John McClelland (footballer, born 1955)

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John McClelland
Personal information
Full name John McClelland[1]
Date of birth (1955-12-07) 7 December 1955 (age 61)
Place of birth Belfast, Northern Ireland
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Portadown ? (?)
1974 Cardiff City 4 (1)
1974–1978 Bangor City ? (?)
1978–1981 Mansfield Town 125 (8)
1981–1984 Rangers 96 (4)
1984–1989 Watford 184 (3)
1989–1992 Leeds United 24 (0)
1990 Watford (loan) 1 (0)
1992 Notts County (loan) 6 (0)
1992–1993 St Johnstone 27 (0)
1993 Arbroath 2 (0)
1993–1994 Carrick Rangers 11 (0)
1994 Wycombe Wanderers 0 (0)
1994–1996 Yeovil Town 21 (1)
1996–1997 Darlington 1 (0)
Total 502 (16)
National team
1980–1990 Northern Ireland 53 (1)
Teams managed
1992–1993 St Johnstone
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

John McClelland (born 7 December 1955 in Belfast) is a former Northern Ireland international footballer who played for several teams during a 23-year career. He works for Leeds United as part of the tour groups for Elland Road.

Club career[edit]

McClelland played for Portadown, Cardiff City, Bangor City (he was Welsh Cup runner up with both of these clubs), and Mansfield Town, before signing for Rangers for £90,000. There he won two Scottish League Cup winner's medals, and was twice a Scottish Cup runner up.

In November 1984 Watford paid £225,000 for his services. During his five years at Vicarage Road he was voted Watford Player of the Season twice. He later played for Leeds United, where he played 18 times as Leeds won the Football League First Division title in the 1991–92 season,[2] the last season before the formation of the Premier League. During his time at Leeds he spent time on loan at old club Watford and Notts County.

In his later career he spent a season at St Johnstone as player manager, had a brief spell in the Irish League with Carrick Rangers, before playing for Arbroath, Wycombe Wanderers, Yeovil Town and Darlington. By the time he retired he had played in every country in the United Kingdom and in every tier of English football.

International career[edit]

At international level McClelland was also successful. He played for Northern Ireland at the 1982 and 1986 World Cups. He eventually won 53 caps, scoring one goal in a win over Turkey. He was also captain of Northern Ireland from after the 1986 World Cup until his retirement in 1990.

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Northern Ireland's goal tally first.

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 30 March 1983 Belfast, Northern Ireland  Turkey 2–0 2–1 UEFA Euro 1984 qualifying

Post football[edit]

He was player-manager at St Johnstone in the early 1990s. Now, McClelland can be found working at Leeds United taking tour groups around Elland Road.



Leeds United


St Johnstone


  1. ^ "John McClelland". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  2. ^ "Leeds United: Season 1991 – 1992: Division One". Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  • Jones, Trefor (1996). The Watford Football Club Illustrated Who's Who. p. 153. ISBN 0-9527458-0-1. 

External links[edit]

  • John McClelland, Post War English & Scottish Football League A – Z Player's Database