Dave Mackay dies: Former Tottenham, Hearts and Scotland midfielder passes away aged 80

The football great died in hospital in Nottingham on Monday evening

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The Independent Online

Dave Mackay, former Tottenham, Hearts and Scotland midfielder, has died aged 80.

Spurs announced that the sporting legend, who formed part of the double-winning team in 1961, passed away in hospital in Nottingham on Monday evening.

The Scottish international started his footballing career in 1953 with Edinburgh side Hearts. He captained the team to the Scottish League title in 1958.

"We were saddened to hear of the death of our former captain Dave Mackay who passed away at the Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, this evening (Monday, March 2). He was 80," a statement on Tottenham's website read.

"He was a superb player who possessed all the technique, passing ability and talent to be the complete footballer," the statement continued.


"He was the heart-beat of our 1961 'Double' side, was then a key member of the team that retained the FA Cup the following season and, although injury kept him out of our 1963 European Cup Winners' Cup final triumph, he had played a vital role in getting us there.

"He formed a marvellous midfield combination with Danny Blanchflower and, when the Northern Ireland international left us in 1964, Mackay took over as Spurs captain and led us to another FA Cup triumph in 1967. He twice broke the same leg in our cause but, each time, came back stronger than ever."

He left Tottenham to join Derby in 1968 and helped Brian Clough's side win promotion to the First Division the following year before taking up a player-manager role at Swindon Town in 1971.

Mackay left the Robins the following year to manage Nottingham Forest, before succeeding Clough as Derby manager in 1973. Rams won the First Division title in 1975.

"Heart of Midlothian FC was deeply saddened to learn of the death of legend Dave Mackay earlier this evening," a statement on the Hearts website also read.

"Dave lost his long battle with illness at the age of 80 with his family at his bedside in Nottingham.

"A fearless defender regarded as the club's greatest-ever player, Dave won the league title, Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup (twice) with Hearts before going on to star for Tottenham Hotspur and Derby County.

"Our sincerest condolences go to his family at this extremely sad time."

Additional reporting by PA