dave mackay - fact file

1959 - 1968        midfielder



Born on 14th November 1934 in Musselburgh, Midlothian, Scotland.

Height : - .m  (' ")

Weight : -  - kgs    (st lbs)


Dave Mackay is a legend not just at Spurs, but also at Hearts and Derby County, but his best playing days saw him leading Tottenham to great success in the 1960s and the image of his puffed out chest bearing the cockerel on the ball will live with generations of Spurs fans.  Another image that will remain with supporters is that of him grabbing Leeds United midfielder Billy Bremner's shirt and pulling him towards him, with his fellow Scot looking petrified after a bad tackle on Mackay.

Born in Edinburgh, Mackay attended Carrickvale Secondary school and played for juvenile side Slateford Atheltic.  Spotted playing for them, Dave was signed on a provisional basis when just sixteen.  To get experience, he was loaned to Newtowngrange Star and was called at Scotland junior level before being recalled to Hearts at manager Tommy Walker's request in April 1952.  Dave had to wait until November 1953 for his Hearts debut and on the pre-season tour in the summer of 1954 to South Africa, he cemented his place in the team with some fine performances.

The following season saw him play a significant part in the 1954 League Cup win - beating Motherwell 4-2 in the final, before National Service called up Mackay and he travelled over 1,000 miles a week to play for Hearts.  Such dedication to the cause saw him be part of the team that won the Scottish Cup in 1956 and in 1957-58, Dave was the captain as the Hearts team won their first ever Scottish League Championship.

Mackay's reputation earned him three Under-23 caps, with the first of his twenty two full caps coming while at Hearts and he went on to represent his country at the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden.  He was still at Hearts when they won the League Cup in late 1958, but in March 1959, he headed south for 32,000 to join Tottenham.  Some say he was Nicholson's second choice - with his preferred signing, Mel Charles, moving to Arsenal.

A tough man reputation preceded his arrival, but the character of the Scot was over-shadowing his ability with the ball.  A great touch, superb vision to pick out an inch perfect pass and a shot that would knock walls down all showed that Dave was a very good footballer and not just a hard man.  His strength and being fearless in the tackle made him a formidable opponent, but his running on or off the ball gave the other side problems, as his dynamic play gave great support to his team-mates and his almost psychic link-up with his midfield colleagues helped Spurs to a period of great success. His part in winning the Double cannot be quantified, as it was not only his play on the pitch, but the example he set to the others of what a winner plays like.  Going on to another FA Cup win, before leading the team to victory in the European Cup-Winners' cup in a 5-1 win over Atletico Madrid in 1963 - becoming the first British side to win a European trophy in the process.

Missing the European Cup-Winners Cup final with injury was one of many he suffered as a Spurs player, mainly because of the nature of his game.  The midfielder twice broke his leg, once against Manchester United in the European Cup-Winners Cup and then in the reserves against Shrewsbury Town on his comeback.  Then just having got back into the first team after 20 months, Spurs faced Leeds United at White Hart Lane and when going in for a tackle, Billy Bremner went for Mackay's recently healed broken leg, thus prompting the Spurs man to grab the Leeds' Scottish midfielder by the scruff of his shirt in his rage in what became an iconic image. 

However, when he captained Spurs to the 1967 FA Cup win over Chelsea, he got to lift a trophy having missed out in 1963, but Dave left to join Derby County in 1968, under Brian Clough.  He enjoyed a renaissance and he won the Second Division title as a player in 1968-69 and when he took over as manager, the First Division championship with the club in his first campaign at the Baseball Ground in 1974-75.  Not only that, but he was back at the Rams in 1975, when he managed them to the league title.  In between playing and managing the Rams, he spent time in charge at Swindon Town and Nottingham Forest.

On leaving Derby County, Dave coached at Walsall and then enjoyed considerable success in the Middle East, winning six Kuwaiti titles and two Kuwaiti Cups with Al Arabi and in Egypt, two titles with El Zamalek.  Returned to England where he renewed his relationship with former team-mate Joe Kinnear, who had been with him in Kuwait and was re-united in management at Doncaster Rovers, before Dave went on to manage Birmingham City.

Dave Mackay was the first player to be inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

Dave Mackay died in Nottingham on 2nd March 2015.

There will never be another player like Dave Mackay.  His ability was at its peak during his spell at White Hart Lane and he was a vital cog in the wheel that brought the Double and European success to Tottenham.  A fine player and a leader even though he might not have been captain all the time.

Dave's contribution to the team and the club's history will live forever.  He is still a regular visitor to the Lane, but rumours of him suffering from Alzheimer's Disease means that he is not always lucid enough to realise what he achieved at the club.  But the fans - those who saw him play and even those who didn't - will never forget.




Career Record
Club Signed Fee Debut Apps Goals
Heart of Midlothian ?? ?? November 1953 v Clyde (Scottish Div. 1) (home) 208 32
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR March 1959 32,000 21st March 1959  v Manchester City  (Division 1) (home)  Won 3-1 318 51
Derby County July 1968 5,000 ??  ?? ??
- ?? ?? ??  ?? ??

Career Record
Heart of Midlothian
- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals
268 League appearances; 42 goals
33 FA Cup appearances; 4 goals
0 League Cup appearances; 0 goals
17 European appearances; 5 goals
Derby County

- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals
- -
- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals

Scotland international
Debut :  May 1957 v Spain
22 full caps;  4 goals
Under-21 caps; goals
Scottish League Cup winners medal 1954-55,1958-59  (Hearts)
Scottish Cup winners medal 1955-56 (Hearts)
Scottish Championship winners medal 1957-58 (Hearts)
First Division Championship winners medal 1960-61  (THFC)
FA Cup winners medal 1960-61, 1961-62, 1966-67  (THFC)
European Cup Winners Cup winners medal 1962-63  (THFC)
Second Division Championship winners medal 1968-69  (Derby County)
Watney Cup winners medal 1970  (Derby County)
Represented the Scottish League twice
Represented the Football League
Scottish Player of the Year 1958
Player of the Year 1969 (jointly held with Tony Book)

- appearance



What they said about Dave Mackay
Ron Harris (former Chelsea hard man) ... about Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane 2002 (The Times)

"He's a tough character, but I wouldn't put him in the same mould as people like Peter Storey, Dave Mackay or Tommy Smith."

Steve Perryman ...  29.09.2010 (THFC programme)

"At the age of 15, when I joined Spurs from school, I saw for myself the incredible influence Dave Mackay had on the club and everyone around the place.  I was the youngest apprentice professional and I saw Mackay - the main man - leading the troops, whether it was in the warm-up, in the dressing room or even in the car park.  It didn't matter where it was, he was the man, and he portrayed that image on the pitch on a match day.  It was inspiring stuff.

Sometimes I would be standing in the hallway of the two dressing rooms ... all of a sudden the door would burst open and Dave would come out, chest puffed up, ball under his arm ... and he would say to his team-mates, "Anyone feel like ******* panicking, just give me the ******* ball !" 

Dave's was the sort of leadership the clubs needs and he typified what a captain was all about ."

George Best ...  .. ()

"The hardest man I ever played against. And certainly the bravest."

Craig Brown (former Scotland manager) ...  03.03.2015 (BBC Football website)

"I watched him play for Hearts in the '50s. I was a boy at the time, and any time Hearts came to the west of Scotland my father took me to see them to see Dave Mackay.  My dad used to say, 'I'm taking you to see Dave Mackay'; it wasn't Hearts.
He'd run out into the centre circle with the ball in his hand and then back-heel it from there into the goal - that's how he led Hearts out.  I remember watching him do that, it was a brilliant piece of skill, to back-heel the ball on the half volley from the centre spot into the goal was an impressive sight."

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What Dave Mackay said about ...
... the club's first European Cup tie against Polish side Gornik Zabrze ...  (from "The Real Mackay : The Dave Mackay Story")

"The second leg a week later rated as one of the best games I have ever played in.  We were irresistible on the night.  We played the sort of game that Bill (Nicholson) would have liked us to have played against Leicester City in the FA Cup Final.  It was an exhibition of the Double side at it's best."

... his boyhood heroes ...  21.09.2012 (THFC programme)

"Hearts players Alfie Conn, Willie Bauld and Jimmy Wardhaugh all forwards, but appreciated their talents.

Liked John Cumming left half which was Mackay's position and had to play on the other side of midfield to Cumming.  Fantastic to play alongside those heroes he had seen from the terraces.  I learnt so much being around them.  They were great guys and very good players.  To train and play alongside them was inspiring and you couldn't help but improve your own game as a result."

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Season League FA Cup League Cup UEFA Cup
1956-57 (Hearts) 38 (5 goals) - - -
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- - - - -
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