||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2011)|
|Full name||Alan Bruce McInally|
|Date of birth||10 February 1963|
|Place of birth||Ayr, Scotland|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Alan Bruce McInally (born 10 February 1963 in Ayr) is a former professional footballer in Scotland, England and Germany. Since retiring from football, he is best known for his work at Sky Sports as a football analyst.
Ayr-born McInally variously went by the nicknames of Rambo and Big Mac and he is the son of Jackie McInally, who played in Kilmarnock's title-winning side of 1965, scoring 11 goals. He was educated in Ayr at Heathfield Primary School and Mainholm Academy. On leaving school he served an apprenticeship as an Aircraft Fitter with British Aerospace at nearby Prestwick.
He began his career with his local side Ayr United, making his debut in the 1980–81 season in the Scottish League Division One. His early style was as a bustling "up and at 'em" type centre forward, and during his time at Ayr, he had the more than respectable goal ratio of almost exactly one in three. A great season in 1983–84, when McInally got his best haul to date of 15 goals in 35 games, earned him a move to Glasgow giants Celtic in the Scottish Premier Division. Strangely, McInally had his best personal season here, while Ayr only survived relegation by one point.
With Celtic, he was mainly used as a reserve, but was a respected member of the squad, weighing in with important goals when called upon. He also experienced European football for the first time with Celtic, and even then the continentals found the raw McInally's rough and tumble style hard to counter – indeed, McInally was sent off against Rapid Vienna in the first leg of this soon to be notorious tie, in the European Cup Winners Cup 1984–85. Celtic won the Scottish Cup in 1985, but McInally wasn't involved on the day. He did play in the Scottish League Cup Final in 1986, but was on the losing side as Celtic lost against Rangers.
He won his first medal in the 1985–86 season, when Celtic won the title on goal difference from Hearts. Although he played only 16 games (with one goal scored), he was a valued member of the team, getting a more regular place the following season. McInally really came into his own in his third and last season at the club (1986–87), scoring 15 goals in his 38 league games.
After the end of the season, despite the efforts of new manager Billy McNeil to persuade the club's main strikers to stay, all three left Celtic – Mo Johnston to Nantes in France, Brian McClair to Manchester United and McInally joined Aston Villa in the Second Division.
In his first season at Villa, McInally helped them to get promoted back to the top flight, scoring four goals in his 26 league games as Villa finished second behind Millwall, McInally, now used to the rigours of English football, took his game up a level as he added technical finesse to his tough style. He helped Villa survive by netting 14 league goals in his 33 games, scoring 23 goals in all competitions.
McInally's form for Aston Villa and Scotland caught the eye of German giants Bayern Munich, who were sufficiently impressed by McInally's overall season to bid a record fee for them at the time of £1.2 Million to take McInally to the Bundesliga. The Bayern attack was revamped for the 1989–90 season, with the Yugoslav Radmilo Mihajlović also bought in expensively as Bayern went to defend their Bundesliga crown and make headway in the European Cup.
McInally – now nicknamed Big Mac by the Bayern fans – began well in the Bundesliga, proving a handful for the defences, but then the referees clamped down on his style and his disciplinary record suffered. He was a regular throughout this season, but halfway through, the Bayern management decided that this strikeforce was not what they wanted and began to look for replacements for McInally and Mihajlović. At the end of his first season, McInally helped Bayern to the league title, and scored ten goals in his 31 league games, a respectable tally in his first season abroad. He also helped Bayern to the semi finals of the European Cup, where they fell to AC Milan, despite McInally's goal in the second leg in Munich.
In the 1990–91 season, McInally was now deemed a reserve at Bayern (Mihailjovic had now been sold), but he was regularly given a run out in Europe, where he scored some goals in the early rounds of the European Cup. Bayern were willing to let him go, and Chelsea came in for him, but McInally turned them down, preferring to fight on in Munich. This season, he only played seven goalless games in the league, and was unable to help Bayern to get past Red Star Belgrade in the European Cup semi final, despite a battering ram cameo performance in the first leg in Munich. This season was effectively McInally's last as a top level professional, as he began to succumb to injury.
McInally only managed two league games for Bayern in the 1991–92 season, before suffering a long term knee injury. This injury ended his time with the German giants, who supported McInally until his contract ran out with them at the end of the 1992–93 season.
On the expiry of this contract, and back to a semblance of fitness, McInally returned to Scotland in 1994 and signed for Kilmarnock, a club at which his father Jackie had become a hero by helping them to win the Scottish title in 1965. McInally managed to turn out for Kilmarnock eight times in the 1993–94 season, but failed to score and retired at the end of the season, aged 31, due to an injury.
McInally's second cap – his full debut – against Chile in May 1989 resulted in his first goal (the Scots won 2–0).
A couple of McInally goals against Malta in a friendly in May 1990 effectively earned McInally a place in the Scotland squad for the 1990 World Cup in Italy. He started the first game against Costa Rica, which was a humiliating 1–0 defeat, McInally failing to make his height and power work against the Costa Rican defence during the 90 minutes. That was the end of McInally's international career. He didn't play in any more of the Scottish games in the World Cup (they went out in the first phase), and indeed never played for Scotland again, finishing with three goals in his eight caps.
He currently works on Soccer Saturday as a pundit, alongside the likes of Phil Thompson and Jeff Stelling, and contributes to the BETDAQ Exchange Views blog. On 10 February 2007, Jeff Stelling revealed the middle name of Alan McInally, live on Soccer Saturday which prompted Alan to ring in during the commercial break (from home on his birthday) and jokingly vowed to get even with Jeff.
- Alan McInally at scottishfa.co.uk
- Alan McInally at the Internet Movie Database
- Alan McInally career stats at Soccerbase