Andrew "Andy" McCulloch is an English former professional footballer who played for Q.P.R., Cardiff City, Oxford United, Brentford, Sheffield Wednesday, Crystal Palace and Aldershot. He played a total of 475 games in all competitions for his seven league clubs, scoring 153 goals in a career which lasted from 1970 until 1985. McCulloch was a Centre Forward in the "Target Man" mould, being 6 ft 2in (1.88 m) tall, he was good in the air, using his strong physique to hold off defenders and lay the ball off to team mates. He made one appearance for the Scotland national under 23 team.
McCulloch was born in Northampton on 3 January 1950. He was the son of Adam McCulloch who played over 200 league games for Northampton Town, Shrewsbury Town and Aldershot. Andy was brought up in Hampshire, the family moving there when his father signed for Aldershot in 1953. On leaving school he attended university and obtained a Civil engineering degree before playing full-time football.
Andy McCulloch first made a name for himself as a teenager playing for Fleet Town in the Hampshire League and was subsequently invited for a trial at Tottenham Hotspur. However nothing came of the Tottenham connection and he signed for non-league Walton & Hersham being part of the team which won the Athenian League title in the 1968–69 season. McCulloch was spotted by Queens Park Rangers manager Les Allen and he signed for Rangers in October 1970.
The 20-year-old McCulloch made his Ranger's debut immediately, replacing Frank Saul in the team, playing in a 5–2 home win over Birmingham City on 17 October 1970 and scoring the fifth goal. He did not actually get paid for that debut match as he was still registered as an amateur, his professional registration coming through a few days later. McCulloch was never a regular member of the Rangers team over the next two years, making 30 starts in League matches. His days at Rangers were numbered when they bolstered their forward line by signing Stan Bowles and Don Givens for the start of the 1972–73 season and he was sold to Cardiff City for a fee of £45,000 in October 1972.
In his two years at Cardiff the team had a fairly mediocre time finishing near the bottom of Division Two in both seasons. McCulloch however had good form, top scoring in both seasons, notching 30 goals in 68 matches in all competitions. It was at this time that he was called up for his only cap for the Scotland under-23 team, his Scottish parentage making him eligible even though he was born in England. Cardiff won the Welsh Cup in both seasons that McCulloch played there, qualifying them for the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and in September 1973 McCulloch played against Sporting Clube de Portugal in the two-legged first round tie of the cup which Cardiff lost 2–1 on aggregate to give him his only experience of European football in his career. In July 1974 he moved to another Second Division side, Oxford United in a £70,000 deal, he had a fairly disappointing time at Oxford with the team relegated in his second season (1975–76) and McCulloch making only 12 League appearances.
With his career stalling McCulloch was forced to drop down to Division Four in his next move when he joined Brentford in March 1976 for a club record £25000 fee. His move to The Bees rejuvenated his career although it was not until his second full season (1977–78) that things really started to happen when Brentford achieved promotion with McCulloch scoring 22 goals in 45 League appearances and forming a fine striking partnership with Steve Phillips who contributed an excellent 32 goals. In the Summer of 1978 McCulloch was loaned out to Oakland Stompers of the North American Soccer League where he made 18 appearances, scoring three goals with one assist. Back at Brentford for the 1978–79 campaign, the team consolidated their position in Division Three with McCulloch contributing 13 goals.
McCulloch's time as a Brentford player came to an end in May 1979 when he was persuaded to join Third Division Sheffield Wednesday. Wednesday manager Jack Charlton was looking for a target man to partner Terry Curran in The Owls forward line and saw McCulloch as the ideal man. Charlton was working as a pundit for ITV on the 1979 FA Cup Final and met McCulloch on the Wembley gantry and agreed a deal which went through officially the following month. Jack Charlton, who had a tendency to get mixed up over his player’s names often referred to McCulloch as “Ian”, confusing him with Notts County’s Scottish winger Iain McCulloch. The McCulloch-Curran partnership contributed 34 goals in the following 1979–80 season as Wednesday were promoted.
1980–81 saw McCulloch as Wednesday's top scorer in their return to Division Two. In his final two years at Hillsborough he acted as a foil for Gary Bannister in the Wednesday attack, with Bannister scoring most of the goals and taking much of the glory, however Andy contributed seven goals in both campaigns. McCulloch played in the 1983 FA Cup semi final at Highbury when Wednesday were defeated by Brighton. In August 1983 McCulloch was sold to Crystal Palace for a fee of £20,000 as new manager Howard Wilkinson brought in Imre Varadi to partner Bannister.
At the end of his contract at Sheffield Wednesday McCulloch returned to the south of England to play for Crystal Palace for a season. In April 1984 he returned to Hillsborough to play for Crystal Palace in a League match and received a standing ovation from the supporters, McCulloch has said this is one of his fondest memories of his playing days. He played the 1984–85 season with Aldershot but picked up a bad knee injury and this forced him to end his playing career at the age of 35. On retiring he worked for a company that cleaned household upholstery and hotel rooms and in 1989, opened his own cleaning business, Cardinal Cleaning in Molesey, Surrey doing the same line of work. The firm is still flourishing today having contracts to clean many big London hotels as well as individual customers. McCulloch is still involved in football being the manager of part-time Esher United of the Kingston District League.
BrentfordFootball League Fourth Division fourth-place promotion: 1977–78
Brentford Supporters' Player of the Year: 1977–78
Brentford Players' Player of the Year: 1977–78