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Mark McGhee....

 

A take on the life and career of our glorious leader from a Newcastle Utd website

 

1957 Mark McGhee born, Glasgow.

(1977-79, 1989-91)

One of two young Scottish strikers signed by United during their unsuccessful bid to avoid relegation, Mark came from Greenock Morton for £150K in December 1977.

 

Debuting in a 2-0 win at Leeds, McGhee managed three goals in 18 outings and showed flashes of his potential (unlike fellow new arrival Mike Larnach from Clydebank).

 

Confined largely to the bench the next season after the signing of Peter Withe, Mark managed two more goals for the first team before joined Aberdeen for £80K in March 1979.

 

Linking up with Alex Ferguson at Pittdorie, winning the Cup Winners' Cup in 1983 and reaching the final the following year. He also collected Scottish league and cup winners medals and was capped by country.

 

Further moves took him to Hamburg and Celtic before a second stint at SJP, arriving at a cost of £200K in July 1989 to partner fellow new signing Mick Quinn.

 

The latter was quicker to settle and had reached double figures before Mark opened his account at Hull in late September.

 

However McGhee was to weigh in with a respectable 27 goals in a combined total of 59 in all competitions as United made it to the playoffs before losing to the mackems.

 

The 1990/91 season was less successful for Mark, as he scored just five goals and was missing through injury; loan strikers Tommy Gaynor, David Mitchell and Paul Moran all deputising for him and youngster Andy Hunt arriving from Kettering Town.

 

McGhee's final game proved to a 0-3 loss at Notts County in April 1991, after which he left United for a brief spell at IK Braga in Sweden.

 

Returning to the UK shortly afterwards, he was all set to sign for Hearts but instead  opted to take the player/manager's job at Reading on Alex Ferguson's recommendation - helping the Royals to Division Two in 1994.

 

Leicester City offered him the chance of a Premier League job and he controversially jumped ship in December 1994 to take over at relegation-threatened Filbert Street.

 

The Foxes still tumbled, however, and McGhee again walked out to join Wolves after just under a year at City.

 

At Molineux, he almost saw them relegated to the third tier - finishing just three points clear of the drop - but then took them to the brink of the Premier League, only just missing out on automation promotion to Barnsley.

 

Two late goals in the play-off first leg at Crystal Palace ultimately meant another season in Division One and McGhee was already fighting a losing battle as he lost the support of Chairman Jack Hayward.

 

Two years of rotten TV punditry followed before McGhee took over at Millwall, winning the Division Two title in his first season but suffered playoff agony again next season when Birmingham City grabbed a late goal.

 

Next it was on to Brighton, succeeding Steve Coppell, who joined Reading. And it proved to be third time lucky in the playoffs, with the Seagulls promoted to the second tier of after beating Bristol City.

 

However, relegation followed after two seasons, McGhee sacked after three losses at the start of the 2006/07 season.

 

In June 2007 he took up the reins at Fir Park and guided Motherwell to third, ensuring a rare UEFA Cup position for the Steelmen.

 

The season was overshadowed however by the tragic death of Motherwell player Phil O'Donnell who collapsed during a game with Dundee United in December of that year.

 

And McGhee spent part of his 51st birthday in 2008 attending the funeral of his former Celtic team mate Tommy Burns in Glasgow.

 

Soon after that he rejected an approach to manage Hearts, but swapped Motherwell for Aberdeen in June 2009 - admitting that he'd also eyed the then-vacant post at Celtic.

 

http://www.nufc.com/

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