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Dave McPherson
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Personal information
Full name David McPherson
Date of birth 28 January 1964 (1964-01-28) (age 45)
Place of birth    Paisley, Scotland
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
Gartcosh Juveniles
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Heart of Midlothian
Heart of Midlothian
Carlton S.C.
Greenock Morton
205 (19)
189 (16)
071 0(3)
105 0(8)
042 0(7)
016 0(4)   
National team
1989–1993 Scotland 027 0(0)
Teams managed
2002 Greenock Morton

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Dave McPherson (born 28 January 1964, in Paisley) is a former Scottish international footballer most famous for his spells with Rangers and Heart of Midlothian.




Club career

McPherson started his professional career with boyhood favourites Rangers in 1980, breaking into the first team while still a teenager. His impressive form ensured he achieved Under 21 recognition, as well as a place in the Rangers 1st team, by 1983. However, by their own high standards, Rangers were enduring a mediocre spell limiting McPherson's initial success while at Ibrox to one league title and two League Cups.

The revolution brought about by the arrival of Graeme Souness (and numerous new signings) at Rangers led to McPherson being deemed surplus to requirements, and he was sold to Hearts for £325,000 in 1987. He soon became a regular in the Tynecastle line-up, helping Hearts achieve regular high league finishes while enhancing his own reputation. Within two years he became both a Scotland international and club captain. However, despite several close calls, the Jambos were unable to break their trophy famine, and when debts began to rise, McPherson, by then the club's most valuable asset, was sold back to Rangers in 1992, for £1.3m.

McPherson's second spell at Rangers was much more successful than the first, as he helped Walter Smith's dominant side achieve the treble in 1992-93, then a double in the 1993-94 season. The flipside to this success though was the continual arrival of internationally renowned players competing for positions and McPherson again found himself relegated to the bench by 1994.

Financial troubles at Hearts dictated McPherson's next move, as he returned to the Edinburgh club in part exchange for Alan McLaren, Rangers also paying Hearts £1.25m. By now approaching the veteran stage, McPherson played an important role in nurturing Hearts' next generation of defenders such as Paul Ritchie and Gary Locke. He also helped the club to victory in the 1998 Scottish Cup, their first silverware in 36 years.

After leaving Tynecastle in the summer of 1999, McPherson wound down his playing career in Australia with Carlton S.C. in Melbourne.

International career

McPherson was first selected to play for Scotland against Cyprus on 26 April 1989, a match Scotland won 2-1 at Hampden Park. Despite remaining a relative novice at international level, he was selected in the Scotland squad for the 1990 FIFA World Cup, appearing in all three group games as Scotland just missed qualification. McPherson's solid performances resulted in him then becoming a fixture in the national side, missing only qualifying 1 game as Scotland reached the 1992 Euro Championships. He started all three group matches in Sweden but once again Scotland failed to qualify.

McPherson's international form began to waver the following season, though, and when Scotland were thrashed 5-0 in a World Cup qualifying game in Lisbon in April 1993, the Scottish press and public called for radical surgery. McPherson was one of several older players to be dropped, never to play for the national side again.

Playing style

McPherson's height (6 ft 3) ensured he was a commanding presence defensively, as well as a potent attacking weapon, both as a goalscoring threat and a targetman for flick-ons. Despite his stature he was also quite an adept dribbler, and his sporadic runs from defence were renowned, particularly when playing as part of a three-man central defence with Hearts. This ability also led to him sometimes being deployed at right-back, as opposed to his usual role as a central defender. McPherson, although considered both a good tackler and reader of the game, was also somewhat accident-prone, especially on the big occasions, as witnessed by the own goal he scored in the 1993-94 League Cup Final, and his muddle with Ally Maxwell which led to Dundee United's winning goal in the 1993-94 Scottish Cup Final.

Post retirement

McPherson moved into coaching in 2001, when appointed assistant-manager to Peter Cormack at Greenock Morton. When Cormack left Cappielow, McPherson was promoted to player-manager, however he was sacked after only 13 games. [1] He has since worked as a football agent.


  • Hoggan, Andrew (1995) (Hardcover). Hearts in Art. Mainstream. ISBN 1-85158-736-5.  

External links


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