Life af­ter the

Ex-Hibs and Celtic star urges play­ers to look ahead

Rutherglen Reformer - - Drivetimeextra - Mur­ray Spooner

It has been said many a time that foot­ball is a short ca­reer.

That cerainly ap­plies to for­mer Hiber­nian and Celtic star Pat McGin­ley who went from cap­tain­ing a boys club in Partick to fin­ish­ing his ca­reer with Ayr United at the age of just 37.

But de­spite miss­ing the game he loves, the Cam­bus­lang man was al­ways look­ing ahead and has been suc­cess­fully run­ning a clean­ing busi­ness with his wife Mar­garet for more than15 years.

And although he may have swapped the green, green grass of Easter Road for the clean, clean floors of his clients, Pat hopes foot­ballers ready to hang up their boots will start look­ing ahead to life af­ter the beau­ti­ful game.

“I think in this day and age, any sort of knowl­edge I would pass on to any player com­ing to the end of their ca­reer is make sure they are get­ting some­thing started be­fore they fin­ish play­ing foot­ball.

“It seems like many moons ago that I was play­ing but play­ing pro­fes­sional foot­ball is a great ex­pe­ri­ence. When you come out of it and go into the work­ing en­vi­ron­ment, you see how much you miss play­ing for the team and re­alise you weren’t re­ally work­ing that hard.

“You are com­ing in at 17, or ear­lier than that if you sign a pro­fes­sional con­tract, and are fin­ished at 35 if you’re lucky. And at 35 you’re still a young man, there’s a long way to go in life un­less you are a re­ally good player and mak­ing lots of money.

“In my case I played for a lot of years, I played for nearly 20 years and it’s re­ally dif­fi­cult if you’ve not got some­thing started to come out of that en­vi­ron­ment and go and look for some­thing.

“Be­cause you’ve been spoiled and you’ve been pam­pered, you re­ally need to be switched on and make sure you have some­thing for your­self and your fam­ily.”

Pat has stayed in Cam­bus­lang for 25 years but grew up in Partick.

His tal­ents as a foot­baller were spot­ted at an early age when play­ing for St Peter’s Boys School and Bears­den Boys Club.

Though many Scot­tish clubs were watch­ing his star per­for­mances as a young cen­tre for­ward, he be­gan his ca­reer with Black­pool in Eng­land but re­turned to his home­land to join Hiber­nian in 1987.

Alex Miller, who was man­ager at the time ri­vals Hearts chair­man Wal­lace Mercer tried to buy the club and merge both Ed­in­burgh teams to­gether, played Pat as a mid­fielder in­stead of a striker or winger. He went on to score 23 goals in his first spell and helped Hibs win the Scot­tish League Cup in 1991.

He made over 145 ap­pear­ances in the green and white be­fore mak­ing the move across the cen­tral belt to Celtic for a fee of £525,000 in 1993.

His time at Park­head only lasted fif­teen months. Tommy Burns, who took over as man­ager in 1994 did not see Pat as part of his plans. Pat was also at Park­head when Fer­gus McCann took over af­ter months of fi­nan­cial trou­ble at the club.

Re­flect­ing back on his time at both clubs, Pat said: “Be­cause I played for Hibs for such a long time, they were the

Great­est mo­men­tPat ranks win­ning the league cup with Hibs in 1991 as the high­light of his ca­reer Hon­est menPat scored 18 times in 61 games for Ayr United Back again Play­ing against his for­mer club in the Scot­tish Cup semi-fi­nal in 2002

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