Super Mac’s back
Sammy’s ready for a friendly grilling in the suite that bears his name
ONE of the Silkmen’s favourites sons is returning to the club next month, and he’s promising an evening of fond memories, frank speaking and forthright views.
Sammy McIlroy earned legendary statrus at the Moss Rose during Macclesfield’s golden era, with two Conference titles and an FA Trophy success in less than seven seasons.
The former Manchester United star will be back in the spotlight for the club’s ‘McIlroy in the McIlroy’ event on November 6, in the suite that still bears his name, following a brief name change that he admits hurt a little.
“I’m looking forward to the night, I really am,” he told the Express. “It’s a place I really enjoyed working and I had some great times there.
“With Gil (Prescott), Peter (Davenport) and Mark (Lillis) we got the club into the league for the first time, it was a fantastic achievement and one I’m really proud of.
“After a few years of missing out it was wonderful to finally make it.
“We had a great set of players, characters with a never-say-die attitude. It wasn’t easy for some of
I rarely get back these days but it’s a special place to me.
them to give up their nineto-five jobs when we went up but they were rewarded, and deservedly so, when we got that second promotion.
“It was without a doubt one of my happiest times in management. Arthur Jones (then-chairman) put so much into it and he supported me all the way, I had a great rapport with him.
“When we got there in the end it was fantastic, especially after we’d suffered in the previous years.
“That made it more special when we did it.”
The genial Northern Irishman, who left Macc to take over as coach of his country’s national team, will be joined by MC Allan Sherratt, comedian John Stiles – the son of World Cup winner Nobby – Phil Power, who’s now going great guns as Salford City boss, and Macc’s current management team, John Askey and Efe Sodje.
And of the job his former charges are doing at the Moss Rose, McIlroy admits he’s been pleasantly surprised as well as hugely impressed.
“What they’re doing on a shoestring budget is fantastic, without a doubt, they’re doing a great job,” he continued.
“Obviously they don’t have a lot to work with so loan deals are the best they can do but they’ve made a great start, I hope they can carry that on.
“I honestly couldn’t see John going into management when I was there, he’s very laid-back, but then he’s a great competitor – and he’s Macc through and through.
“And I signed Efe, he’s another that the club means so much to. It’s so good to see them taking charge and making a good fist of it
“I always look for their results, that’ll never change. The Conference is a tough league to get out of and I just hope they can stay free of injuries and keep the pace. I haven’t seen that much of them, I rarely get back these days but it’s a special place to me.”
As for the barrage of questions he’s expecting to be facing on the night, McIlroy is promising openness on any topic he’s pressed on. “I’m not that fussy, whatever people want to ask me is fine,” he added. “I’ll answer anything that’s put to me.
“It should be a nice evening, it’s always good to see the fans who supported us at that time and see what they’ve got to say too. It should be entertaining anyway.”
TICKETS for ‘McIlroy in the McIlroy’ are still available (priced at £50 per head), and can be booked individually or as a table. Questions for Sammy Mac should be submitted in advance. Visit mtfc.co.uk for details.
●● Sammy McIlroy celebrates promotion to the Second Division with Macc (above) and made a return as a player in a Legends match (below)