Best in the world returns to the Turf

Last updated : 28 January 2005 By Tony Scholes

Colin McDonald was the first choice keeper then for England having established himself as Burnley’s number one some four years earlier. He was a keeper who never seemed to make the spectacular save but was always so well positioned he hardly needed to.

As the Burnley side moved towards the pinnacle of English football they were confident that they had such a top and reliable player and the whole world looked up as he turned in some magnificent performances during that World Cup.

He made 201 first team appearances for the Clarets but when he kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 win against West Ham on 14th March 1959 no one could have believed it would be his last game for Burnley.

Three days later he broke a leg playing for the Football League against the League of Ireland in Dublin and he was never to play again. Complications set in and he contracted pneumonia and although he did play again in the reserves he was forced to retire from the game as a player.

For many years after he was involved in the game, both coaching and scouting, with clubs such as Bury, Oldham and Tranmere benefiting from his experience.

McDonald, a quiet man, is now retired at the age of 74 but he makes a return to Turf Moor tomorrow, the world’s number one goalkeeper and a Claret.