Lou Macari: Wikis

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Lou Macari
Personal information
Full name Luigi Macari
Date of birth 4 June 1949 (1949-06-04) (age 60)
Place of birth Largs, North Ayrshire, Scotland
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1970–1973 Celtic 57 (26)
1973–1984 Manchester United 329 (79)
1984–1986 Swindon Town 33 (3)
National team
1972–1978 Scotland 24 (5)
Teams managed
1984–1989 Swindon Town
1989–1990 West Ham United
1991 Birmingham City
1991–1993 Stoke City
1993–1994 Celtic
1994–1997 Stoke City
2000–2002 Huddersfield Town
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Luigi "Lou" Macari (born 4 June 1949 in Largs, North Ayrshire) is a Scottish former footballer and football manager of Italian descent.

Contents

Playing career

Macari played for Manchester United in the 1970s and early 1980s. He was bought from Celtic in 1973 for £200,000 during his time with Celtic he scored 57 goals in 100 appearances. His first game for the club came in January 1973 against West Ham United in which he scored a point-saving goal in a 2–2 draw. In 1977, his shot deflected off team mate Jimmy Greenhoff to win the FA Cup final against Liverpool (and ultimately deny Liverpool the European treble). He made 400 appearances for the club and scored 98 goals.

Macari's early career at Old Trafford was spent trying to lead an attack that struggled to achieve anything. Relegation to the Second division in 1974 was the low point but Macari blossomed as a midfielder in the following seasons under Tommy Docherty as United began to win back a large following with superb attacking football in which Macari enjoyed popularity alongside players such as Gordon Hill, Steve Coppell and the Greenhoff brothers.

He helped United win the Second Division title in 1975. They finished third on their return to the top flight and were runners-up in the FA Cup before going one better and lifting the trophy a year later. He was on the losing side in the 1979 final, and also played in a string of European campaigns during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

International career and the 1978 World Cup

Macari also played for the Scottish national team and was a member of the Scotland squad for the 1978 World Cup tournament in Argentina. However, he attracted widespread criticism when it emerged that he had led complaints that the £20,000 bonuses the players would receive upon winning the World Cup should they be successful in achieving that objective were too low, then made extra money by selling stories to the press[1] about the disarray and tensions within the Scottish camp. As it turned out, the Scotland team lost their first match to Peru, and drew with Iran. They beat Holland 3–2 but this was insufficient to proceed in the tournament and the Scotland squad returned home without qualifying for the knock-out stage. Macari and his team-mates did not receive the bonuses which were the subject of contention.

Management career

As a manager Macari insisted upon a strict fitness regime, which included extra sessions in the player's free time and the banning of alcohol in and around the club.[2]

After leaving Manchester United in 1984, he managed Swindon Town, West Ham United, Stoke City (twice), Celtic, Birmingham City and Huddersfield Town.

His successes in management came with two promotions at Swindon Town (Fourth Division champions in 1986 and Third Division playoff winners in 1987) and a promotion with Stoke City (Division Two champions in 1993). After a brief and unsuccessful spell at Celtic he returned to Stoke City and took them to the Division One end of season playoffs in 1996 for a place in the Premier League, however they lost to Leicester City in the semi-finals 1–0 on aggregate. He left Stoke after the following season which was less successful with them finishing in mid-table, however a period of decline soon followed for the Potters and he is still held in high regard by Stoke fans.

Macari returned to management in 2000 with Huddersfield Town who were in relegation trouble after a poor start to the season. He could not prevent them from being relegated from Division One at the end of the 2000–01 campaign. Macari managed to steady the ship in 2001–02 and lead the club into the Division Two playoffs as the Terriers looked to bounce straight back up. However Despite the teams best efforts they were defeated by Brentford in the semi finals. Surprisingly Macari's contract was not renewed for the next season with Huddersfield's board stating his defensive style of football as the reason. Somewhat like Stoke a season of decline followed his departure from Huddersfield with many fans realising he had done a better job than he was given credit for. Oddly this was to be Macari's last managerial role and despite being linked with various positions since has not ventured back into management.

Retirement from football

Macari currently lives in Stoke-on-Trent and works as a pundit for MUTV on several shows including a betting show called "Sing When You're Winning". He occasionally does punditry for Sky Sports and Setanta Sports. He also writes regular comment pieces for the Stoke-on-Trent newspaper The Sentinel and has given several guest talks at Staffordshire University on the Sports Journalism courses.

Macari also owns the "Lou Macari Chip Shop" on Chester Road, near Old Trafford which is a popular takeaway on matchdays.

Honours

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As a manager

Promotions

Family

His sons Michael Macari and Paul Macari have played professionally with Stoke, when Macari was manager of the club. His youngest son Jonathan Macari committed suicide in 1999 after being released from his contract at Nottingham Forest.[3]

References

External links


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