John McGovern (footballer)

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John McGovern
John McGovern (footballer).jpg
Personal information
Full name John Prescott McGovern
Date of birth (1949-10-28) 28 October 1949 (age 68)
Place of birth Montrose, Scotland
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1965–1968 Hartlepools United 72 (5)
1968–1974 Derby County 190 (16)
1974–1975 Leeds United 4 (0)
1975–1984 Nottingham Forest 253 (6)
1984–1987 Bolton Wanderers 16 (0)
Total 535 (27)
National team
1972–1973 Scotland U23 2 (0)
Teams managed
1984–1988 Bolton Wanderers
1990-1991 Chorley
1994–1996 Rotherham United
1997–1998 Woking
2000–2003 Ilkeston Town
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

John Prescott McGovern (born 28 October 1949 in Montrose) is a Scottish former association football midfielder and manager. McGovern is most famous for captaining the Nottingham Forest side that won the European Cup twice under the management of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor.

At the age of 19 he became the youngest player to play in all four divisions of the Football League. During his playing career he won promotion with Hartlepools United, Derby County and Nottingham Forest. He won titles as English League champions with both Derby and Forest. At Forest he also won two League Cups.

McGovern won two Scottish under-23 caps,[1] and played over 650 senior first games during his career. He forged a long-lasting relationship with Clough and Taylor at Hartlepools, Derby, Leeds and Forest.

Early years

McGovern was born in Montrose, Angus, in north east Scotland. He lived in Montrose until he was seven years old before moving outside Scotland.[2] His father died when McGovern was aged 11.[3]

Career

Hartlepools United

The young McGovern initially wanted to play as a striker for the glory that came with scoring goals but was unsuited to that role. He then played as a winger. He began his senior career in English football's fourth tier with Hartlepools United (as the club were still named at that time). His senior debut was in season 1965/66. Under the management of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor he became a first team regular the season after. In 1967/68 Hartlepool finished third earning promotion to the Third Division. After playing six games in the 1968/69 season he moved up a division by transferring to Derby County.[citation needed]

Derby County

Clough signed McGovern to Derby for a fee of £7,500 in September 1968. It was at Derby that Taylor moved McGovern to central midfield to capitalise on McGovern's playing strengths of vision and being able to pass and control the ball with both feet. He allied this by learning how to tackle. By January 1969 he had established himself in the Derby side that won promotion to the First Division at the end of his first season there.[4][5]

In 1971–72 Derby won the First Division title, and McGovern played in virtually all of their matches. His final match for Derby came in February 1974.[6]

Leeds United

He moved to Leeds United in August 1974 in Clough's ill-fated short reign there.

Nottingham Forest

In January 1975 he signed for Clough again this time at Second Division side Nottingham Forest. Forest were promoted to the top flight at the end of his first full season there, 1976/77. Forest ended their first season back in the top flight as League Champions.

McGovern captained Forest to two successive European Cups.[7] When later interviewed for "My Forest Story" McGovern said when he lifted the European Cup the first time he was thinking of his father.[3]

He and Ken McNaught are the only two Scottish players to win Europe's premier club trophy to never have gained a full international cap.[8]

Bolton Wanderers

McGovern joined Bolton Wanderers as player-manager in July 1982. He initially made a total of 16 League appearances for Bolton before retiring as a player to focus on the demands of management. He remained there until January 1985 when he lost his job after a new chairman wanted to bring in his own manager.[9]

Later career

He moved to Horwich RMI.[10] He was later assistant manager of Chorley and Plymouth Argyle before being appointed joint manager of Rotherham United alongside Archie Gemmill in 1994. He left Rotherham two years later and was subsequently hired as manager of Woking and had a spell as assistant at Hull City before joining Ilkeston Town to replace Keith Alexander as manager in November 2000. He was sacked by the club in March of the following year after an eight-game winless run.[11]

Style of play

A profile of the young McGovern on Sporting Heroes states, "John's ability to do the simple things well, allied to his work ethic and willingness to act as a man marker saw him return a series of solid displays; often against much older and experienced opponents."[12]

The same article closes by stating of his time at Derby, "He scored twenty goals and at his best demonstrated ball control and passing skills of the highest level, a talent that frequently allowed others to shine."[12]

Legacy

McGovern was a 2017 inductee to the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.[13] He said, "It is a fantastic feeling that I have to be inducted into the Scottish Hall of Fame. Although I may not sound Scottish having left there when I was seven-years-old, I am a proud Scotsman having been born and bred in Montrose and any honour that you get in football is very well received."[2]

Career statistics

As a player

Club[14] Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Other[A] Total
Division Apps[7] Goals[7] Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Hartlepools United[15] 1965–66 Fourth Division 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
1966–67 Fourth Division 33 1 1 0 0 0 34 1
1967–68 Fourth Division 33 4 1 0 1 0 35 4
1968–69 Third Division 18 0 0 0 1 2 6 2
Total 72 5 2 0 2 2 76 7
Derby County 1968–69 Second Division 18 0 1 0 0 0 19 0
1969–70 First Division 33 4 4 0 6 0 43 0
1970–71[16] First Division 34 6 3 0 2 1 3 1 42 8
1971–72 First Division 40 3 5 0 1 0 5 1 51 4
1972–73 First Division 39 1 5 0 3 1 8 1 0 0 55 3
1973–74 First Division 26 2 0 0 3 0 29 2
Total 190 16 18 0 15 2 8 1 8 2 239 21
Leeds United 1974–75 First Division 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Nottingham Forest 1974–75 Second Division 8 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
1975–76 Second Division 41 0 2 0 4 1 47 1
1976–77 Second Division 39 0 3 0 2 0 7 0 51 0
1977–78 First Division 31 4 4 0 7 0 42 4
1978–79 First Division 36 0 3 1 7 2 8 1 1 0 55 4
1979–80 First Division 41 2 2 0 8 0 9 0 1 0 61 2
1980–81 First Division 27 0 3 0 2 0 2 0 2 0 36 0
1981–82 First Division 30 0 1 0 3 0 34 0
Total 253 6 18 1 33 3 19 1 11 0 334 11
Bolton Wanderers 1982–83 Second Division 14 0 0 0 4 1 18 1
1983–84 Third Division 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Total 16[7] 0 0 0 4 1 0 0 20 1
Career total 535 27 38 1 54 8 27 2 19 2 674 40
A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the FA Charity Shield, Anglo-Scottish Cup, Football League Trophy, Watney Cup, Texaco Cup, European Super Cup and Intercontinental Cup.

As a manager

Team[14] From To Record
P W D L Win %
Bolton Wanderers 1 June 1982 7 January 1985 129 42 28 59 032.6
Rotherham United 14 September 1994 31 July 1996 94 36 31 27 038.3
Total 223 78 59 86 035.0

Honours

Derby County
Nottingham Forest

References

  1. ^ "John McGovern". www.fitbastats.com. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "McGovern inducted into Hall of Fame" www.nottinghamforest.co.uk 16 October 2017
  3. ^ a b "My Forest story: John McGovern"
  4. ^ Mike Cockayne. "John McGOVERN – Derby County FC – (Part 1) 1968–71". John McGovern: Derby County FC. Sporting Heroes. Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "McGovern Inducted Into Scottish Hall Of Fame" dcfc.co.uk 18 October 2017
  6. ^ Mike Cockayne. "John McGOVERN – Derby County FC – (Part 2) 1971–74". John McGovern: Derby County FC. Sporting Heroes. Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c d "John McGovern: Nottingham Forest FC". Sporting Heroes. Retrieved 23 December 2016. 
  8. ^ "Willie McNaught (and Ken)" www.qosfc.com 26 April 2012
  9. ^ a b c d e "McGovern: John Prescott (John)". Leeds United Player Profiles. Tony Hill. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  10. ^ Football League Career Stats at Neil Brown
  11. ^ "Ilkeston Town FC managers". ilsonfootball.co.uk. Retrieved 7 September 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "John McGOVERN - Derby County FC - Biography of his football career with The Rams."
  13. ^ "Lisbon Lions inducted into Scottish Football Hall of Fame" scottishfa.co.uk 16 October 2017
  14. ^ a b John McGovern profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
  15. ^ "John McGovern". in the mad crowd. Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  16. ^ Tony Williams and Roy Peskett (compilers) (1971). Rothmans Football Yearbook 1971–72. Queen Anne Press. ISBN 0-362-00094-8. 
  17. ^ "Anglo-Scottish Cup: 1976/77". This is one of our Trophy cabinets. Forest forays. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  18. ^ "European Super Cup: 1979/80". Footballsite.co.uk. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
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