John McGinlay

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John McGinlay
Personal information
Full name John McGinlay[1]
Date of birth (1964-04-08) 8 April 1964 (age 57)
Place of birth Inverness, Scotland
Position(s) Striker
Youth career
1978–1980 Fort William
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1980–1982 Fort William 92 (61)
1982–1983 Nairn County 17 (8)
1983–1984 North Shore United 24 (10)
1984–1985 Nairn County 21 (13)
1985–1988 Yeovil Town 88 (49)
1988–1989 Elgin City 60 (42)
1989–1990 Shrewsbury Town 25 (14)
1990–1991 Bury 0 (0)
1991Millwall (loan) 34 (16)
1991–1992 Millwall 18 (11)
1992–1997 Bolton Wanderers 192 (101)
1997–1998 Bradford City 18 (3)
1998–1999 Oldham Athletic 7 (1)
2000 Cincinnati Riverhawks 7 (5)
2001–2002 Gresley Rovers 32 (17)
2005–2006 Cincinnati Kings 4 (1)
Total 639 (352)
National team
1994–1997 Scotland 13 (4)
1994–1997 Scotland B 1 (0)
Teams managed
2001–2002 Gresley Rovers
2002 Ilkeston Town
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

John McGinlay (born 8 April 1964) is a Scottish former footballer who played as a striker over a 26-year career. He played at Bolton Wanderers in the mid to late 1990s.


Early years[edit]

A supporter of Celtic in childhood,[2][3] McGinlay's first senior game was as a 16-year-old for his hometown club Fort William, in a Highland Football League game in August 1980 against Elgin City.[citation needed] Following a year playing in New Zealand either side of two seasons with Nairn County, and a three-year spell with English Football Conference club Yeovil Town, McGinlay returned to the Highland League with Elgin City in 1988.[citation needed]

He then progressed through English League football, initially playing with Shrewsbury Town then with Bury. After a successful loan spell with Millwall, in which he scored during their unsuccessful participation in the 1991 Football League play-offs, McGinlay moved to The Den permanently for the 1991–92 season. He scored 27 goals in 52 league matches for the London club.

Bolton Wanderers[edit]

McGinlay is perhaps best known for his five-year spell with Bolton Wanderers between 1992 and 1997, where his scoring exploits led to him being nicknamed 'Super John'.[4] After his goals eliminated FA Cup holders Liverpool from the competition,[3] he successfully partnered fellow Scot Andy Walker[4] as the Trotters gained promotion from the third tier in 1993, with McGinlay scoring the match winning penalty in the last fixture against local rivals Preston North End.[4]

Further cup 'giant killings' over teams such as Everton and Arsenal[4][5] followed the next year, with McGinlay featuring prominently – he scored 33 goals across all competitions during the campaign, and the team became known in local media as 'white hot' due to the performances.[3][4] In the 1995 he was in the side which gained promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs, playing all 120 minutes of the dramatic 4–3 victory over Reading (they were relegated in the subsequent campaign), and also started in the League Cup Final (lost 2–1 to Liverpool) in the same season.

In April 1997, he scored the last goals at Burnden Park,[6] finishing as the club and the division's top scorer with 24 goals from 43 games as Bolton returned to the top level, this time as champions. He scored a hat-trick in a 6–1 cup win over Tottenham Hotspur.[4] He made seven further league appearances for the club at the outset of the next season before joining second-tier Bradford City in November 1997 for £625,000 in what would be an injury-hit move.[5] He later had the Bolton club crest tattooed on his arm.[4]

Later years[edit]

McGinlay had short spells with Oldham Athletic and American team Cincinnati Riverhawks before moving into management with non-league sides Ilkeston Town and Gresley Rovers.[7] In 2013, he was also employed as a chief scout by Wigan Athletic, appointed by former Bolton teammate Owen Coyle during his spell as manager, after spending time working in similar roles in the US with Cincinnati Kings (where he had also finished his playing career after serving as a manager), and with the Scottish Football Association.[8] In 2014, McGinlay took over the 240-year old Horwich pub the Original Bay Horse.[9] He rejoined Bolton Wanderers in an official ambassadorial role in 2020, in an attempt by the club to strengthen their ties with the sports courses held at the University of Bolton, and to bring former players back into contact with the club.[10]


During his time with Bolton, McGinlay earned 13 international caps for Scotland, scoring four goals; his last and most important strike was the only goal of a 1–0 victory over Sweden[2][5] (which featured a memorable goalkeeping display by Jim Leighton) and helped the national side qualify for 1998 FIFA World Cup, although he did not make the squad for that tournament, nor for the Euro 96 competition.[5] McGinlay lined up for Scotland alongside his childhood friend from Fort William, Duncan Shearer,[11][5] who also spent much of his career in England – the two never played in the same team at club level. He also featured in the infamous '3-second match' in Estonia and its replay in Monaco, and missed the birth of his daughter in order to travel to Belarus for another qualification game the following year.[5]



Bolton Wanderers



  1. ^ "John McGinlay". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Football: Leighton saves the day". The Independent. 11 November 1996. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "The day Bolton Wanderers humbled the mighty Liverpool in FA Cup replay at Anfield". The Daily Telegraph. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Countdown to a Bolton Wanderers legend: John McGinlay's top 50 at 50". The Bolton News. 8 April 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Interview: John McGinlay on his love of playing for Scotland". The Scotsman. 8 October 2016. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  6. ^ Nixon, Alan (25 April 1997). "Bolton bid farewell with fitting victory". The Independent. London. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  7. ^ "Ilkeston Town FC managers". Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  8. ^ "Football: Latics appoint chief scout". Wigan Athletic. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Bolton Wanderers legend John McGinlay takes over Horwich pub the Original Bay Horse". The Bolton News. 4 September 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Bolton Wanderers offer legend John McGinlay new club role". The Bolton News. 5 March 2020. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Dark Blue Dons - Duncan Shearer". AFC Heritage Trust. Retrieved 15 September 2017.

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