Davey Mac…Too good to be forgotten
David McCreery was a player who came to prominence after Manchester United’s relegation from the old First Division in 1974 (Happy Days).
He was a versatile and reliable player which was probably the main reason why he was often named substitute in the days when only one change was allowed.
David also has the distinction of coming off the bench in successive FA Cup finals in 1976 and 77, ironically for the same player, Gordon Hill.
His old boss Tommy Docherty took him to QPR in 1979 and a couple of seasons later David tried his luck in America with Tulsa Roughnecks….. quite an appropriate team for a burgeoning and tenacious little hard case that had become accustomed to playing in the midfield holding role.
He had become so good at it, that he became a pivotal performer in Northern Ireland’s World Cup heroics in Spain in 1982 and was eventually named in the team of the tournament.
Our own shrewd boss Arthur Cox could spot a player designed for black and white stripes, and quick as a flash, had signed the little fella up. This was the beginning of a seven year love affair between David McCreery and his admirers on the terraces.
Davey Mac’s mission was simple according to the honourable Arthur, go out and bust-up any offensive possession, retrieve the ball and relay it to Terry McDermott or John Trewick. He was a natural genius at it and after a while made the midfield enforcer’s role look easy.
One of my best memories was of David scoring down at Filbert Street on 25 August 1984 and the away fans singing “We’re gonna win the League” because the Toon had won their first three league games back in Division 1.
After ending his playing career, David managed both Hartlepool and Carlisle. He then once again ventured to America to become involved as a consultant in a global footballing management company, before becoming a European scout for Diego Maradona’s beloved Boca Juniors.
My brother has had the pleasure of meeting David McCreery a few times and has told me he is a perfect gentleman.
David also mentioned that he had been put out to battle for the Toon on many occasions when not fully fit – but that the pleasure and the privilege was strictly his.
(*Davey Mac is now 64 and confided in Wor Lad that Newcastle’s promotion in 1984 was the highlight and best time of his life…even better than winning the FA Cup and playing in the 1982 and 1986 World Cups.)
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