Mike McCartney: An Appreciation

By SFC Media Wed 03 Jan Club

Southampton Football Club was saddened to hear of the passing of former defender Mike McCartney, at the age of 63.

The left-back played at The Dell in the 1980/81 season, making 24 appearances and scoring once for the team.

The first of his appearances also coincided with the debut of Kevin Keegan, with McCartney part of the side that finished sixth in Division One under the guidance of manager Lawrie McMenemy.

A Scotland schoolboy international, who was born in Musselburgh, near Edinburgh, McCartney had arrived at Saints after seven seasons with Carlisle United – a club he made 287 appearances for, across two spells.

McCartney, whose opportunities in the Southampton team became limited after Nick Holmes took possession of the number three shirt, had begun his career with West Bromwich Albion, ahead of his switch to Cumbria in 1973, where he established himself as a firm favourite.

Mike McCartney (left) with Lawrie McMenemy and Kevin Keegan

Following his time on the south coast, he would move to Plymouth Argyle, before returning to Carlisle for his second spell with the club in 1983.

After an ankle injury forced him out of League football at the age of 33, McCartney moved back to Scotland, becoming player-manager at Gretna in 1988, who were then in England’s Northern League. 

He would lead them to back-to-back titles in 1991 and 1992 and, in the latter of those seasons, helped them become the first Scottish club in 105 years to feature in the first round of the English FA Cup.

McCartney eventually left Gretna in 2000, working in the building trade and as a delivery driver in Carlisle.

Everyone at Southampton Football Club sends their condolences to Mike’s family and friends at this time.

Hagiology Publishing's All the Saints was used to help compile this piece.

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