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Spurs hero Dave Mackay dies aged 80

Published: Tuesday 3 March 2015, 9.38CET
"The hardest man I have ever played against – and certainly the bravest," according to George Best, Tottenham Hotspur FC legend Dave Mackay has died at the age of 80.
Spurs hero Dave Mackay dies aged 80
Dave Mackay (right) pictured in his pomp at Spurs ©Getty Images
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Published: Tuesday 3 March 2015, 9.38CET

Spurs hero Dave Mackay dies aged 80

"The hardest man I have ever played against – and certainly the bravest," according to George Best, Tottenham Hotspur FC legend Dave Mackay has died at the age of 80.

A 1962/63 European Cup Winners' Cup winner with Tottenham Hotspur FC, former Scotland defender Dave Mackay has died at the age of 80.

The small and famously combative defender won league titles with his home-town club Heart of Midlothian FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC, with whom he also won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1963 – though he missed the final through injury.

"We had an excellent team and always tried to attack everybody, home and away," Mackay said of Bill Nicholson's celebrated Spurs side. "We had such an excellent team, I'm surprised we didn't win the title more than once."

Mackay, who travelled with Scotland to the 1958 FIFA World Cup, later played for another legendary side, Brian Clough's Derby County FC, leading them to the 1974/75 English title as coach after his mentor had left to take over at Leeds United AFC.

"He was a superb player who possessed all the technique, passing ability and talent to be the complete footballer," reads a Spurs club statement.

Former Spurs team-mate Jimmy Greaves wrote: "He will be remembered as probably Tottenham's greatest-ever player, and the best footballer to pull on a Hearts shirt. They were one and the same, Dave Mackay."

A Scottish Football Association statement read: "The Scottish FA is deeply saddened by the news of Dave Mackay’s death. He was a legendary figure with Heart of Midlothian, Tottenham Hotspur and Derby County; an inspirational pillar for the clubs with whom he played with distinction and, of course, his country.

"Dave played 22 times for Scotland and was instrumental in helping his country qualify for the FIFA World Cup finals in Sweden in 1958. His last international appearance occurred against Northern Ireland in 1965 and the Scottish FA believe it is appropriate that a minute’s applause should be observed in his honour prior to the forthcoming match against Michael O'Neill's side at Hampden Park on Wednesday 25 March."

©Getty Images

Dave Mackay, seated on the left by manager Bill Nicholson, after Tottenham won the 1960/61 English title

©Getty Images

Dave Mackay after winning the 1967 FA Cup final with Spurs

©Getty Images

Mackay in training with Spurs in the mid-1960s

©Getty Images

Dave Mackay, third from the left, as Tottenham celebrate the 1962 FA Cup




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Last updated: 01/02/17 14.58CET

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