Gordon McQueen

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Gordon McQueen
Personal information
Date of birth (1952-06-26) 26 June 1952 (age 64)
Place of birth Kilbirnie, Scotland[1]
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)[2]
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1970–1972 St Mirren 57 (5)
1972–1978 Leeds United 140 (15)
1978–1985 Manchester United 184 (20)
1985 Seiko SA
Total 381 (40)
National team
1974–1981 Scotland 30 (5[3])
Teams managed
1987–1988 Airdrieonians
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Gordon McQueen (born 26 June 1952) is a Scottish former footballer, who played as a centre-back for St Mirren, Leeds United, Manchester United and Scotland.

Playing career[edit]

McQueen was a goalkeeper as a schoolboy, but later switched to centre-back. He was signed at the age of 18 by St Mirren. He soon had scouts from other clubs monitoring his progress, and it was Leeds who finally offered £30,000 in 1973, seeing him as a long-term replacement for the ageing Jack Charlton.[4] Charlton played for some of the 1973 season, but had decided to quit as it drew to a close.[5] McQueen played six times in his first season[4] at Leeds but missed out on the 1973 FA Cup Final, with manager Don Revie preferring the experience of utility player Paul Madeley.[citation needed]

With Charlton gone and Madeley used as the team's player-of-all-positions, McQueen was in the team for most of the 1973–74 season. Leeds won the league championship, going 29 games without defeat at the start of the season, and McQueen played a crucial part as Norman Hunter's defensive partner.[5] At the end of the season, McQueen was called up to the Scotland squad and made his international debut against Belgium.[6]

McQueen and Hunter excelled at the back the following season, notably in Leeds' campaign in the European Cup, during which McQueen scored three goals. McQueen was suspended for the final after being sent off in the semi-final against Barcelona. Leeds lost 2–0 in the final to Bayern Munich.[5]

McQueen was now a regular for Scotland; he was in the 1978 FIFA World Cup squad in Argentina but did not play due to injury. He played his last match for Scotland in 1981, attaining 30 caps and scoring five goals for his country.[3]

In February 1978, McQueen moved from Leeds to rivals Manchester United for £495,000.[2] On signing he famously stated that "99% of players want to play for Manchester United and the rest are liars."[7] He had declared only weeks earlier in Shoot that he wanted to stay at Leeds United for his whole career. McQueen helped Manchester United reach the 1979 FA Cup Final, scoring a late goal as Manchester United came back from 2–0 down against Arsenal to level the scores (his 85th-minute goal cutting the deficit to 2–1), only for their opponents to wrestle the Cup back with a last-minute winner.[8]

McQueen finally gained an FA Cup winner's medal in 1983 after a replay against Brighton & Hove Albion. He also was in the team which lost the League Cup final to Liverpool in the same season. McQueen finally left Manchester United in 1985, after losing his first team place to Paul McGrath and not being included in the 1985 FA Cup Final side that beat Everton 1–0.

Post playing career[edit]

He coached abroad and then briefly managed Airdrieonians[9] and coached his old club, St Mirren.[2] When McQueen's friend and former team-mate Bryan Robson became manager of Middlesbrough, McQueen joined him as reserve team coach.[citation needed] He left the club when Robson did, and became a pundit for Sky Sports.

It was announced on 29 April 2008 that he returned to Middlesbrough as an assistant scout, along with fellow former Middlesbrough player David Mills. McQueen, who still lives in the area, specifically the village of Hutton Rudby in North Yorkshire, and his son and two daughters, who are also Middlesbrough fans.[10]

Personal life[edit]

He became a father in 1979 to Hayley McQueen, who would become a sports journalist on Sky Sports and Manchester United's in-house TV channel MUTV.[11] His other daughter, Anna, works for digital experience creation agency Delete in Leeds.[citation needed]

In October 2011 McQueen was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx and started treatment at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, near his home in North Yorkshire.[12] McQueen was a smoker until 2000, and has admitted being a heavy drinker.[13] In July 2012 McQueen confirmed that he was now in remission from the cancer but still attended regular checkups.[14]



Leeds United[15]
Manchester United[15][16]



  1. ^ "GORDON McQUEEN at the Post War English & Scottish Football League A – Z Player's Database". Neilbrown.newcastlefans.com. 26 June 1952. 
  2. ^ a b c RedCafe.net – Gordon McQueen 1977 – 1985 Archived 9 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b "Scotland – Record International Players at RSSSF". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 
  4. ^ a b "Gordon McQueen at". Leeds-fans.org.uk. 
  5. ^ a b c "Gordon McQueen at Leeds United MAD". Leedsutd-mad.co.uk. 
  6. ^ "Gordon McQueen at Scotland the Complete record 1872 to 2005". Londonhearts.com. 
  7. ^ "Gordon McQueen '99 Percent' Quote T-Shirt". Tshirtsunited.com. 
  8. ^ Gavin Glicksman. "Top 10 greatest FA Cup finals". The Sun. United Kingdom. 
  9. ^ "The Stomp – Managers 1984–1988". Thefootballnetwork.net. 
  10. ^ "Mills and McQueen Boost Recruitment Team". Middlesbrough F.C. 29 April 2008. Archived from the original on 2 May 2008. Retrieved 29 April 2008. 
  11. ^ Steinberg, Jacob (15 March 2014). "Hayley McQueen: 'I went to Wimpy dressed as Kylie'". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 September 2016. As much as having a dad in football [Gordon McQueen] goes against me sometimes because I have the nepotism card thrown in my face, it helps because no one is going to mess with a 6ft 5in defender who was part of the Dirty Leeds crew. 
  12. ^ "Gordon McQueen to have cancer treatment in Middlesbrough". BBC. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  13. ^ Lynn McPherson (29 July 2012). "Gordon McQueen fears cancer will end football pundit career". Daily Record. 
  14. ^ Football legend Gordon McQueen beats cancer but fears survival fight could end his TV career
  15. ^ a b c "Gordon McQueen – Scottish Football Hall of Fame". Scottish Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 10 October 2016. 
  16. ^ FA Charity Shield - Manchester United v Liverpool