Former Northern Ireland captain Alan McDonald dies suddenly
Former Northern Ireland and Queen's Park Rangers captain Alan McDonald has died suddenly at the age of 48.
McDonald, who managed Glentoran when they won the Irish League championship in 2009, collapsed while playing golf on Saturday morning.
The Belfast-born centre-half famously played in the Northern Ireland team which drew 0-0 against England in 1985 to qualify for the World Cup finals. Alan McDonald made 52 appearances for Northern Ireland
He won 52 international caps scoring one goal against Denmark in 1986.
The news of McDonald's death will come as a huge shock to the football community in Northern Ireland.
He owned a trophies business in Bangor, Co Down, which had previously been run by his Northern Ireland team-mate Billy Hamilton.
McDonald made more than 400 appearances for London club QPR and was in the team which reached the League Cup final in 1986, losing 3-0 to Oxford United.
He then had spells with Charlton, on loan, and Swindon Town.
After retiring from playing, he served for a time as assistant coach of the Northern Ireland Under-21 side.
For Glentoran's ex-QPR Alan McDonald an Eventful Year - It's been an eventful past fifteen month for ex-QPR Irish International Defender, Alan McDonald as he's gone from incoming QPR saviour to apparent incoming Glentoran saviour. QPR's most capped-international player with over 50 caps returned to QPR last February as Gary Waddock's assistant manager. Then this past September, McDonald was fired along with Waddock. As the Official site opening sentence phrased it "Alan McDonald has been given notice to terminate his employment at Queens Park Rangers Football Club." Statement McDonald returned to Ireland, became coach at Glentoran. And now this. Despite his time at QPR, McDonald proclaimed his continued affection for QPR "It hasn't changed my affection for QPR. That will never happen. It was always the first result I looked for before I came back and will always be the first the result I look for." Interview
February 2006 - McDonald Returns to QPR
YrFlashback: Alan McDonald Returns to Loftus Rd Post by admin on Feb 10, 2010, 8:24am
QPR OFFICIAL SITE - February 10, 2006 Former Rangers defender, Alan McDonald has joined QPR to assist Gary Waddock with his coaching duties.'Macca' made over 400 appearances for the Superhoops in a Loftus Road career that spanned from 1981 to 1997.A product of the youth set up, McDonald featured in the 1986 League Cup final and went on to experience both highs and lows with Rangers.The Northern Ireland international soared the dizzy heights when Rangers finished as the top London club in 1993, but also endured relegation from the top flight in 1996.He will arrive at Harlington tomorrow and will be 'on duty' for Saturday's home game against Millwall.Waddock said: "He's QPR through and through and has got a real passion for the club."But he's not just a QPR legend, he's a fully qualified coach who has worked at international level and he's just come back from Israel with the Northern Ireland U21 squad."It wasn't a difficult job to convince him, he's got blue and white blood running though his veins." QPR
Belfast Telegraph QPR and the Glens are Big Mac fans By Stuart McKinley: FOOTBALL 10 February 2006 - The offer of a temporary coaching position at his former club Queens Park Rangers won't affect Alan McDonald's availability to become the next Glentoran manager.McDonald is the new favourite for the vacant Oval position after the club's first choice, Roy Walker, turned down the job.The Glens board met yesterday and it is understood that the former Northern Ireland captain is now the favoured candidate. Their next move will be to contact McDonald about the possibility of succeeding Roy Coyle, who resigned a week ago.McDonald has already given strong indications of his interest in the job, particularly as he is due to move back to Northern Ireland next month, but the club must make the first move."I would be interested in speaking to Glentoran, but I won't be applying for the job and I haven't had any contact from anyone at the club as yet," said McDonald.One club that has been in touch with McDonald is QPR. The Loftus Road side put manager Ian Holloway on 'gardening leave' earlier this week and handed the reins to reserve team coach Gary Waddock on a temporary basis.They have now invited their ex-skipper to join Waddock in taking charge of team affairs, but McDonald insists that reports on their official website saying that he has already returned to the club are premature."I received a call from Queens Park Rangers when I was with the under-21 squad in Israel asking if I would like to go back and do some coaching," said McDonald."Things happened at the club this week that were completely out of the blue, Gary Waddock is a good friend of mine and he asked if I would be interested in helping him."We are still talking about one or two things, nothing has been decided and nothing has been agreed."If it does happen it will only be a temporary thing for me anyway as my plans to come back to Northern Ireland haven't changed." Belfast Telegraph
March 2006: McDonald Extends his QPR stay
Sept 2006: Terminated by QPR
October 2006: McDonald Interview - No hard feelings
January 2007: McDonald for Newry?
Feb 2007 McDonald appointed Coach Glentoran
May 2007 - McDonald Set to be Appointed Glentoran Manager
May 2007: McDonald at Glentoran
May 2007 - McDonald to stay under new manager as Coach
SEE ALSO: RON NORRIS/QPRNet 2002 Interview with McDonald
Belfast Telegraph - Big Mac the man for Glens crisis Tuesday, May 29, 2007 By Stuart McKinley Alan McDonald will be unveiled as the new Glentoran manager at a press conference this lunchtime. And straight away he will set about moving the club forward from the crisis that has surrounded the Oval for the last five days. The east-Belfast outfit put themselves in the middle of a UEFA Licence problem when they named Roy Walker as successor to Paul Millar last Thursday. In order to maintain that licence and play in Europe this summer the club has instead turned to McDonald, who is a fully qualified coach with the necessary badges, unlike Walker. McDonald leaves Belfast with the Northern Ireland under-21 squad later today for Friday's European Championship clash in Moldova, but will put pen to paper on what is understood to be a two-year deal before he boards the plane. He has been something of an innocent bystander while the managerial mess has been untangled by the club and on Friday he was asked if he wanted to take over the reigns. Meanwhile, Walker held discussions with Glentoran officials yesterday but will not be making a statement until later this week. The former Crusaders and Glenavon manager is "considering" his response. Belfast Telegraph
And this one particularly
Friday, October 20, 2006
Alan McDonald on QPR: "No Hard Feelings...It hasn't changed my affection for QPR"" - Ealing Gazette - October 16, 2006 No hard feelings, says Mcdonald
ALAN McDonald insists he has no hard feelings towards QPR following his exit in the wake of John Gregory's appointment as manager. McDonald, who spent 17 years as a player at Loftus Road, left his job as assistant boss soon after Gregory was installed. The former Northern Ireland international could be forgiven for having his feelings towards the club permanently soured. He was unhappy at the manner of his release as a player in 1997 after giving Rangers such loyal service. McDonald was then in the process of moving to Belfast - and was in contention for the Glentoran manager's job - before a sudden return to west London as Gary Waddock's right-hand man, only to find himself out of work just eight games into the new season. Alan M But McDonald reflected: "That's part of being in football. I'll just spend some time with my family and see what happens in the future. "I'm moving back to Belfast, which was the plan before I went back to QPR. It's a shame in many ways to have left the club again but these things happen." McDonald has no complaints about the decision to wield the axe, although he is reluctant to comment on the abrupt manner of his departure. Gregory was in place within hours of the League Cup defeat at Port Vale and had been lined up to take over before the game. "Results weren't good and I take my share of the responsibility for that," McDonald admitted. "It hasn't changed my affection for QPR. That will never happen. It was always the first result I looked for before I came back and will always be the first the result I look for." McDonald believes his former team-mate Gregory will prove to be a success in the Rs hotseat. The new boss has made the perfect start with wins over Hull and promotion-chasing Southampton, and McDonald is convinced the turnaround will be maintained. QPR are in action again tomorrow at home to Norwich. "John will do well," he predicted. "There's a good enough squad there to finish quite high up that division. "You've got lads like Ray Jones, Shabazz Baidoo and Pat Kanyuka coming through and that's great to see, because bringing on the youngsters is something the club was always good at and hopefully will be in the future."
im really, really gutted and sad at this news! i saw alan debt for rangers and i saw his last game for us, he was and always will be on of my heros! R.I.P BIG MAC, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE A TRUE LOFTUS ROAD LEGEND!
BOWLES V MARSH YOU DECIDE! SORRY MATE BOWLES ALL THE WAY!!!!