Malcolm Macdonald

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This article is about the footballer. For the politician, see Malcolm MacDonald.
Malcolm Macdonald
Personal information
Full name Malcolm Ian Macdonald
Date of birth (1950-01-07) 7 January 1950 (age 65)
Place of birth Fulham, England
Playing position Forward (retired)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1968–1969 Fulham 13 (5)
1969–1971 Luton Town 88 (49)
1971–1976 Newcastle United 187 (95)
1976–1979 Arsenal 84 (42)
1979 Djurgårdens IF 9 (2)
Total 381 (193)
National team
1972–1976 England 14 (6)
Teams managed
1980–1984 Fulham
1987–1988 Huddersfield Town
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Malcolm Ian Macdonald (born 7 January 1950) is a former English footballer nicknamed Supermac, famed for scoring goals for Luton Town, Newcastle United and Arsenal.

Football career[edit]

Born in Fulham, London, Macdonald started out as a full back before switching to centre forward. After signing from Tonbridge Angels[1] Bobby Robson paid £1,000 to sign him for Fulham in 1968 just after their relegation from the Football League First Division.

A year later he moved to Luton Town. At Luton he scored 49 times in 88 matches, which caught the eye of Newcastle United manager Joe Harvey, who signed him for £180,000 in the summer of 1971. At Newcastle he quickly became a favourite of the fans, scoring a hat-trick on his home debut against Liverpool, and was the club's top scorer for five seasons in a row.

While at Newcastle, he made his debut for England (against Wales). On 16 April 1975, in a European Championship qualifier for England against Cyprus he scored all five goals in a 5–0 victory. Although three pre-war players (Steve Bloomer, Vivian Woodward and Willie Hall) had previously scored five for England, Macdonald was the first, and remains the only, player to do so in a competitive international. His feat spawned the newspaper headline "SuperMac 5, Cyprus 0".[citation needed] In total he played 14 times for his country, scoring six times (the only other game he scored in being a 2–0 win over then World Champions West Germany).

Macdonald left Newcastle for Arsenal in 1976, for the unusual fee of £333,333.34, (confirmed by Macdonald himself on BBC Radio 5 Live on 31 August 2013) and played two full seasons (being the club's top scorer in both), but suffered a knee injury in a League Cup match against Rotherham at the start of the 1978–79 season, from which he was unable to completely recover. After having spent a couple of months in Sweden with Djurgårdens IF he announced his retirement from playing at the premature age of 29 in August 1979. He never won a major honour but was on the losing side in two FA Cup finals and a League Cup final, two for Newcastle and one for Arsenal.

Football management[edit]

After retirement from playing, he returned to Fulham to manage them for four seasons from 1980 to 1984, and was later manager of Huddersfield Town between 1987 and 1988. His time at Fulham was initially successful, with promotion to the Second Division being achieved in 1982. In the 1982–83 season, they appeared certainties for promotion to the First Division for the majority of the season, but a slump in the later stages of the season allowed their lead to wither away and they finished 4th. The following season began as a struggle before a second half turnaround saw them into mid-table safety, however he would be replaced by his assistant Ray Harford in April 1984.

He returned to management with Huddersfield in 1987, but his time in charge proved disastrous, including a 10–1 loss to Manchester City as the side were relegated from the Second Division in dismal fashion.

After being declared bankrupt following a failed business venture, divorcing his second wife and struggling with the aftermath of his injury, he became an alcoholic. Macdonald said that the pain from his long-standing knee injury led to his increasing dependence on alcohol. He eventually gave up drinking in 1997.[2]


Macdonald worked extensively for Real Radio North East (formerly Century Radio), presenting the Legends Football Phone In, alongside Bernie Slaven and Micky Horswill. The programme was axed following the end of the 2011–12 season. Now broadcasting on Star radio continuing the format. Macdonald also previously presented his own interview series for the station, Upfront With Malcolm Macdonald,[3] talking to ex-professional players.

He also writes a regular column for the retro football magazine BACKPASS (

In 2011, Macdonald was strongly critical of Newcastle's decision to change their stadium name from St James' Park to the Sports Direct Arena. Macdonald said: "It seems antagonistic. It's not only part of the football club’s heritage, but part of the heritage of the city."[4]


During the TV show Superstars in 1975, Macdonald ran 100m in 10.9 seconds.[5]


  1. ^ "Bobby Robson – the top 10 signings". 31 July 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2009. 
  2. ^ Jackson, Jamie (3 August 2003). "Triumph and despair". The Observer (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 27 September 2008. 
  3. ^ 100–102 Century Radio – Music you just have to sing along to!
  4. ^ Starforth, Miles (10 November 2011). "St James' Park renaming will 'antagonise' United fans". Jarrow and Hebburn Gazette. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Superstars History and Top Facts". BBC Sport. 5 November 2004. Retrieved 27 September 2008. No one believed that Macdonald would be able to run that fast again straight away. He ran the race, won it again, and beat his own record with an amazing 10.9 seconds. He held the European record for seven years until Des Drummond ran the 100m in 10.85 seconds in the 1982 International Superstars in Hong Kong. 

External links[edit]