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
2004-13 - 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

McClelland: John

1989-1992 (Player Details)

Centre Half

Born: Belfast: 7-12-1955

Debut: v Newcastle United (a): 19-08-1989

6’2” 13st 5lb (1989)

Born and raised in the Newtownabbey area, he began his career with Portadown in Ireland before trying his luck in the Football League when he moved to Cardiff City in February 1974. However, despite scoring once in in four games, of which three were from the bench, for the Bluebirds and getting a Welsh Cup runners-up medal in 1974-75, League Football had come too soon for the young McClelland and he signed for Non-League Bangor City, on a free transfer, in the 1975 close season. There he gained another Welsh Cup runners-up medal in 1977-78, and became a huge crowd favourite in his three seasons there. Billy Bingham, Manager of Mansfield Town, gave him a second chance at League football in May 1978, when he paid Bangor £8,000 for his services. McClelland took that chance with both hands and gained his first six Northern Ireland caps while with the Stags. His first came as a substitute for Billy Hamilton in a 1-0 win over Scotland at Windsor Park, Belfast, on 16th May 1980. While at Field Mill he played one hundred and twenty-five League games of which all but three were in the starting eleven and scored eight goals. He also scored once in eight starts in the F.A. Cup and twice in eight starts and one game from the bench in the League Cup, as well as making seven starts in other competitions. The Stags could not afford to pay him the kind of wages that he merited and when top Scottish club Rangers were prepared to pay £90,000 he took off for Ibrox in May 1981. His career took off in a big way after he joined Rangers and apart from being a regular at Ibrox he was also a regular in the Northern Ireland team. While at Ibrox he picked up a Scottish Cup Runners-up medal in 1981-82, Runners-up medals in both the Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup in 1982-83 before finally getting a Winners’ medal in 1983-84 League Cup and repeated it in 1984-85. He captained Rangers and gained another twenty-six caps for Northern Ireland before a £225,000 move took him to Watford in November 1984, after four goals in ninety-six starts in the Scottish League, a further goal in thirteen starts in the Scottish Cup, two goals in thirty Scottish League Cup games, one goal in thirteen European Cup games of which two were as a substitute, and starting two other games while at Ibrox. He played in Northern Ireland’s 1982 and 1986 World Cup Finals teams and represented the Football League against the Rest of the World at Wembley on 8th August 1987 and against the Irish League at Windsor Park on 9th September 1987. He was also made captain of the Northern Ireland team and led them on seventeen occasions. While at Vicarage Road he also added a further twenty caps to his evergrowing appearances in the green shirt. He played one hundred and eighty-four League games and scored three goals and captained the team. He also started thirty-two F.A. Cup and twelve League Cup ties and started four and came on as a substitute once in other competition games. The multi-capped McClelland joined Leeds from Watford for £110,000 in June 1989 but managed only three appearances in their Division Two Championship campaign because of injury. He picked up a heel injury in his debut game, which was United's opening game of the season, a 5-2 loss at St James' Park Newcastle, and had to have an operation to rectify it. This meant he was out of the game until the New Year and on his return Leeds loaned him back to Watford for a month in January 1990, but he played just one game. Despite injuries he still won his final Northern Ireland cap on 27th March 1990 in a 2-3 defeat by Norway at Windsor Park. It was his only Irish Cap while he was with Leeds and added to the other fifty-two gained in his pre-Leeds days. He started in fifty of those and came on as a substitute in three, against Scotland in his debut on 16th May 1980, as a sixty-second minute substitute for Jimmy Nicholl in a 0-1 loss to Sweden at Rasunda Solna in Stockholm in a World Cup Qualifier on 3rd June 1981 and as an eightieth minute substitute for David McCreery at the Parc des Princes, Paris, in a 0-0 draw with France on 26th February 1986. His only International goal came on 30th March 1983 in the seventeenth minute of a 2-1 win against Turkey at Windsor Park, when he gave Northern Ireland a 2-0 lead. When he did play in the Leeds first team he rarely put a foot wrong, using his great experience to good effect against forwards much younger and quicker than himself. He was loaned to Notts County for six games in March 1992 before leaving Leeds to become the player-coach of St Johnstone in that close season and went on to make twenty-six starts and one substitute appearance. He was elevated to Player-Manager, a position he held until November 1993. After losing his job with the Saints he turned out briefly for Irish club Carrick Rangers, where he made eleven League starts and three in other competitions, but soon moved back to Scotland with Arbroath for two games. He then linked up with Wycombe Wanderers in February 1994, but did not play, before joining Yeovil Town in the GM Vauxhall Conference the following month, scoring one goal in twenty-one games, of which one was off the bench. In March 1996 he was appointed assistant to Chris Kamara at Bradford City after playing in the Northern Counties East League with Farsley Celtic. He moved to Darlington in October 1996, but only played one game and suffered a career ending injury. McClelland now does the conducted tours of Elland Road, on a permanent basis.

AppearancesGoals
League 22/20
F.A. Cup 20
League Cup 2/10