Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
Leeds United/City Captains
Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games
Leeds United/City Reserves and Other Teams

McCole: John

1959-1961 (Player Details)

Centre Forward

Born: Glasgow: 18-09-1936

Debut: v West Bromwich Albion (a): 19-09-1959

5’10 1/2” 11st 9lb (1960)

#92 in 100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever

It is said that he was born in Gweedore, Co Donegal, in Northern Ireland and grew up in Glasgow, but McCole started with Vale of Leven before moving to Falkirk. There he set his goalscoring standards, in a fine Falkirk team which saw him as a team-mate of right-back Alex Parker, who left for Everton, goalkeeper Bert Slater, Midfield schemer, John White, who moved to Tottenham Hotspur, Right winger Tommy Murray, who later also joined Leeds, Doug Moran, who went to Ipswich Town and Derek Grierson, who moved to Rangers. In the 1956-57 season he managed four goals in twelve League games, but it was in 1957-58 that he hit the headlines with fourteen goals in eighteen League games. he had scored in his only League game of 1958-59, when Bradford City signed him in September 1958. With the Bairns, he had scored nineteen goals in thirty-five Scottish League games, together with four goals in eleven starts in the Scottish League Cup and two goals in three starts in the Scottish Cup. He was a quality striker, who was a prolific goalscorer wherever he went. He made his debut against Southampton at Valley Parade on 20th September 1958 and he scored with a header in a 2-3 defeat. In his first spell at Valley Parade he scored an impressive thirty-two goals in just forty-two League games, which prompted Leeds to buy him for £10,000 in September 1959. McCole remains the only Leeds player to score four goals in a League Cup-tie, achieving the feat against Brentford on 13th September 1961, when he scored all the goals in a 4-0 win at Elland Road. He maintained an excellent scoring record at Leeds, topping the club’s goalscoring in both of his seasons with the club, passing the twenty goal mark in both campaigns and finishing at least ten goals ahead of his closest rivals each year. However, his twenty-two League goals in just thirty-three games in 1959-60 were not enough to save the club from relegation to Division Two. Despite his excellent record, McCole was allowed to go back to Bradford City in October 1961 for £8,000, after spending the summer in USA with New York Americans, a side formed by British players in NASL for a Phil Woosnam promotion. While in New York he maintained his fine average with eight goals in even games, in a side that was captained by Cardiff and Wales full-back, Alf Sherwood. He is accepted as Bradford City greatest centre forward and a footballer/ball artist/ball player, who could involve others in the game up front. He was also a renowned "goalkeeper", who in a 1959 cup-tie at Brighton & Hove Albion went in goal after only ten minutes and played out the game keeping a clean sheet as City won 2-0 with Geoff Smith, the injured goalkeeper, playing on the right wing as the usual 'virtual passenger'. In his second spell with the Bantams he scored fifteen goals in forty-six games. In December 1962 he took his talents to Rotherham United, where a broken leg in 1963, ruled him out for a year. The game was against Derby County at the Baseball Ground and in the thirty-second minute, Derby right half Ray Young carelessly clipped a back-pass far too many feet wide of Reg Matthews, the Derby keeper, and McCole was able to take the ball away from the 'keeper and walk it in. Two minutes later came McCole's injury. The centre-forward and Derby’s Les Moore both raced for a through ball, and Reg Matthews dashed out, but just as the goalkeeper was about to grab the ball, Moore swept it out, McCole, unable to stop, shot over the 'keeper's shoulder and crashed to the ground, fracturing his right leg. He scored five goals in fourteen League appearances at Millmoor. It was a pity that the centre forward's time at Rotherham United was spoiled by injury because there was no doubt that he was an accomplished player. He hit both goals in his second game as the Millers were 2-0 home winners against Luton Town but it was his skilful play which helped to lay on many goals forothers around him, particularly Albert Bennett. Had he remained fit, he would no doubt have added many more goals. The robust Scotsman was not the tallest centre forward, just five feet ten and a half, yet he was good in the air. Through bravery and skill, and with a self-confidence sometimes bordering on arrogance, he created a hatful of scoring opurtunities. While McCole was not one to shirk a ruck of defenders wherein elbows were flailing and boots flying if it meant the chance of a goal, he was more than a battering ram. With his speed and good control he always looked the one player likely to score. But, he was also known to like a drink and as his career was reaching its final stages he dropped out of the Football League and joined Shelbourne in Dublin, in June 1963, where he spent the 1963-64 season, before returning to Fourth Division Newport County in October 1964, playing six games and scoring twice for his final Football League team in the 1964-65 season. He returned to the League of Ireland with Cork Hibernians in February 1965, as they managed fourth place in 1964-65 and he contributed eight goals to the club's forty-one for the season. He then joined Dundalk with Derek Stokes, another former Bradford City hero of the time and Kildrum Tigers, in Co. Donegal. He died in Gweedore, Co. Donegal in 1982 aged forty-six from cancer.

League 7845
F.A. Cup 21
League Cup 57