Whatever happened to Malcolm Macdonald?

Arsenal was Malcolm Macdonald’s last major club.  He played 84 league games for us and scored 42 goals, but injury cut his career short.  He achieved similar goal to game ratios with Luton (49 goals in 88 games) and Newcastle (95 games in 187 games).  After 1979 he had one final club,  playing nine times for Djurgårdens IF in Sweden and scoring two.  He was just 29 when he stopped playing.

He then became manager of Fulham in 1980 and gained promotion to the second division, and he remained there until 1984.  A later spell with Huddersfield Town was not successful and after that he worked extensively on local radio.

His subsequent career was blighted by alcohol abuse, which he overcame in 1997, and despite difficulties in some business ventures, he is, from reports, happy and settled.

Here are the anniversaries.

11 April 1885: Luton Town formed.  They later claimed to be the first professional team in the south, but only offered professional contracts to two players. Royal Arsenal were the first club to go professional en masse in 1891.

11 April 1891: Arsenal 1 Old Carthusians 2.  London Charity Cup semi-final replay.  Arsenal played again in this competition in the 1960s, but by then it seems to have been a competition for the reserves.

11 April 1896: Arsenal 2 Millwall Athletic 2.  9,000 turned up for the friendly against the rivals from across the water.

11 April 1898: William Elcoat took up the post as Arsenal manager.  He totally changed the team, but after one season only two of them survived in Bradshaw’s first game: Ord the goalkeeper and Dick, the centre half.

11 April 1910: Arsenal beat champions Aston Villa 1-0, and thus gave the Reds  valuable points in their battle with relegation. However Villa, having already won the league, put out a reserve side, and subsequently Chelsea and Middlesbrough protested vigorously but to no avail.

11 April 1914: Leeds City 0 Arsenal 0.  Henry Norris met Leeds’ manager Herbert Chapman for the second time.  Leeds were wound up after the war and Chapman barred from football for life – but he later appealed and joined Huddersfield.

11 April 1919 Sir Henry Norris wrote an open letter complaining about the behaviour of the London Combination’s committee, in relation to their holding an appeal hearing concerning the match v Fulham, without him present to represent Arsenal’s position.

11 April 1931: Arsenal beat Grimsby 0-1 away with Lambert scoring for the first time in four games.  Aston Villa were at home to Sheffield United and won 4-0 leaving Arsenal 5 points clear with a better goal average at the top of the table.

11 April 1936: Last appearance for Frank “Tiger” Hill.  He went on to manage five different league teams over a 20 year period post-war.

11 April 1942: Arsenal beat Brighton 3-0 away with Dennis Compton getting two and Drake the third, in the London War Cup.  This was part of a four team preliminary round with each club playing the other home and away, Arsenal winning five of their six games to top the group. However they lost to Brentford in the semi-final, after a goalless draw.

11 April 1959: Tommy Docherty gained his 25th and last Scottish cap.  He played 83 league games for Arsenal between 1958 and 1961.

11 April 1961: Bob Dylan made his first live appearance.  You might not be aware that on the internet there is also Untold Dylan – that gets quite a big audience too.

11 April 1962.  Fulham 5 Arsenal 2.  The result came just two weeks after a 4-5 home defeat to Aston Villa.  During the run of six games of which these were part Skirton scored five and Strong scored six.

11 April 1964: Arsenal 0 Blackburn 0.  Arsenal had brought forward their final home game in order to install undersoil heating in the summer.  The matchday programme included a note saying that a meeting among London clubs had agreed to fix next season’s ground entry price at 4 shillings (20p) with an enclosure for schoolchildren added (admission 10p).

11 April 1977: Arsenal 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0.   The result edged Tottenham closer to the second division and took Macdonald, who scored, a little closer to the Daily Express’ prize of £10,000 to the first player to get 30 goals in the season.  He needed 8 from 7 more games.

11 April 1978: Arsenal’s hopes of a runners’ up spot dropped as relegation threatened QPR beat Arsenal 2-1.  Brady got Arsenal’s goal (a penalty) right at the end.

11 April 1987: Arsenal 2 Charlton 1.  Crowd: 26,111. After 10 league games without a win, during which Arsenal scored two goals, Arsenal finally got a victory.  Paul Davis and Martin Hayes scored.

11 April 1992: Paul Merson got a hat-trick as Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 4-1.  It was the start of a five match run to the end of the season in which Arsenal scored 15 goals.

11 April 1998: Arsenal 3 Newcastle Utd 1.  Manninger’s record of 8 consecutive games without conceding ended on the 31st league game of the 2nd Double season.    The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.

11 April 1999: Arsenal 0 Man U 0  FA Cup semi final.  It was a pivotal moment at which point either Arsenal or Man U (or of course neither) could win the Double.

11 April 2004: Newcastle 0 Arsenal 0.  The 32nd league game of the unbeaten season.  It was the third of four 0-0 draws during the season.

11 April 2009: Alex Song scored his first premier league goal.  Wigan 1 Arsenal 4 was Arsenal’s fifth successive win during which the club scored 16 goals, after having scored none in the previous four, and just four in the previous eight.  Silvestre, Walcott and Arshavin scored the other goals – all coming in the last half hour.

11 April 2015: Burnley 0 Arsenal 1.  Ramsey’s goal in 12 minutes gave Arsenal their 8th consecutive Premier League win.  The unbeaten run continued for two more games.

11 April 2019: Arsenal beat Napoli 2-0 at home in the quarter finals of the Europa League on the way to the final.  Ramsey scored and there was an own goal

2 Replies to “Whatever happened to Malcolm Macdonald?”

  1. Ah superman.A leg in many ways.never forget the buzz around the club when we signed him.£333,333,33p an unforgettable fee.played like a Buccaneer with his barrel chest sticking out & now legs you could drive a bus through.would run At defenders & shoot on sight anytime he got the ball.& v.good in the air.scared the living daylights out of defences.remember one wet & windy afternoon at the old place( proper stadium!)torrential rain & soaked through on the Northbank watching a 5-3 thriller with superman bagging a hat Trick against his old bar code mates.what an afternoon.He was without a doubt an old school superstar.

  2. 3 memories remain from our game at Q.P.R. in 1978. First was when Malcolm MacDonald, took a swing at the ball, with his right peg. My dad shouted “duck”, which we both did. The ball sliced off his foot and hit the fan behind us in the face. Second, was when some idiot ran on the pitch, to confront Rangers keeper Phil Parkes, who merely held him, till the police arrived and finally, the referee blew for full time, the moment Brady’s penalty hit the net. Something I haven’t seen before or since. No disrespect to Rangers, but Arsenal had their minds on the cup final and were stepping back from 50/50 tackles, so as to avoid injury.

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