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John McDermott (English footballer)

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Full name  John McDermott
Name  John McDermott
Current team  Harrogate Town F.C.
1987–2007  Grimsby Town
Playing position  Defender
Years  Team
Height  1.7 m
Role  English footballer

John McDermott (English footballer) Replay Football Grimsby Town John McDermott

Date of birth  (1969-02-03) 3 February 1969 (age 46)

Place of birth  Middlesbrough, England

John McDermott (born 3 February 1969) is an English former professional footballer and manager of Alfreton Town.


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As a player, he was a right-back from 1987 to 2007, spending his entire 20-year playing career at Grimsby Town, and holds the club's all-time appearance record, having played 647 league games, 754 games overall for the Mariners. He is one of only 17 players in the history of English football to play more than 600 Football League matches for a single club. Upon retirement McDermott moved into coaching at the Grimsby Institute before he was appointed assistant manager at Harrogate Town in 2010. McDermott was appointed as manager of Alfreton Town in May 2017.

Playing career

He was released at apprentice level. However, when the apprenticeship scheme was revamped he was re-signed as a trainee at Grimsby Town and after 13 appearances in the Second Division he signed professional terms. At the start of McDermott's career he was a utility player but then established himself as a regular right-back for the Mariners.

Over the decades he was seen by many as a consistent performer as he won Grimsby Town 'Player of the Year' a record three times. In 1994 McDermott suffered an injury and was injured for nine months. He regained his place in the team in 1996 and was quickly becoming one of the most respected defenders outside the Premier League and was linked with moves to Sunderland AFC and Ipswich Town but did not leave his beloved Grimsby Town. One of his famous quotes on the situation of present-day footballers is:

"If someone would rather sit in the reserves at a big club and drive around in a Ferrari rather than going out on-loan and playing, then I think it's a sad day."

There was a time where he was expected to move to fierce rivals Hull, but the deal never materialised.

He was appointed captain by player/manager Paul Groves, and won BBC Radio Humberside 'Sports personality of the year' award. Other great memories for him included the win over Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup. Further highlights followed in the 2005–06 season as he had his second testimonial against local rivals Hull City and was included in Four Four Two magazine's list of the top 50 players outside the Premier League.

Throughout his 20-year career, McDermott has experienced promotion or relegation nine times. He considers his Man of The Match award in the Auto Windscreens Shield victory in 1998 to be the highlight of his career.

McDermott was described by one Grimsby Town fanzine as a defender who 'defends without tackling'; meant as a compliment to his ability to shackle opposition strikers without committing fouls.


McDermott announced on 20 December 2006 that he would retire at the end of the 2006–07 season. McDermott played his final home game for Grimsby on 29 April 2007 against local rivals Lincoln City. The game finished 0–0. McDermott made his final appearance for Grimsby away to Shrewsbury, the final league game of the season, and coincidentally Shrewsbury's final league game at Gay Meadow. McDermott was substituted in the 73rd minute as Grimsby fought out a 2–2 draw. Upon leaving the field, play paused briefly as both sets of fans applauded McDermott off the field.

McDermott's autobiography It's Not All Black & White, went on sale in August 2013. Co-written by Simon Ashberry, the book is published by The History Press. He took part in two events to mark the launch of the book - An Evening With John McDermott hosted by the Mariners Trust at Grimsby Town and a book signing sessions at Waterstones in Grimsby.

Coaching career

In July 2007, McDermott applied for the vacant manager's job at Boston United but was overlooked for the position, and United in turn appointed Tommy Taylor. In October 2008 McDermott distanced himself from speculation linking him to managing Grimsby Town after the sacking of Alan Buckley. McDermott then turned to coaching the Grimsby Institute Academy male and female football teams.

On 26 April 2009, McDermott won the PFA Merit Award, one of the highest accolades in the game. In October 2009, he was once again linked with the vacant managers post at Grimsby following the sacking of Mike Newell. This time McDermott as well as Dean Windass expressed a desire to take the job. McDermott was appointed assistant manager of Harrogate Town ahead of the 2010–11 season. In 2016 he became the Director of Football at Cleethorpes Town before being named as Alfreton Town manager in May 2017.

Grimsby Town

  • Division Four runners up, Promoted: 1990
  • Division Three 3rd place, Promoted: 1991
  • Auto Windscreens Shield winner: 1998
  • Second Division playoff winner: 1998
  • Coca Cola League Two Play-off runner up: 2005-06
  • Supporters Player of the Year: 2005
  • Supporters Young Player of the Year: 1987, 1990, 1992
  • Grimsby Town FC Special Achievement Award: 2007
  • PFA Merit Award: 2009
  • References

    John McDermott (English footballer) Wikipedia