Jackie McNamara

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This article is about the former Celtic and Scotland player, born 1973. For his father, who played for Celtic, Hibs and Morton, see Jackie McNamara, Sr..
Jackie McNamara
Personal information
Full name Jackie McNamara
Date of birth (1973-10-24) 24 October 1973 (age 41)
Place of birth Glasgow, Scotland
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Right Back / Defensive Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1995 Dunfermline Athletic 59 (3)
1995–2005 Celtic 255 (10)
2005–2007 Wolverhampton Wanderers 29 (0)
2007–2008 Aberdeen 17 (0)
2008–2010 Falkirk 42 (0)
2010–2011 Partick Thistle 19 (0)
Total 421 (13)
National team
1996–2005 Scotland 33 (0)
Teams managed
2011–2013 Partick Thistle
2013–2015 Dundee United

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Jackie McNamara (born 24 October 1973) is a Scottish football player and manager. He is a former Scottish international, who filled a variety of defensive roles in his playing career and captained Celtic under the management of Martin O'Neill. McNamara has managed Partick Thistle and Dundee United.

Club career[edit]

Dunfermline Athletic[edit]

The son of former Celtic and Hibernian player Jackie McNamara, Sr., he started his career at Dunfermline Athletic as an attacking right wing-back.


McNamara moved to Celtic for £650,000 in 1995. He marked an impressive start to his Celtic career, being named Scottish PFA Young Player of the Year in 1996. He won his first trophy with the club in the 1997–1998 season when Celtic won the Scottish Premier Division, preventing arch-rivals Rangers from winning 10-in-a-row, which would have seen them eclipse Celtic's record of 9-in-a-row. He featured regularly in the Celtic first eleven until the arrival of Martin O'Neill in the 2000–01 season saw him become more of a fringe player, although he did score the opening goal in the 2001 Scottish Cup Final.

However, McNamara became a consistent player for Celtic during the later part of O'Neill's tenure, being awarded the Football Writers Player of the Year in 2004. The following year McNamara was named captain when then-captain Paul Lambert was injured and missed much of the season. McNamara proved himself a consistent and reliable performer on the field, playing almost every game in the league in the 2004–05 season.

To reward his loyalty to the club over a 10-year period, Celtic played a testimonial match against the Republic of Ireland. The match ended 1–0 to Ireland, with Robbie Keane scoring. At the end of the 2004–05 season Martin O'Neill left as manager and Celtic brought in Gordon Strachan as his replacement.

McNamara's contract was also due to expire at the end of the 2004–05 season. Strachan assured McNamara that he wanted him at the club[1] but Celtic were slow to offer a new contract, waiting until the close season to do so. By that time McNamara had already accepted an offer from Wolverhampton Wanderers as he had assumed Celtic no longer wanted his services.[2] As he went on record saying he still wanted to play for the club, he was told he was still needed by the club by its manager, and he was offered the contract he wanted while still in a position to accept it, the incident has caused much speculation amongst supporters and the media as to who was to blame for his departure from Celtic. The club accused McNamara of being unreasonable and of moving for monetary reasons. They also blamed his agent for not encouraging negotiations and setting unhelpful deadlines.[1]

McNamara had gone on record as saying he wanted to end his career with Celtic[3] and seemed to be bemused when no new contract was forthcoming. After he had accepted the Wolves offer, McNamara felt that Celtic showed a lack of respect to him in their comments to the media and he accused them of harming his reputation for their own benefit. It also emerged that in his new contract at Wolves, he was earning the same wages as his previous contract with Celtic.[4]

Wolverhampton Wanderers[edit]

However McNamara had agreed with then manager Glenn Hoddle that he would join Wolverhampton Wanderers in the summer of 2005 on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling.

After a promising start to his Wolves career, McNamara sustained a cruciate knee ligament injury in the home match with Leicester City in September 2005. He came back in the penultimate game of the 2005/06 season at home to Brighton and Hove Albion.


McNamara joined Aberdeen from Wolves on a two-year contract in 2007,[5] but he left Pittodrie before the end of the season, with manager Jimmy Calderwood citing "travelling and injuries" as the reasons for his departure. A series of non-performances, as well as perceived lack of effort - such as in the Scottish Cup Semi-Final defeat to first division Queen of the South - had turned many Dons supporters against him.[6] Three weeks later, it was revealed that McNamara would join Falkirk for the 2008–09 season.[7]


McNamara signed a two-year contract at Falkirk in May 2008.[8]

Partick Thistle[edit]

McNamara signed a one-month loan deal with Partick Thistle in February 2010, making him available to debut the following day against Dundee if selected.[9] The terms of the deal allowed it to be extended beyond its initial period, but McNamara suffered a leg break during a match against Ayr United, prematurely ending his 2009–10 season.[10] McNamara subsequently signed a one-year contract with Thistle for the 2010–11 season,[11] which then continued on a one-year rolling contract basis.[12]

International career[edit]

McNamara won 33 caps for Scotland between 1996 and 2005.[13] He was selected for the Scotland squad in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He did not feature in the World Cup opening match, a 2–1 defeat against defending champions Brazil in Paris. His introduction from the bench in Scotland's second game, against Norway in Bordeaux, was seen as pivotal in wiping out a one-goal deficit. The game finished in a 1–1 draw, leaving Scotland with a chance of qualification to the knockout stages. Ultimately the efforts were futile as Morocco were victorious in St Etienne with a 3–0 score line in the final game and Norway managed to qualify from the group with a win against Brazil.

Managerial career[edit]

Partick Thistle[edit]

McNamara began his managerial career at Partick Thistle where he was appointed caretaker manager on 15 April 2011, after Ian McCall left his job.[14] He was then appointed manager on a one-year rolling contract a month later.[15] Thistle performed well in his second season as manager, reaching the 2012–13 Scottish Challenge Cup final and lying in second place in the 2012–13 Scottish First Division in late January.[16] At this point he left Thistle to take the vacant position at SPL club Dundee United.[16] McNamara was replaced at Partick Thistle by Alan Archibald, a former Thistle and Dundee United defender.[17]

Dundee United[edit]

After his move to Dundee United, leaving his old club Partick Thistle who gave him his first chance at management, McNamara's first match in charge of his new club was a fifth round Scottish Cup tie with Third Division Rangers on 2 February 2013. United won 3–0, with Johnny Russell putting the home side ahead in the first minute of the match.[18] The following week United defeated Hearts 3–1 in McNamara's first Scottish Premier League match as manager of the side. It was the side's first league win at home since August 2012. On 24 February 2014 McNamara extended his current contract with Dundee United until May 2017.[19]

Reports following Dundee United's 2-1 defeat to St. Johnstone on 26 September 2015 suggested McNamara had been relieved of his duties, which confirmed by the club's website two days later.[20][21][22]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 26 September 2015
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Partick Thistle Scotland 15 April 2011 30 January 2013 75 34 17 24 45.33[23]
Dundee United Scotland 30 January 2013 26 September 2015 119 51 23 45 42.86
Total 194 85 40 69 43.81

Honours and Achievements[edit]


Personal life[edit]

McNamara co-penned a TV comedy with Scottish actor and comedy writer Fran Gilhooley called 'The Therapy Room', starring Jackie's actor brother, Donny. The show is based around a young football player who is catapulted from amateur football to the English top flight, and is partly based around McNamara's own experiences as a player and manager.[24]


  1. ^ a b "Strachan Rejects McNamara Claims". BBC Sport. 15 June 2005. 
  2. ^ "McNamara Makes Switch To Wolves". BBC Sport. 14 June 2005. 
  3. ^ "Celtic Stars want to stay at Club". RTÉ Sport. 29 May 2005. 
  4. ^ "McNamara Fury Over Celtic Claims". BBC Sport. 17 June 2005. 
  5. ^ "Wolves' McNamara joins Aberdeen". BBC Sport. 18 May 2007. Retrieved 19 May 2007. 
  6. ^ "Defender McNamara exits Aberdeen". BBC Sport. 21 April 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2008. 
  7. ^ "McNamara set to sign for Falkirk". BBC Sport. 12 May 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2008. 
  8. ^ "Falkirk complete McNamara swoop". BBC News. 13 May 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "Thistle Sign Jackie McNamara". Partick Thistle FC. 19 February 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "Leg break ends Bairns defender Jackie McNamara's season". BBC Sport. 11 March 2010. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  11. ^ "Quartet sign on again at Firhill". BBC Sport. 2 July 2010. 
  12. ^ "Partick Thistle manager Jackie McNamara signs improved deal". bbc.co.uk/sport. BBC Sport. 28 December 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  13. ^ Jackie McNamara at scottishfa.co.uk
  14. ^ "Ian McCall quits as Partick Thistle manager". BBC Sport. 15 April 2011. 
  15. ^ "Jackie McNamara is appointed Partick Thistle manager". BBC Sport. 12 May 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  16. ^ a b Spence, Jim (30 January 2013). "Jackie McNamara named as new Dundee United manager". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "Partick Thistle appoint Alan Archibald as manager at Firhill". BBC Sport. BBC. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2015. 
  18. ^ Campbell, Andy (2 February 2013). "Dundee Utred 3–0 Rangers". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  19. ^ "Dundee United boss Jackie McNamara highlights players' self-belief". BBC Sport. 9 February 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  20. ^ "Dundee United: Jackie McNamara relieved of manager duties". BBC Sport. 26 September 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  21. ^ "Jackie McNamara to be axed as Dundee United manager". Evening Telegraph (Dundee). 26 September 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  22. ^ "ANNOUNCEMENT". dufc.co. Dundee United Football Club. Retrieved 28 September 2015. 
  23. ^ "McNamara, Jackie". fitbastats.com. Fitba Stats. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  24. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/15700423

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Paul Lambert
Celtic F.C. captain
Succeeded by
Neil Lennon