Neil McDonald (footballer)

Neil McDonald (footballer)
Neil McDonald
Personal information
Full name Neil Raymond McDonald
Date of birth 2 November 1965 (1965-11-02) (age 46)
Place of birth Wallsend, England
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Right Back, Midfielder
Club information
Current club West Ham United (assistant manager)
Youth career
Wallsend BC
Carlisle United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1983–1988 Newcastle United 180 (24)
1988–1991 Everton 90 (4)
1991–1994 Oldham Athletic 21 (1)
1994–1995 Bolton Wanderers 6 (0)
1995–1998 Preston North End 34 (0)
National team
1986–1987 England U21 5 (0)
Teams managed
2006–2007 Carlisle United
2007 Östersunds FK
2009 Blackburn Rovers (Caretaker)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Neil Raymond McDonald (born on 2 November 1965 in Wallsend, North Tyneside) is a former football player, in the right back and midfield positions, before becoming a coach/manager.

During his career he played for the England under 21 team. As a manager he has been in charge at Carlisle United and Östersunds FK. On 18 December 2008 he was appointed Assistant Manager of Blackburn Rovers, and was sacked on 13 December 2010 along with manager Sam Allardyce. On 1 June 2011, Allardyce announced McDonald as his assistant manager at West Ham United.


Playing career

McDonald started his playing career at his local youth team Wallsend Boys Club, before joining Carlisle United as a schoolboy, where he represented England at schoolboy level. He then joined Newcastle United as an apprentice where he went on to play over 200 league and cup games. He also was an England Youth and England under 21 international while at St. James'.

McDonald then joined Everton, for £525,000, in the summer of 1988. At Everton he played in the 1989 FA Cup Final against local rivals Liverpool. Everton lost the game 3-2.

McDonald's Everton career lasted 3 years with McDonald playing over 100 league and cup games. Memorable moments, apart from the 1989 FA Cup final appearance, were being part of the Everton side that topped the First Division in the late autumn of 1989 (though they were unable to sustain their title challenge in the long run and finished sixth) and being voted club player of the year for the 1990-91 season.[1]

In October 1991 he joined Oldham Athletic, newly promoted to the top tier, for £500,000. He stayed there for three seasons, overseeing two successful battles against relegation before they were finally relegated from the FA Premier League in 1994. He also helped them reach the FA Cup semi finals in 1994, and they were 1-0 up against Manchester United in extra time at Wembley when a late equaliser from Mark Hughes forced a replay and put Oldham's dreams of a first ever FA Cup final appearance on ice. A few days later they were crushed 4-1 in the replay and McDonald was robbed of yet another chance of FA Cup glory.

After Oldham's relegation, he signed for Bolton Wanderers and helped them win promotion to the FA Premier League as Division One playoff winners in 1994-95, as well as reaching the Football League Cup final where they lost 2-1 to Liverpool.

A £40,000 move took him to Preston North End in November 1995, and he remained at Deepdale until his retirement from playing at the end of the 1998-99 season. In his first season at Preston, they won promotion as Division Three champions, and by the time of his retirement three years later, they had qualified for the Division Two playoffs. Although they lost out that season, they won promotion a year later as champions. He ended his playing career at Preston a year after the appointment of David Moyes (now manager of McDonald's former club Everton) as manager.

Coaching career

McDonald was a coach at several teams. His first coaching job was with Preston North End he started this in 1997 as a player/coach and taking the coaching role on a full time basis in 1998. Then in the year 2000 he joined Sam Allardyce's backroom staff at Bolton Wanderers as first-team coach and earning his UEFA Pro Licence while at The Reebok. He joined Crystal Palace in 2005 to become Iain Dowie's assistant.

He subsequently became Carlisle United manager in summer 2006,[2] following Paul Simpson's departure to Preston North End. In the press conference unveiling McDonald as manager, Carlisle chairman Andrew Jenkins called McDonald Neale Cooper (the former Hartlepool United manager) by mistake.[citation needed]

McDonald had a winning start in his first competitive match as manager, beating Doncaster Rovers 1-0 on the 5 August 2006 at Brunton Park in League One. The team finished the season in 8th place, Carlisle's highest league placing in 20 years. McDonald was sacked from his post as Carlisle United manager on 13 August 2007, a statement on the club's website read "The board of Carlisle United regret to say that they have lost confidence in Neil McDonald and are terminating his contract forthwith." [3]

On September 11, 2007 he took over as manager of Swedish club Östersunds FK.[4] managing the team for a 5 week period, during which he saved the club from relegation.

In November 2007 he joined Lincoln City, where former Newcastle teammate Peter Jackson had previously been appointed manager, as his assistant.[5] This appointment didn't last long however, as a few months later in February 2008, McDonald was appointed as head coach under Gary McAllister at Leeds United.

On 18 December 2008 he was reunited with Sam Allardyce at Blackburn Rovers, as assistant manager. On 21 November 2009 it was announced that McDonald would take charge of three Blackburn Rovers matches against Bolton Wanderers, Fulham and Stoke City during which time manager Sam Allardyce would be undergoing heart surgery. He also took charge of a fourth match in the Football League Cup in which Rovers played league leaders Chelsea for a place in the semi-finals. Rovers won the game after a penalty shootout after a 3-3 draw. On 13 December 2010 McDonald was sacked by Blackburn's new owners along with Allardyce. Following his appointment as manager, on 1 June 2011, Allardyce announced McDonald as his assistant manager at West Ham United.[6]

Managerial stats

As of November 22, 2009.
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Carlisle United England June 17, 2006 August 13, 2007 51 19 14 18 37.25
Östersunds FK Sweden September 11, 2007 October 2, 2007 ? ? ? ? ?
Blackburn Rovers England November 22, 2009 November 28, 2009 4 2 1 1 50


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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