neil mcnab - fact file
1974 - 1978 midfielder
FULL NAME : NEIL McNAB
Born in on 4th June 1957 in Greenock, Scotland.
Height : - 1.70m (5' 7")
Weight : - - kgs (st lbs)
A slightly built, but technically proficient midfielder, Neil McNab was signed by Spurs as a 16 year old and made the first team alongside the likes of Glenn Hoddle and Ossie Ardiles, but eventually was squeezed out by those players
McNab attended Mount High School in Greenock as a youngster and played for Greenock Boys and Scotland Boys. Coming through the youth system at Greenock Morton from the age of 12, Neil was made a professional at the age of 14 (the clubs' youngest ever professional) and made his Morton debut at the age of 15. He was already a Scottish Youth (Under-18) international, having played against Belgium Youth and also played at Under-15 and Under-21 levels.
Signed as a 16 year old in February 1974, Neil McNab had already played 14 games in the season for Greenock Morton in Scotland and was regarded as one of the big talents to come out of his country for many a year. Arriving at the club at a time of upheaval, Bill Nicholson's departure a few months after Neil being his last purchase, the youngster had to take an amateur deal to start with and his debut in the side came before he signed as a professional. His debut gave him the honour as the youngest player in the club's history at the time. But the slightly built midfielder failed to establish himself in the Spurs side before the signing of Ossie Ardiles pushed him back down the order in the middle of the pitch.
However, Terry Neill's reign did not help his development and when Spurs were relegated, it looked as though a more experienced side might be needed to regain the club's top flight place. McNab was an ever-present as Tottenham went straight back up (albeit on goal difference), but the shock signing of the Argentineans squeezed him out of the side and he moved on to Bolton Wanderers in November 1978 for £250,000 and went on to play for Brighton and Hove Albion (where he also went out on loan to Leeds United and Portsmouth) and Manchester City, where he became a crucial figure in the club's rise back up the divisions after a torrid time in the 1980s.
Part of the city side who gained promotion in 1989, McNab was sold on the following season to Tranmere Rovers, where he again was a part of a successful side, winning the DAF Leyland Trophy in 1990 and losing in the final the following year. When he dropped out of the team in 1992, he joined Huddersfield Town on loan and in the summer left to join Ayr United back in Scotland.
His time with the Buddies was not a happy one, with only a handful of games played. The later days of his playing career were eked out at Darlington, Derry City and non-league Witton Albion, before he moved to play in America with Long Island Rough Riders.
Returning to the UK in 1994, Neil moved back to the Manchester area, where he had kept a house and gained a position as youth team coach at his former club City. His ability with younger players was recognised and when there was a management change at Maine Road, he moved to Portsmouth as Head of Youth Development, before heading even further west with a move to Exeter City, where he was manager of the first team for four months in 2002 when the club were between appointments.
Neil holds the UEFA B and the USSF B licences and moved out to the US where he coaches at CFC (Cobb Futbol Club) East soccer association in Georgia USA.
Neil was a jinky, skilful midfielder, who didn't really get a prolonged spell in the first team at Tottenham but perhaps was a little light-weight in comparison with the others in that department and Spurs were well served by midfielders at the time. But his style suited his subsequent teams and he was an effective passer and could dribble well. Probably failed to gain more international honours, as most Scottish players at the time were more strongly built and he might have been thought to be slightly lacking physically, which is a surprise, as Scottish winger were often of his build and ability.
Neil McNab got engaged to Julie Parker, an
18 year old computer clerk with EMI, who lived in Edmonton.
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|1973-74||- (0 goals)||-||-||-|
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