David McLean (footballer, born 1883)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the ex Forfar, Celtic, Preston North End, Sheffield Wednesday, Rangers, Bradford Park Avenue and Dundee striker, see David McLean (footballer, born 1890).

David McLean (1883 or 1884 – 14 February 1951)[1] was a Scottish association footballer and manager. McLean played as a winger.


He played for Buckhaven United, Cambuslang Rangers, Celtic, Ayr United and Cowdenbeath.[1] He first joined East Fife in 1911 as player-manager.


East Fife and Bristol Rovers[edit]

After joining East Fife as player manager he led them to victory in the Scottish Qualifying Cup Final in 1920-21.[1] East Fife were admitted to the Scottish Football League in 1921 and reached the 1927 Scottish Cup Final.[1]

McLean was appointed manager of Bristol Rovers in 1929. He left after just over a year.

He and returned to East Fife in 1931.[1] McLean led them to victory over Kilmarnock in the 1938 Scottish Cup Final.[1]

Heart of Midlothian[edit]

Hearts appointed McLean manager on a five-year contract in June 1941.[1] He played a significant role in rebuilding the club during the Second World War, assembling the Terrible Trio forward line of Alfie Conn, Willie Bauld and Jimmy Wardhaugh.[1]

The first seeds of the Tommy Walker managerial success at Hearts were sown by Davie McLean. On 9 October 1948, after a mediocre start to the 1948–49 season Hearts' manager McLean combined three young forwards, Jimmy Wardhaugh, Willie Bauld and Alfie Conn Sr., for the first time.[2] They became dubbed the Terrible Trio and scored over 900 Hearts goals between them[3] (Wardhaugh 376, Bauld 355, Conn 221).[4] The combination of Wardhaugh's dribbling skills and non-stop running, Bauld's cerebral play and prodigious aerial ability, and Conn's energetic, tenacious style and powerful shooting complemented each other well.[5] Their first match as a forward combination ended in a 6–1 defeat of Scot Symon's impressive East Fife team of the era.[6] This was notable as Symon's team had defeated the Maroons 4–0 three weeks earlier.[7] As a unit they played 242 games together.[8]

A few weeks later in December 1948 Tommy Walker left during his third season at Chelsea to return to Hearts. He took the role of player-assistant to manager McLean. McLean's intention was that Walker would be a steadying influence in a developing young team. However, after a single appearance at right-half in a 1–0 home defeat by Dundee, Walker retired to concentrate fully on learning the managerial ropes.[9] Tangible progress was made in the League Championship in 1949-50 when Hearts finished third. As Tommy Walker had become more influential, McLean was co-opted to the Board on 16 March 1950.[10][6][4]

McLean's death on 14 February 1951 saw Walker promoted to the position of manager. Walker's reign was to prove the most successful period in the club's history.[11] Walker was always quick to acknowledge the contribution made by McLean and his fatherly interest in the welfare and development of the players. The important foundations Walker inherited from McLean included the Terrible Trio forwards, the full back pair of Bobby Parker and Tam McKenzie and half backs half Bobby Dougan and Davie Laing. To this established core John Cumming had recently broken through to the first team in the left half position he was to dominate for many years. Freddie Glidden was already at Tynecastle but yet to first team debut as was the then schoolboy Dave Mackay.[6][4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "David McLean remembered". Heart of Midlothian F.C. official website. 14 February 2011. Archived from the original on 17 February 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Scott, The Terrible Trio, 10–11
  3. ^ Alfie Conn: Obituary
  4. ^ a b c Hearts FC Hall of Fame
  5. ^ Scott, The Terrible Trio, 101–103
  6. ^ a b c Hearts History 1944 - 54 www.heartsfc.co.uk
  7. ^ East Fife v Hearts 18 September 1948
  8. ^ Obituary: Alfie Conn Snr: Last surviving member of Hearts' 'Terrible Trio' The Independent
  9. ^ Price, P10
  10. ^ David McLean remembered www.heartsfc.co.uk
  11. ^ Price, P12