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Dave Mackay

Dave Mackay at Derby County, c.1970.

Fewer people are more famous for breaking their leg than Dave Mackay. During the Sixties and early Seventies, Dave personified the image of the gritty, determined, iron hard Scotsman, that battled to the very end, and often to victory. A Scottish League and Cup winner with his home team of Hearts, Dave moved to English football with Spurs in 1959. At Spurs, Dave was a member of the teams that won the Double in 1961, and the F.A.Cup in 1962 and 1967 (as captain).

But I knew him first as the player that came back from breaking his leg twice ! Dave had already missed the Cup Winners' Cup Final win in 1963 due to injury - the first English team to win a European trophy. When, in the second game of the defence of the cup , he broke his left leg in two places. It was at Old Trafford versus Manchester United in the second ... er ... leg of the competition's First Round proper. It happened after only 8 minutes and almost certainly contributed to Spurs losing a 2-0 advantage to be defeated 4-3 on aggregate.

Dave Mackay - with a broken leg

Dave Mackay as he is well remembered, breaking his leg.

It took nearly a year to get back to fitness. When the plaster first came off after 16 weeks, the left leg was 4 inches thinner than the right ! Then on 14 September, 1964 in a match against Shrewsbury Reserves. He broke it again in a tackle with Peter Colby.

After Spurs, Dave moved to Brian Clough's up and coming Derby County, where he again won much acclaim as the experienced pro in the young side. Indeed he was the Football writers 'Player of the Year' in 1968-69 (shared with Manchester City's Tony Book) the year Derby won the Second Division Championship.

Dave missed Derby's First Division Championship as he had moved on to Swindon Town, where he played out his career as player- manager. When Clough left for his disasterous spell in charge of Leeds United, Dave took over as manager of Derby County, and joined an elite number of people who have won Championship medals both as player and manager, when Derby topped the League in 1975.

There was always a feeling that Dave had overseen Clough's team to the Championship, and when the team split up Dave was unable to sustain the success and he was sacked in 1976.

Special thanks to Martin Bates for some corrections in the above, which also drew on Matt Allen's book on 'Jimmy Greaves'. Virgin, 2001.

David Craig Mackay

Born : Edinburgh, 14 November, 1934.

Dave Mackay at Derby County

Dave MacKay at Derby County

League appearances :

Club Source Date signed Played Games Subs Goals
Tottenham Hotspur Hearts 03.59 58-67 268 0 42
Derby County Transfer 07.68 68-70 122 0 5
Swindon Town Transfer 05.71 71 25 1 1
Total : 416 / 48       415 1 48

Scottish internationals :

Level Games Goals
Scottish League n/k n/k
Schoolboy n/k n/k
Under-23 4 2
Full 22 0

For links on this site see...

Where are they now ? See Caught In Time

Which number did he wear for Scotland? April 2005

As the Spurs' captain, Dave represented the 1967 FA Cup Final in the new Wembley Stadium celebrations held before the 2007 FA Cup Final, see 19 May 2007

See Books

For links on other sites see...

See some original artwork at Art About Face Dave Makay

Thanks to Ian Corry for sending the colour picture of Dave above.

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Derby County
Bob Dunning
27 May 2007

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