One of the best England goalkeepers of all time, and the best
Burnley keeper since the brilliant Jerry Dawson, Colin
McDonald had the world in the palm of his hand, but injury cut
short one his career.
Born in Tottington near Bury on 15 October 1930, Colin McDonald
took on the goalkeeper shirt like many great goalkeepers, reluctantly,
but once in that green jersey, he never let go. Which was the story
when he arrived at Turf Moor, he signed amateur forms for Burnley in
1948, and was a part time plummer during the early days of his
although Burnley were beaten 5-1 that day Colin McDonald retained
his place in the following game, and from then on he was the number
one at Burnley displacing Des Thompson.
His brilliant ablity to judge danger, his postional sense and
athleticism began to attract the attention of the England management
team, and but for a broken ankle in December 1956, he would have
been picked to play for England earlier than he did.
Upon his return to the Burnley first team, he instantly returned to form,
and was selected for England in the final warm up game prior to the
1958 FIFA World Cup Finals against Russia. He was then selected
in the England squad for that World Cup and played in all 4 games,
including a 0-0 draw against the eventual winners Brazil.
After another good season between the sticks for Burnley and more
3 international caps, he played in a Football League select XI against
Ireland League XI in Dublin, when he broke his leg.
Upon his condition worsening, he was wrongly diagnosed as having
pneumonia, and he nearly lost his life in the ensuing health battle,
when it was revealed he was suffering from a pulmonary embolism.
He attempted to make a come back upon his return from injury, and
he played reserve football when Adam Blacklaw was keeping goal
for Burnley as they weren't on to win the League Championship.
Colin McDonald was possibly one of the best England and Burnley
goalkeepers ever, but he missed Burnley's golden era, and was
forced to retire from the game.
After football, he worked with the Spastic Society, before moving on
to Bury, first as youth coach, then ad chief scout, and briefly as
manager. He also made a short come back at Altrincham before
serving with Bolton Wanderers, Oldham Athletic and Tranmere
||201 (185 league)
||Hawshaw St Mary's