Lou Macari Player Profile
Although Lou Macari has always underplayed his Italian roots, many people have regarded him as an icon for the Scottish Italian community. During a professional playing career which lasted from 1967 to 1986, the attack minded midfield playmaker provided sterling service to Glasgow Celtic, Manchester United and Swindon Town.
Born and growing up in the noble city of Edinburgh, Lou Macari started out with Scottish giants Glasgow Celtic where he ultimately established himself in the all conquering side of the early 1970´s and went on to win the Scottish Football League Championship on four occasions and the Scottish FA Cup twice under the stern and wise leadership of legendary Parkhead supremo Jock Stein. Conceivably, his greatest moment as a Celtic Park player arrived when The Bhoys deconstructed Eddie Turnbull´s Hibernian to the overwhelming tune of 6–1 in the Scottish FA Cup Final in front of more than 100,000 people at Hampden Park on the 6th of May 1972. Experienced Celtic captain Bill McNeil put Jock Stein´s team into an early lead already after a mere two minutes of action only for Hibernian frontrunner Alan Gordon to equalise for the Easter Road club just ten minutes later. John Dixie Deans then struck his first goal of the encounter in the 23rd minute of the play and the previous Motherwell central attacker followed up with goals in the 54th and 74th minute to complete a tremendous treble before Lou Macari managed to add two more in the 83rd and 87th minute respectively to make the scoreboard at Hampden Park reflect a 6–1 advantage for The Hoops. Macari would start off the following campaign in similar excellent fashion and his goal scoring qualities soon attracted the keen interest of a number of leading English Football League clubs. Much impressed with the consistent performances delivered by the free flowing frontman, newly appointed Manchester United Head Coach Tommy Docherty eventually signed Lou Macari for a transfer fee estimated to be somewhere in the region of £200,000 midway into the 1972–73 season in order to strengthen his ageing first team squad. A hard working and dedicated performer, he was given his English First Division debut for Manchester United in a tough fought 2–2 draw against West Ham United at Old Trafford in January 1973 and he became an immediate hit with the home supporters. The Scotsman, who was quickly converted into an offensive orientated midfield administrator by fellow countryman Tommy Docherty, would then make a habit of coming forward from deep positions to score important goals for The Red Devils. Even though Lou Macari´s first years with Manchester United were spent in a struggling team that eventually found themselves relegated to the English Second Division at the end of the day, the dynamic midfield warrior nevertheless enjoyed his football under the able and sound guidance of Old Trafford manager Tommy Docherty and he became one of the key players in bringing the famous club back to the Football League Division One in the 1974–75 campaign. With talented players like Martin Buchan, Gerry Daly, Alex Forsyth, Brian Greenhoff, Stewart Houston, Sammy McIlroy, Willie Morgan, Stuart Pearson and Alex Stepney, Manchester United settled down well in unfamiliar surroundings and the awaken giant won the Football League Division Two title and promotion back to the top flight at the first attempt. Then on the opening day of the 1975–76 campaign, Lou Macari scored both of the goals in a 2–0 success against Wolverhampton Wanderers in front of a 32,000 strong home crowd at Molineux Stadium. The Mancunians ended the season in a respectable third position, just three points behind runners-up Queens Park Rangers and four points shy of First Division Champions Liverpool, and they also reached the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium only to suffer a humiliating and painful 1–0 defeat against Second Division Southampton. The Edinburgher finally won an FA Cup Winners medal the following campaign, though, when Manchester United defeated old foes Liverpool by a 2–1 score thanks to goals from Stuart Pearson and Jimmy Greenhoff. As a Manchester United player, Lou Macari appeared in well over 300 Football League matches for The Manchester Reds before he ultimately left the Old Trafford club to become the new manager at Fourth Division team Swindon Town in the summer of 1984. A Scottish international, the midfield man pulled on the famous dark blue shirt of Scotland on twenty-four occasions and he was a vital member of Ally MacLeod´s squad for the 1978 World Cup tournament in Argentina. After hanging up his footballing boots, Lou Macari managed a number of clubs, including Swindon Town, West Ham United, Stoke City and Glasgow Celtic. Lou Macari: “Glasgow Celtic was the biggest job of all for me, but it never got off the ground. It was a job that I was never even given an opportunity to get near succeeding at. The conversations I had with Fergus McCann drove me crazy. The lack of support was quite incredible. It was grief all the way. I know Fergus tries to paint a completely different picture, but I worked my socks off at Celtic. I am sure that after I left he did grasp that the way he treated me was outrageous.”
Manchester United History