The Real Mackay tells the life story of one of football's genuine legends, a man whose presence in any team spurred them on to championship-winning form: Dave Mackay. It is the refreshing, honest and action-packed autobiography of a man who was at the centre of many of the biggest stories of British football for almost three decades. Mackay debuted for Hearts in 1953, by which time he had already made his mark at junior level. At the time he signed for the Edinburgh club, they had not won a major honour for almost fifty years. Over the next six seasons, however, Hearts went on to win the Scottish Cup and League, as well as twice winning the Scottish League Cup. It is no coincidence that Mackay's arrival at Hearts marked the beginning of what is now viewed as the club's golden age. In 1959, Dave was transferred south to join Tottenham Hotspur, who were at that time languishing near the foot of the English First Division. During the 1960-61 season, Spurs became the first side in the twentieth century to win the Double and went on to win the FA Cup twice more, along with the European Cup-Winners' Cup.
In 1968, he joined Derby County, who were lowly placed in the English Second Division. As captain, Dave led the team up the table and they finished as champions. Mackay was awarded the coveted Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year trophy - a fitting end to a remarkable playing career. In this absorbing autobiography, Mackay revisits his glorious playing days and reflects on his subsequent managerial career. He reveals details of his time as a successful manager in the developing Middle East game and how he returned to management in England to find that football there had changed radically. The Real Mackay is as uncompromising, determined and controversial as the player himself.
Dave Mackay's career in football spanned more than 40 years. Following retirement from playing in 1971, he went on to manage several clubs before coaching various teams in the Middle East. Martin Knight is also the author of Common People and co-writer of the terrace-culture classics Hoolifan and The Naughty Nineties.