recalls_his_big_break_1_1304593 ). I can’t begin to imagine how you could ever recover from an injury like that. But of course he had a good few years left in him. A class act.

  2. Do love a bit of nostalgia – I went to the first home game of the new season after they had completed the double in 1962, beat Birmingham 3-0 what a side that was – and Greaves & Gilzean were yet to be bought Happy days – did they have squads of 55 players in those days & no such things as an agent – the manager told you you wages had gone up from 10 bob to 12/6 a week and you were lucky to get that. Dave did a pretty good job when he went to Derby County as well if I remember correctly

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