LUTON TOWN 1969-70 DIVISION THREE RUNNERS-UP
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
MALCOLM MACDONALD was still very much a Football League rookie when he made the switch to Luton Town in July 1969.
Super Mac had started his career as a full-back before being switched to centreforward and would become one of the most prolific goalscorers of the 1970s.
He arrived at Luton after being offloaded by Bill Dodgin following just a season on the banks of the Thames with Fulham, despite scoring five times in 13 appearances.
After failing to net in his first two games, he opened his account against Bournemouth to start a run of scoring in seven consecutive games on his way to a seasonal tally of 28.
Alan Slough missed only one game, the opening match with Barrow, through suspension after being sent off in the last game of the previous season against Watford.
“I used to stay behind after training on a Friday and do ten-yard sprints with Malcolm, which was the distance I could stay with him for,” he said.
“After that, he would just blast past me. He was such a powerful runner, but he was a goalscorer, full stop. I think they paid £18,000 for him. It was magnificent business.
“I remember one Sunday morning early in the season. I was out in the garden and my neighbour asked ‘How did that Malcolm Macdonald do?’
“I said it was a flash in the pan,” he laughs as he remembers the conversation “But, to be honest, he didn’t really look back after that run.”
That promotion-winning campaign was Alec Stock’s first full season in charge at Kenilworth Road after coming in for Allan Brown the previous December.
Stock and Luton served notice that they were to be taken seriously after losing just three of the remaining 26 games that season to finish third.
And the Hatters claimed their second promotion in three seasons, finishing two points behind champions Orient and four clear of Bristol Rovers, who missed out with only two going up.
“We had a very, very good manager in Alec,” said Slough. “He knew his players. He would look at a player and would instantly say ‘He is good, we’ll have him’.
“Once he got a side, he kept it. I remember going to him that season and saying I couldn’t play because I’d twisted my ankle.
“He convinced me that I’d be all right. We played at Doncaster and lost 2-0. I made a mistake that led to a goal, but he told me afterwards that it wasn’t my fault.
“He always stuck up for me. He was a great manager, aa wonderful man.
“When he went to Fulham from Luton he called me up and I signed for him.”
1. Max Dougan: Scottish amateur international centre-half, now retired and living in Bathgate in his native West Lothian after working on North Sea oil rigs.
2. Matt Tees: Forward who helped Grimsby Town win a Division Four title in 1971-72. A former carpet factory machinist, he later worked for shipping company DFDS until retiring.
3. Keith Allen: Inside-forward who won two promotions with Luton. He became a second-hand car dealer in Plymouth and then retired to his native Isle of Wight. 4. Tony Read: Goalkeeper who also won two promotions with the Hatters. He ran a used car business for many years and is now living in Dersingham, Norfolk in retirement. 5. Malcolm Macdonald: England striker and an FA Cup finalist with Newcastle and Arsenal. He managed Fulham and has been a radio host in the North-East. 6. Terry Branston: Centre-half who helped Northampton Town win three promotions. He ran his own driving school and managed VS Rugby but died from brain cancer in December 2010. 7. Brian Lewis: Midfielder who helped Colchester shock Leeds in the FA Cup. He worked as a furniture salesman in Bournemouth until his death from cancer in December 1998, aged 55. 8. Alan Slough: Midfielder who was an FA Cup finalist with Fulham. He became a window cleaner in Paignton before running his own soccer school for more than 30 years. 9. Laurie Sheffield: Forward who won a Division Four title with Doncaster where he settled, becoming a car dealer and then a mortgage adviser. 10. Mike Keen: Midfielder who helped QPR win the League Cup and went on to manage Watford, Northampton and Wycombe, where he ran sports shops. He died in April 2009, aged 69. 11. Graham French: Winger who played for Southport under the name Graham Lafite after a spell in prison following a shooting incident. Ran a drinking establishment in the Midlands. 12. Jack Bannister: Left-back who won two promotions with Luton and now lives in Houghton Regis, Dunstable. He was an HGV driver for Boots, a panel beater and then a machinist. 13. John Collins: A forward who coached at Watford and Fulham after ending his career with a promotion at Cambridge, then worked for a building firm in west London. NOT PICTURED Sandy Davie: A Scottish-born New Zealand international goalkeeper, he coached in Australia, the United States and his adopted country. He lives in Tuarango. Fred Jardine: Winger who settled in Luton after helping the club win two promotions. Worked for John Pope’s gents outfitters for many years until retiring. Mike Harrison: An England Under-23 winger who settled in Plymouth, where he was an insurance salesman and was also a rep for a medical firm before retiring. John Moore: A defender who joined the coaching staff under David Pleat and served one season as manager, retiring in 2009. He then coached at Bedford Modern School. Viv Busby: Striker and an FA Cup finalist with Fulham. He went into coaching, most notably at York City, and managed Hartlepool. He is now retired on the Costa Del Sol in Spain. Chris Nicholl: Central defender who enjoyed success at Aston Villa and managed Southampton, where he also coached for a number of years. Peter Phillips: An England amateur forward and Cambridge blue, who became a chartered accountant and was a partner in the accountancy firm, MacIntyre Hudson. John Ryan: Full-back who ran a transport business in Kent. He managed Sittingbourne, Dover Athletic and Dulwich Hamlet and was then director of youth development for the Thailand FA. Alan Starling: Goalkeeper who won promotions with Northampton and Huddersfield, where he settled, working as a salesman then an account manager for a pharmaceutical company.
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