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
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Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
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McNab: Neil

1982-1982 (Player Details)


Born: Greenock: 04-06-1957

Debut: v Shrewsbury Town (h): 18-12-1982

5’7” 10st 10lb (1982)

Educated at the Mount School, Greenock, McNab became a Scottish Schoolboy and Youth International. He broke into Morton’s first team when he was two months short of his sixteenth birthday, becoming the club’s youngest-ever player, when he made his Scottish League debut in a 5-0 home win over Partick Thistle on 14th April 1973. He netted his first goal in a 1-4 home defeat by Hibernian in the Scottish League Cup on 11th August 1973, when he was sixty-eight days past his sixteenth birthday. He made fourteen appearances at Cappielow, three starts in 1972-73 and eight starts and three games from the bench in 1973-74, before Tottenham signed him as an amatuer, still only aged sixteen, in February 1974 for £40,000. Having represented Scotland at Under-Fifteen and Under-Eighteen levels he was capped at Under-Twenty-one level in a 0-1 loss against Wales on 8th February 1978 at Sealand Road, Chester, while at Spurs. After making his debut, as a substitute, on 3rd April 1974 in a 1-2 home defeat by Chelsea, he had to be content to play his way through the lower ranks of the Tottenham Juniors and Reserve teams until he finally established himself when he was ever-present in 1977-78, scoring three goals in forty-two League games and playing in their two games in each of the League Cup and F.A. Cup, as Spurs finished third in the Second Division and achieved promotion to the First Division. However, with the arrival of Ossie Ardiles and Richardo Villa at Tottenham in July 1978, he lost his first team place and moved to Bolton Wanderers in November 1978 for £250,000. He played his final game for Spurs on 6th September 1978 in a 1-3 home defeat by Swansea City in a Second Round Replay in the League Cup. While at White Hart Lane he made seventy-two League appearances, including nine as a substitute and scored three goals. He also played six League Cup and two F.A. Cup ties. His time at Bolton was not a happy one as the Trotters struggled against relegation finishing seventeenth in 1978-79 but bottom in 1979-80. He did not stay to see their final demotion as, in February 1980 he had been sold to Brighton & Hove Albion for £220,000. While at Burnden Park he managed thirty five League appearances, including two from the bench and netted four times. He made his debut for Brighton at Southampton on 9th February 1980 and soon became aware that the 1-5 defeat was a sure sign that he had joined another club that was struggling to survive in the First Division. After finishing sixteenth in his first season of 1979-80, barely three losses away from relegation, his first full season of 1980-81 was even nearer to the drop, finishing one place above the drop zone in nineteenth place, just one loss away from relegation. 1981-82 saw respectability in thirteenth spot before the inevitable happened in 1982-83 as they finished bottom and were relegated with Swansea City and the less lucky Manchester City who were just one point from safety. He made a hundred League starts and three from the bench and scored four goals, of which three were from the spot, for them. McNab went on loan to Leeds in November 1982 and it was during that loan spell that he made his appearances for United and, although they wanted to sign him, they could not afford the £65,000 fee demanded by Brighton. He was loaned to Portsmouth in March 1983, but did not make their first team. Ultimately he joined Manchester City in July 1983 for just £35,000 and became a key figure with them, making his debut at Selhurst Park in a 2-0 win against Crystal Palace, on 27th August 1983 and stayed until January 1990, playing his final game for City, at the City Ground, on 29th November 1989 in a 2-3 defeat in the Second Round of the Zenith Data Cup against Nottingham Forest. He scored once in thirty-three appearances in the 1983-84 season when City came third, pipping Portsmouth, Blackburn Rovers and Brighton & Hove Albion by the narrowest of margins, in the Second Division and gained promotion back to Division One. He only managed eighteen appearances that season but was a regular as City struggled to fiftenth in the following season and suffered relegation in 1986-87 when they were next to the bottom. He was twice voted City’s ‘Player of the Year’, in the 1986–87 and 1988–89 seasons and helped them to promotion to the First Division in the 1988-89 season when he scored five goals in forty-two League games. His contributions in that season was recognized by his fellow professionals as he was selected in the 1988–89 Football League Second Division PFA Team of the Year. At Maine Road he made two hundred and twenty-one League appearances, of which five were off the bench and he notched sixteen goals. He also scored once in fifteen F.A. Cup ties and two goals in twenty League Cup games. After helping Manchester City to promotion he was replaced by Peter Reid, and joined Tranmere Rovers in January 1990 for £125,000. He was an instant hit and won a Leyland Daf Cup-Winners’ medal at Wembley. Tranmere finished in fourth place, but lost 2–0 to Notts County in the play-off final. After McNab joined them, they defeated Scunthorpe United 2–1, Chester City 3–0, Bolton Wanderers 2–1 and Doncaster Rovers 2-0 at home and drew 1-1 away, for an aggregate 3-1 win, before beating Bristol Rovers 2–1 in the final at Wembley Stadium in the Leyland DAF Cup. He did much to establish Tranmere as one of the leading teams in Division One after they won promotion via the play-offs in 1991. Once more he was selected by his fellow professionals for the 1990–91 Football League Third Division PFA Team of the Year. In 1990-91 Tranmere were again at Wembley for the Leyland DAF Cup. Drawn in Group Seven of the Northern Section Group 7 they finished top on goal difference after losing 0-1 at Bolton Wanderers but beating Blackpool 4-0 at Prenton Park. They progressed to the Northern Section Final win a 3-0 home win over Rotherham United, a 2-0 home win over Blackpool and a 3-0 win at Wigan Athletic. In the two legged Northern Area Final they went through 4-1 on aggregate after a 4-0 home win and a 0-1 away defeat to Preston North End. This took Tranmere to a second consecutive Football Trophy Final but this time they went down 2-3 to Birmingham City at Wembley on 26th May 1991 and McNab played the first hour before being substituted. He scored six goals in ninety-four starts and eleven substitute appearances in the League for Tranmere. In February 1992, he was loaned to Huddersfield Town for a couple of months, where he played eleven League games, then Ayr United, where he played four games. He left Prenton Park in the summer of 1993 to play for Darlington, as a non-contract player, for just four games, and Derry City in October 1993. After a stint with Witton Albion and a stay in the USA with Long Island Rough Riders, in the summer of 1994, he rejoined Manchester City as Youth Team Coach but lost his job in the managerial upheaval in 1997. He then coached at Portsmouth in their youth development programme. In October 2002 he was appointed manager of Exeter City, a position he held for just four months. He later coached in Georgia, USA at the Tyson Youth Soccer Academy. McNab holds the UEFA B and USSF B coaching licenses. Despite being included in the Scottish squad for the 1978 World Cup Finals he did not make the final twenty-two and was never called up for full International honours.

League 50
F.A. Cup 10