Danny Wallace (footballer)

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For other people named Danny Wallace, see Daniel Wallace (disambiguation).
Danny Wallace
Personal information
Full name David Lloyd Wallace
Date of birth (1964-01-21) 21 January 1964 (age 50)
Place of birth Greenwich, England
Height 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
Playing position Striker / Winger
Youth career
1977–1980 Southampton
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1980–1989 Southampton 253 (64)
1989–1993 Manchester United 47 (6)
1993 Millwall (loan) 3 (0)
1993–1995 Birmingham City 16 (2)
1995 Wycombe Wanderers 1 (0)
Total 320 (72)
National team
1983–1986 England U21 14 (1)
1986 England 1 (1)
1990 England B 1 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

David Lloyd "Danny" Wallace (born 21 January 1964) is an English former footballer who played for Southampton, Manchester United, Millwall, Birmingham City and Wycombe Wanderers. He won one full cap for England. His football career was ended prematurely by the effects of multiple sclerosis.

Playing career[edit]

Southampton[edit]

Wallace was born in Greenwich, south-east London. As a youngster, he played for West Greenwich School and for Deal Town, and his skills soon attracted scouts from many top London clubs, including Millwall and Arsenal, but he was snapped up by Southampton, joining them as an associate schoolboy in February 1977 (aged 13), and turning professional in January 1982.

He made his debut (taking the place of the injured Kevin Keegan) aged only 16 years and 313 days on 29 November 1980 at Old Trafford, thus becoming the youngest player to be picked for Southampton (a record taken by Theo Walcott in August 2005).

Over the next two seasons, his first-team appearances were limited, and he only made three starts (plus four as substitute) in the 1981–82 season. On 23 October 1982, he scored his first goal for the Saints in a 2–3 defeat at Swansea City (Saints' other goal was from on loan Justin Fashanu). This was the start of a scoring spree as he scored seven goals in ten games, and finished the 1982–83 season on 12 goals in 35 appearances. That year he made the first of his 14 appearances for the England U-21 side.

Small, compact, and highly explosive, Wallace delighted The Dell crowds with his pace and superb individual goals. Most First Division defences struggled to cope with his speed and ability. He burst into national prominence with both goals in the first match televised live from The Dell against Liverpool on 16 March 1984. His first goal was scored with his back to the goal, when he sent an overhead scissors-kick screaming past goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar, whilst for the second he threw himself in front of Alan Hansen to head home a superb cross from Mark Dennis, in a move involving Frank Worthington and Mark Wright. The first goal was named Goal of the Season for 1983–84. Southampton had emerged as surprise contenders for Liverpool in the title race, but in the end Liverpool still won the title and Southampton finished second – the highest finish in their history. They also emerged as unlikely contenders for the double, but this quest was ultimately unsuccessful as well, as they were beaten 1–0 in extra time by eventual competition winners Everton in the FA Cup semi-final.

Wallace's fine form continued, and the following month both he and Steve Moran scored hat-tricks in an 8–2 win over Coventry City. Southampton had another strong season in the league, finishing fifth, but were unable to compete in the UEFA Cup the following season as the Heysel disaster resulted in all English clubs receiving an indefinite ban from European competitions.

He had an impressive career at Southampton, being picked to play for England, and scoring in what turned out to be only appearance for his country in a 4–0 victory over Egypt on 29 January 1986, in Cairo. In the league, he scored eight goals in 35 games in the 1985–86 season, and reached double figures again in 1987–88 with eleven league goals.[1]

On 22 October 1988, his two brothers, Rod and Ray, joined him in the team in a match at The Dell against Sheffield Wednesday; this was the first time three brothers had played in the same team in English professional top-flight football since 1920. The three brothers continued to play together for the remainder of the 1988–89 season, with Danny and Rod playing in attack alongside Alan Shearer and Matthew Le Tissier.

By this time, Wallace was growing restless at Southampton and was looking for a new club. He attracted interest from many of the top clubs, and in September 1989 he eventually departed for Manchester United for £1.2 million, then a record fee for a Southampton player. In all, he made 317 first-team appearances for Southampton, scoring 79 goals.

Manchester United[edit]

He joined Manchester United at a time when Alex Ferguson was still looking for his first trophy as manager of Manchester United as the third anniversary of his appointment approached. United had not won the league title since 1967, and when Ferguson had taken over in November 1986 he inherited a squad which had won two FA Cups under Ron Atkinson but had started to show its age. Many players had left the club, while a few including Bryan Robson and Mark Hughes remained an integral part of Ferguson's plans to take United a step further. The left wing had been one of Ferguson's areas where improvement was needed. After the departure of Jesper Olsen in November 1988, he had drafted in Scotsman Ralph Milne, but the player was hugely disappointing and Ferguson quickly decided that he needed a more talented player to fill this position. 18-year-old Lee Sharpe had started the season as United's first choice left winger, but Ferguson wanted a more experienced player for this position and seemed to have found what he was looking for in Wallace.

One of his first appearances for United was a dismal 5-1 league defeat to Manchester City in the Manchester derby at Maine Road.[2]

Wallace was never quite the player at United that he had been at Southampton, although he remained their first choice left winger in 1989–90 and was chosen for the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace, which United won 1–0 in the replay after a 3–3 draw. However, 1990–91 saw Wallace's first team opportunities reduced when Lee Sharpe made the breakthrough into the first team and overtook Wallace as the first choice left winger at Old Trafford, though he still managed his fair share of appearances and gave what was arguably his finest performance in a United shirt on 28 November 1990 when he scored one goal and helped set up two others in United's superb 6–2 away win over Arsenal in the Football League Cup fourth round. United reached the final of that competition on 21 April 1991 but suffered a shock defeat to Sheffield Wednesday and Wallace was not included in the squad. He did, however, make the squad for the Cup Winners' Cup final, collecting a winner's medal as a non-playing substitute.

But in 1991–92, Ryan Giggs burst onto the scene and Wallace was now firmly out of the first team picture, failing to make a single appearance in the league all season as United came second to Leeds after leading the table for most of the season. He also missed out on a place in the Football League Cup winning team. In December 1991 he was put on the transfer list and linked with a return to Southampton, but the return to The Dell never happened.

Wallace was selected twice for United in their first season in the new FA Premier League, and actually scored for them against Brighton & Hove Albion in a Football League Cup tie, but it was obvious that his days at the club were numbered. A loan spell at Millwall followed, before he finally departed from Old Trafford on 15 October 1993 in a £250,000 move to Birmingham City.[3]

Birmingham City[edit]

After a series of injuries and a puzzling loss of form which meant he rarely played during his last two years at Manchester United, he was sold to Birmingham City for £250,000. It became obvious that the player was far from fit, and after 18 months he made a free-transfer move to Wycombe Wanderers[4] where he made just one substitute appearance.

England national football team[edit]

Having been capped 14 times at under-21 level by England, Wallace was selected in the England senior squad on 29 January 1986 for a friendly against Egypt in Cairo. He scored in a 4-0 win but was never selected for the England senior side again.[5]

Multiple sclerosis[edit]

The reason for his problems was discovered in 1996 when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and he was forced to retire from football.

On 17 May 2004, St Mary's Stadium hosted a testimonial match for Wallace, featuring a Southampton XI vs an All-Star XI, organised by his former Southampton teammate George Lawrence. Other former Saints teammates playing in the match included Steve Williams, Steve Moran, Mark Wright and his two younger brothers, Rodney and Raymond. Manchester United were preparing for the FA Cup Final, to be played five days later, but several of Wallace's former United teammates also turned out, including Mark Hughes, Denis Irwin, Paul Ince, Paul Parker and Viv Anderson.[6]

In 2006, Wallace completed the 42.195-kilometre (26.219 mi) London Marathon in five-and-a-half days. His goal in completing the marathon was to raise money for the Danny Wallace Foundation, which provides aid for those suffering from multiple sclerosis. He was greeted at the finish line by former boxer Michael Watson, who himself completed the marathon in seven days after suffering brain injuries in a 1991 boxing match.[7]

Honours[edit]

Southampton

Manchester United

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ "Danny Wallace: Southampton FC". Football Heroes. Sporting Heroes Collections. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  2. ^ Metcalfe, Nick (4 November 2010). "So what are the 24 matches that help tell the story of Sir Alex Ferguson's amazing 24 years as Manchester United manager?". Daily Mail (London). 
  3. ^ http://www.sporting-heroes.net/football-heroes/displayhero_club.asp?HeroID=44310
  4. ^ Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9. 
  5. ^ http://www.sporting-heroes.net/football/england/danny-wallace-5842/biography-1986_a12392/
  6. ^ "Honours even as galaxy of stars turn on style for Danny". Southern Daily Echo. 18 May 2004. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "MS footballer finishes marathon". BBC News. 28 April 2006. Retrieved 7 August 2008. 

External links[edit]