Bob McNab

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Bob McNab
Personal information
Full name Robert McNab
Date of birth (1943-07-20) 20 July 1943 (age 75)
Place of birth Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England
Playing position Left-back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1963–1966 Huddersfield Town 68 (0)
1966–1975 Arsenal 278 (4)
1975–1976 Wolverhampton Wanderers 13 (0)
1976 San Antonio Thunder 12 (1)
1976–1977 Barnet
1979 Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (0)
1983–1984 Tacoma Stars (indoor) 1 (0)
National team
1968–1969 England 4 (0)
Teams managed
1980 Vancouver Whitecaps
1983 Tacoma Stars
1983–1985 Tacoma Stars (assistant)
1985–1986 Tacoma Stars
1994–1995 San Jose Grizzlies (indoor)
1999–2000 Portsmouth (caretaker)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Robert McNab (born 20 July 1943) is an English former footballer who played as a defender. McNab featured for clubs Huddersfield Town, Arsenal, Wolverhampton Wanderers, San Antonio Thunder, Barnet, Vancouver Whitecaps and Tacoma Stars in his playing career. He also played for England's national football team.[1]

As a manager he was at the helm of teams Vancouver Whitecaps, Tacoma Stars, San Jose Grizzlies and Portsmouth.

Club career[edit]

Born in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, McNab started out at local club, Huddersfield Town, where he made close to seventy appearances. In October 1966 he was signed by Bertie Mee for Arsenal for £50,000.[2][3]

He made his debut for the club in a defeat to Leeds United on 15 October 1968. McNab went on to become a regular and so play in the 1969 Football League Cup Final which Arsenal lost to Swindon Town.

As so with Arsenal he went on to lift the 1969–70 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. Being a stalwart in the back line alongside Pat Rice and Frank McLintock, McNab played 62 matches in Arsenal's double-winning season, missing just two games. He thus featured throughout that campaign, going on to win a League and FA Cup Double in 1970–71 with the Gunners.[2][3]

With such he missed much of the 1971–72 season due to injury with Sammy Nelson deputising for him. McNab though was able to again play at Wembley in the 1972 FA Cup Final which Arsenal lost to Leeds United.[2]

McNab returned to full fitness in playing over 50 matches the following season. However, in 1973–74 he suffered another curtailing injury. With this being the case he again had to share the role of left back. With the younger Nelson being in favour, the 32-year-old McNab left the club on a free transfer in the summer of 1975. In total he played 365 matches for Arsenal, scoring six goals.[2]

After leaving Arsenal, he at first played for Wolverhampton Wanderers before linking up in the U.S. with the NASL's San Antonio Thunder. He then returned to England to join up with Barnet only to move back across the Atlantic to Canada. Whilst there he played for the NASL's Vancouver Whitecaps, where he brought his playing days to a close.[3]

McNab went on to coach the Whitecaps and thereafter the Tacoma Stars of the Major Indoor Soccer League. He left being at the helm of the Stars in December 1983 only to become the club's assistant manager. During the 1983–84 season, whilst in the aforesaid role he also played a solo game for the Stars. He was reappointed as the side's manager in March 1985.[4]

McNab later emigrated to Los Angeles, California, where he presently lives and works as a property developer. In 1999, he was part of a consortium led by Milan Mandaric that took over Portsmouth.[5] He was for an instance a caretaker manager of the side until the appointment of Tony Pulis within the following month.[3]

International career[edit]

McNab made his debut for England on 6 November 1968 against Romania. He made a sum of four appearances for England. These caps came wherein home and away draws to Romania as well as a 3–1 win to Northern Ireland at Belfast and another 1–1 tie at Wembley to Belgium altogether.[3]

Personal life[edit]

As well as being a footballer, Bob McNab was a media personality in the 1970s, appearing on the panel for ITV's coverage of the 1970 FIFA World Cup,[6] and he had a cameo role in the 1973 On The Buses episode "The Football Match".[7] His daughter, Mercedes McNab is a notable actress.[8]

McNab was injured for the majority of the 1970–71 season and was thus doubtful for the FA Cup semi final played at the neutral venue of Villa Park against Stoke City. This scenario was referenced in the film Fever Pitch, where Paul Ashworth correctly predicts part of the game's lineup with the line, "McNab won't play. Bertie Mee wouldn't risk him."




  1. ^ a b "Bob McNab".
  2. ^ a b c d "Bob McNab".
  3. ^ a b c d e "Bob McNab". England Football
  5. ^ "Florida millionaire set to buy Pompey". The Guardian. London. 12 May 1999. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  6. ^ "Dougan and Allison, the World Cup panel beaters, boldly went where no footballers had gone before". The Independent. London. 30 June 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  7. ^ ""On the Buses" - The Football Match (1973)". IMdB.
  8. ^ "Harmony in Huddersfield". BBC.

External links[edit]