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Duncan McKenzie

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I'd like to know what some of the other baby boomers remember of Duncan McKenzie. I don't think I've seen a more gifted footballer in a blue shirt, but he seems almost forgotten and I wonder why.

Was he not as good as I remember or did he play in a side we'd rather forget? While I'm getting nostalgic, can anyone remember what they were doing when they first heard Ball had gone to the Arse?
Marcus Dawson, Midlands     Posted 10/12/2007 at 13:30:09

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Colm
Duncan McKenzie was magic - and there endeth the sermon. As for Bally's departure, I was only four at the time so I presume I might have been crying at getting "the window wrong" whilst watching Play School instead!
Marcus Dawson
1   Posted 10/12/2007 at 14:33:34

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Colm, I know he was magic, but why is he seemingly under valued? I was about 9 when Bally went, my dad picked me up from school (so it must?ve been a Friday) and announced in a very sombre tone that Ball had gone. I didn?t believe him and just couldn?t comprehend the situation, I think that was the day I started to become a man!!!!!!!
James Elworthy
2   Posted 10/12/2007 at 14:39:54

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Duncan McKenzie played 48 games scoring 14 goals between 1976-78, he was signed by Billy Bingham and sold by Gordon Lee who detested flair players.
I remember a brilliant game he had against Stoke in the cup one cold January Saturday only for Bingham to be sacked the following week. This was the end of McKenzie as Lee preferred the dour Jim Pearson as his front man.
My other recollection of McKenzie is him hitting the bar at Wembley in the league cup final in 1978.
He had a radio programme on Sunday afternoon with John Toshack called MacnTosh on Radio City. After retirement McKenzie was a greengrocer in Haydock
He can now be seen with the match ball sponsors on the field prior to the game and in the corner of the Park End and Main Stand in the sponsors box where he throws left over packets of biscuits to the crowd at half time (sad old players have to do this sort of thing as they didn?t get the wages of modern day players.)
McKenzie is also an after dinner speaker but I warn you he is goddam awful only Bob Champion is worse.

When Alan Ball was sold I was in school and my dad told me it had been on the radio, I couldnt believe it. He had been disappointing after the Mexico World Cup as he like most of the other players were burnt out the following season.
Harvey Shearer
3   Posted 10/12/2007 at 14:32:36

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One game against Stoke City stands out in my memory. He constantly took the piss out of half the side.
Smoking twenty-a -day and tabloid photos of him jumping over a mini are great memories indeed.
As for Bally, I was at my Gran’s house and being the grand old age of ten, fought back the tears from the incessant laughter from my RS gobshite brother.
Very sad memory indeed.
Gerard Fox
4   Posted 10/12/2007 at 15:15:42

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McKenzie - the ultimate luxury player. On his day absolutely unplayable, other games totally anonymous. I remember his GP debut against Birmingham. He received the ball in the first couple of minutes, wiggled that fat arse of his and left 3 defenders for dead!! Magic. Scored two goal as well. Problem was that he was up front with Latchford, who didn’t have a particularly high work rate either. I can understand why Lee sold him, shame his replacement was the disastrous Micky Walsh from Blackpool.

Alan Ball - I think he was sold between Xmas and New Year 1971. I recall my Mum coming into the bedroom to break the news. Disbelief, denial, tears - the lot. Stared at the back page of the Daily Mirror for about half an hour. My first football hero and one the worst days of my football supporting life.
Michael Coffey
5   Posted 10/12/2007 at 15:34:20

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Managers had trouble with him not because of his flair, but because he was too intelligent to take football seriously.

I recall a cup tie at Cardiff when he latched onto a back pass from their full back, one Albert Larmour. Rounding the goalkeeper, he then paused on the goal line, juggling the ball till Larmour caught up with him, then calmly slotted it home. Gordon Lee having the vapours in the dug out while all this was going on

When interviewed by the Guardian after the match and asked about the goal , he just grinned and said "C?est l?amour".

Ray
6   Posted 10/12/2007 at 15:53:29

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McKenzie! What a gifted player. Like Le Tissier he was not the hardest worker you’d ever see, but like Le Tiss he had flair and ability to spare. I remember Lee saying that he didn’t want "big" players, who would grab the headlines and attention, so Duncan was history. Anyone remember him taking the piss out of that arsehole Tommy Smith?As for Ball, my old feller came into my bedroom to give me a shout to get up for work, and told me then.Neither of us could believe it. Catterick said that,financially, it was a no-brainer. We’d had his best years and we doubled our money but Ball didn’t want to go and the fans wanted him to stay. So,even in those days, money didn’t talk at EFC. It shouted.
James Elworthy
7   Posted 10/12/2007 at 16:03:22

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The other transfers I always remember,
Howard Kendall who was my favourite player at the time going to Birmingham with Archie Style for Bob Latchford. Joe Royle being sold I think it was on Boxing Day too.
The Dunc going to Newcastle behind Walters back. Rooney obviously as was not too long ago.
The one I always remember coming into the club was the arrival of Daniel Amokachi who came out on the pitch in a bright purple blazer when he signed waving away to everyone like he was going to be the big saviour. His passport said he was 21 and he was more like 31.

marcus dawson
8   Posted 10/12/2007 at 16:22:52

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Another one that got away was David Johnson, the RS via Ipswich. He seemed to have perfect balance and I never understood why we let him go.
Keith Glazzard
9   Posted 10/12/2007 at 16:23:20

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Billy Bingham bought Duncan (and Rioch, and Andy King ? - I could be wrong). Gordon Lee sidelined then sold Duncan.

We had a cat called Bingham. We never had one called Lee.
Gavin Ramejkis
10   Posted 10/12/2007 at 16:55:13

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My son’s middle name is McKenzie, I loved watching Dunc when I was a boy, remember him running off at half time for a smoke! Remember him turning players inside out, he’s a nice bloke to boot and always has a good word to say.
Tony Waring
11   Posted 10/12/2007 at 16:59:03

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Duncan McKenzie - pure class; unforgettable. They dont make them like him anymore.
Chris Robinson
12   Posted 10/12/2007 at 16:41:26

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One of Duncan’s party pieces was to let the defender think he had missed the ball, letting it drop behind his head, only to back-heel it over his and the defender’s head and be away before they could recover. Breathtaking stuff to watch! He’d have been on YouTube every week nowadays...

Incidentally, I believe we got him from Anderlecht. He was worshipped there too, especially for one memorable game when he and Rob Rensenbrinck (remember him?) tore apart Der Kaiser Beckenbauer’s Bayern Munich 4-0, when they were European Champs. If we draw them in the UEFA Cup, a chant of "We all agree, Duncan McKenzie is magic" should need no translation and go down well!
Mike Murray
13   Posted 10/12/2007 at 17:15:11

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Duncan was my first footballing hero - I had his autograph on picture with (spit...) John Toshack!!! They used to do a show on Radio City called Mac ’n Tosh!!!!
Mike Fishwick
14   Posted 10/12/2007 at 17:39:36

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Duncan McKenzie was the ronaldo of his day. Tricks flicks pure natural ability. He was everything you would want in a footballer to the eyes of a young teenager hacked off with the RS winning things.
I was at that stoke game and he was even better when i saw the highlights on tv.
He remains my all time football hero and he was too good for the times. I hated Lee for getting rid. Proved he didnt have the vision, leadership or management skills to be any part of Everton Football club.
John Hughes
15   Posted 10/12/2007 at 17:42:23

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Marcus Dawson - re David Johnson. I?m pretty certain DJ was caught up in the same incident that resulted in Alan Whittle leaving the club at the same time. Time has eroded much of the detail but it was to do with under- age girls that a few players unwittingly got involved in at a night club.Better not speculate anymore, given the state of my memory these days! Sad thing is, we let Johnson go to Ipswich and got Rod Belfitt in return. Complete Donkey!
Duncan McDine
16   Posted 10/12/2007 at 17:56:13

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I don’t know an awful lot about him, apart from the fact that he must have been one of my Dad’s favourite players... I was named after him!

Seen bits and bobs on videos etc, and he looked like a fantastic player.

Funny that my idol for years was another Duncan!
Peter Pickles
17   Posted 10/12/2007 at 18:04:58

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We all agree .. Duncan Mckenzie is magic. He jumped over a mini and nutmegged Tommy Smith, in the same match I believe.

I was in Tescos on Walton Road with me Mum when some old gossip she knew from Carisbrooke Rd told us the news about Bally. I bawled my eyes out. I got a Caramac to shut me up. I was 27.
Mick Mac
18   Posted 10/12/2007 at 18:12:40

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I was talking to someone who used to drink with Alan Ball at the time of his transfer. He said he was gutted and couldnt beleive it. He even rang Manure to see if they would come in for him but they were commited elswhere.
He still loved Everton though even above the gunners
Dave Roberts
19   Posted 10/12/2007 at 19:49:54

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I can remember what I was doing just AFTER I heard the bastards had sold Alan Ball. But I was unsuccessful. My mate cut the rope!
Paul Thompson
20   Posted 10/12/2007 at 20:58:25

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This debate brings back a lot of memories. During that period there were times when only Duncan made the match worth going to. His skills were incredible even if his fitness wasn’t. There’s quite a funny account of his earlier days at Leeds in David Peace’s amazing book on Brian Clough - The Damned United.
Arthur jones
21   Posted 10/12/2007 at 21:06:13

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Duncan Mc Kenzie was one of those players you were happy to pay money to watch , especially after he took the piss out of Tommy Smith , I remember him returning to Goodison with Chelsea and he scored , they heared the cheers in Manchester ! and we won 3-2 , perfect day . I was 11 when Bally left , I immediately announced to anyone who?d listen I was now an Arsenal fan , and I was for about 30 seconds , I used to love it when the Arse played the RS and beat them , I remember Bally scoring a penalty for them at the kop end , Oh how I larfffed
Chris Heal
22   Posted 10/12/2007 at 17:32:46

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Duncan against Stoke was as memorable as the famous Leeds v S’thampton clip. How unlucky for him to have Gordon Lee arrive -and how sad for Blues fans. Much as I can enjoy Faddy’s better moments, he doesn’t have Duncan’s flair, football wit or his command of the ball.
Paul Heery
23   Posted 10/12/2007 at 21:44:51

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Duncan McKenzie was, and always will be, my favourite player of all time. I live in Nottingham now, and all the Forest fans of my age think the same thing about him. I think it was because he stood out so much compared to everyone else we had at the time, someone who loved to entertain us. Gordon Lee would regularly drop him in favour of Jim Pearson, who never really made it as a Goodison legend! The thing I remember about that unbelievable performance against Stoke is that when it was on telly the next day, Tommy Smith was choosing the Man of the Match, and he chose Andy King instead, because he thought Duncan was a ’clown’. Tommy Smith hated him - what better recommendation could you have?
Is my memory playing up or does anyone else remember that he could throw a golf ball over the ground as well as jumping over a Mini?
Ray Robinson
24   Posted 10/12/2007 at 21:59:20

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Remember once praying that my Sunday League side drew Bay Horse in the Warrington Cup as I believe Duncan played for them after retiring from professional football. Sadly we didn’t draw them. so I neverhad chance to show him my own famous body swerve (guffaws!).

Great player but didn’t come near my own hero, Bob Latchford - in my opinion.
Gerry Rutter
25   Posted 10/12/2007 at 22:55:29

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Duncan was a bright light in a very dull time for my beloved blues. I think it might have been the cup semi where Brian Hamilton "scored" where Duncan tricked Tommy Smith and left him sitting on his fat arse on the halfway line. No wonder he hated him!!!
Guy Wilkinson
26   Posted 10/12/2007 at 23:00:27

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Duncan Mckenzie - oh yes. The stoke game mentioned was my first game. My dad bought me a silky bay city rollers style scarf with tassels on that was so silky it slipped off and got lost.
I remember the mini jumping and the golf ball throwing. He was on Swap Shop or one of those saturday am shows and I couldnt watch it because I had my swimming lesson at runcorn old town baths. No VCRs then . Gutted...
Shaun Sparke
27   Posted 10/12/2007 at 23:09:07

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I rememeber standing outside a bar in Rotterdam where Radio City were broadcasting prior to our cup winners cup final back in 1985. Duncan walked up to the bar about to do his bit on the radio when he was spotted by us fans, he was promptly lifted shoulder high and carried around the sreets of Rotterdam as we all chanted that he was magic.

Ah happy days!
Peter Pridgeon
28   Posted 10/12/2007 at 20:52:11

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We Evertonnians have a habit of looking back with rose tinted glasses and a lot of talk about Duncan McKenzie is just that.
DK was an obcenely talented individual, his well documented party tricks of jumping over a mini and throwing a cricket ball the length of a football field where only part of the show. On the football field he hardly endeared himself to the manager who had just spent half his sesons transfer budget on him. Bingham brought Mckenzie back to England from Anderlect for 200k a large sum in those days despite Everton breaking the transfer record in paying Birmingham 350k the year before for Bob Latchford. Everton fans really loved Mckenzie and he loved the fans back, he was a showman and clown rolled into one but he couldn’t make it as a consistent team player. Brian Clough brought him from Notts Forest to Leeds in his infamous forty four days but never bought him back for Nottingham Forest. As has been mentioned he only played 48 games for Everton. Everton sold him to Chelsea and on he went season after season in different clubs.
He had some great moments but in todays game he would never have been allowed to progress as that type of player, he would have been controlled and possibly may have become a great player or just faded away as so many talented but uncontrolable players have done.
Chris Hanrahan
29   Posted 11/12/2007 at 01:38:41

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To give Gordon Lee his due, he did steady the ship at Goodison and he did take us to the League Cup final. He gave us Latchford and Dobson. He was a decent bloke who worked hard and he did his best. It’s not right that he should be reviled all these years later.

It was unfortunate that Gordon could not get along with Duncan, who was a genius on the field. The cigarette smoking and the Mini-jumping stunts were just a bit too much for oh-so-serious Gordon.

I was 17 when Bally was sold to Arsenal. The news was shattering. I felt very let down and I never forgave Harry Catterick for not trying hard enough to keep him at the club.
Paul Daly
30   Posted 11/12/2007 at 02:31:25

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........when Ball was sold....my Dad came in and said he heard it on the radio... I was convinced he was pulling my leg......I was devestated.......didn’t know whether to take down the poster from Goal that was on the wall between Royle and Kendall or what......
Ray Roche
31   Posted 11/12/2007 at 10:23:55

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Bingham bought Latchford,not Lee.
James Elworthy
32   Posted 11/12/2007 at 12:14:48

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Bingham also bought Dobson as well as Latchford neither were Lee purchases.
Andy Callan
33   Posted 11/12/2007 at 13:01:25

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My Dad sez he was ’magic’; when my Dad sez that about anyone then it must be true. I have a teddy bear somewhere named after him...!!!!!!

He used to live by Haydock Racecourse in Ashton-in-Makerfield and regualrly would walk his dog on the field of a local school where my arl fella used to take me to play footie.

I don’t remember him if I’m honest, but have a picture of he and I that my Dad keeps with pride.

To quote my Dad, ’Footballers were PROPER footballers back then son’...

Sez it all to me that.
Roy Coyne
34   Posted 11/12/2007 at 23:06:21

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I loved Dunc ,but could see how frustrated the other players where when after timing there runs they would arrive in the box but the ball would not ,Dunc was to busy nut megging the opposition and in general entertaining the fans to pass the ball,as for Bally I was in the pub having my dinner with a couple of fellow blues when some red noses came in gleefully relating the news never have I sobered up so fast.

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