Life after the
Ex-Hibs and Celtic star urges players to look ahead
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