Hatters Heroes

Luton – The Legends Series – Malcolm MacDonald

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For the latest in our ongoing series covering those who have achieved legendary status among the support, we feature another former player who became a fans favourite.

Following on from those already covered – John Moore, David Preece, Mal Donaghy, Brian Lewis, Bruce Rioch, Fred Jardine, Brian Horton, Kevin Nicholls, Tony Read, Steve Foster, Mike Keen, Ian Buxton, Lars Elstrup, Peter Anderson, Graham French, Alan West, David Moss, Terry Branston, John Aston, Paul Futcher and John Ryan, Syd Owen and Marvin Johnson

The latest Hatter to be featured is Malcolm MacDonald, as suggested by Terry Emms.

I’ll start this article by asking a pertinent question – have we ever had a more fearsome centre forward than Malcolm MacDonald?

Yes, we may have had more technically gifted and more skilful ones but MacDonald struck fear into the hearts of opposing defenders, not bad for a player who when he signed for Luton Town, from Fulham, was considered to be a full-back.

Not only was MacDonald a fearsome finisher but he was blessed with pace, something illustrated on the BBC programme Superstars, when his time wasn’t far off that of a professional athlete, as can be seen in the clip below:

MacDonald signed for Luton in 1969 and was only to stay with the club until 1971. After the switch from full back to centre forward, MacDonald scored 58 times in 101 games, an average of more than a goal every other game.

It was no surprise that ‘bigger’ clubs came knocking and in 1971 Newcastle persuaded the Hatters to sell with a fee of £180,000 exchanging hands, the scoring form continued with MacDonald immediately entering Newcastle folklore by scoring a hat-trick, on his debut, against Liverpool.

Whilst on the books of Newcastle, MacDonald made 187 league appearance scoring 95 goals, maintaining his record of scoring more than a goal every two games.

After five years with Newcastle, MacDonald returned to his hometown, London, signing for Arsenal for whom he scored 42 goals in 84 league games, once again maintaining that aforementioned record.

On the international front, MacDonald made history scoring all 5 goals in England’s 5-0 victory, over Cyprus, at Wembley in 1975, a record that has never been beaten.

Scouring the internet, I found the following clip of MacDonald in action for Luton Town:

Should he be considered one of, or the best, striker Luton have ever had?

Malcolm MacDonald – Mini Fact File

Name – Malcolm Ian MacDonald

Date of Birth – 7th January 1950

Place of Birth – London, England

Position – Forward

Career – Tonbridge Angels, Fulham, Luton Town, Newcastle United, Arsenal, Djurgården

International Career – England

Managerial Career – Fulham, Huddersfield Town

If you feel able to share any of your thoughts or memories on the Hatters career of Malcolm MacDonald, please feel free to do so in the comment facility beneath this article.

If you can think of anyone who deserves nominating for coverage in this ongoing series, please drop their name into the comment facility beneath this article.

My thanks go to those who have already nominated faces from the past, they will all be covered, in time.

Next up in the series will be – Bob Hatton suggested by Alan R


Previous article by Mad Hatter

Luton – The Legends Series – Marvin Johnson

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  • Chris winter says:

    Certainly the best forward I ever saw playing for luton.who can ever forget his surging runs from the half way line brushing players away like grass in the wind.not the greatest technically but when he hit the ball what power an a great header of the ball. No wonder opposing teams feared him so much.true legend.

  • Tony Byfield says:

    I agree with Chris, a really exciting player. Watching the clip I had forgotten his long throws which were as good as a corner. Remember him being inreviewed on TV after a game only to be interrupted by Eric Morecombe!

    Can I nominate Dave Pacey who scored our goal in the 59 Cup Final?

  • jimbo says:

    most exciting player i saw at luton. he was a true all round player. COYH.

  • Trevor Bradley says:

    I met Supermac when i was 14yrs old in1970 while being shown around Kenilworth Rd by the them youth team manager Ken Whitfield, to the side of the changing room was a small treatment room in which was Malcolm McDonald having some treatment on his thighs. After shaking his hand i was shaking and could’nt talk i just blubbered something about how he was a hero of mine, i then noticed his thighs they huge bigger than my waist i turned to my father and Ken and said do i have to get thighs as big Mac everybody just burst out laughing at my expense.

  • BigAl says:

    Supermac! What an exciting player for young schoolboys to watch and a fearsome opponent for any defender. Stroke of genius converting him from defender to striker.
    Hatters used to produce simple badges with photos of players and I remember constantly wearing one of Ron Baynham. Any chance of featuring our hero between the posts who is currently the oldest surviving England international?

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