Book launched to mark the centenary of birth of Malcolm ‘Malky’ Macdonald

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The truly incredible but little-known story of Malcolm ‘Malky’ MacDonald, born in humble surroundings in October 1913 and who became one of Scotland’s greatest ever footballers, is told in this ground-breaking new bilingual English/Gaelic book by well-known broadcaster and journalist Alex O’Henley.

Malky played for or managed Celtic, Kilmarnock, Brentford, and Scotland over a career which spanned the 1930s and 1960s. The new book contains many dramatic and previously unpublished photographs.

Malky’s was a remarkable life, born into poverty to parents who were forced to leave their native South Uist to find work and a better standard of living in the industrial ghetto of Garngad.

Ironically, the proximity of Celtic Park, a club founded to feed the poor children of Glasgow’s East End, offered this young Glasgow Gael a way out of destitution and gave him the platform to join the pantheon of truly great players who have pulled on the famous green and white Hoops.

In his obituary for The Herald on September 28th 1999, the doyen of Scottish sportswriters, the late Bob Crampsey, described Malcolm as “a synonym for grace … blessed – or perhaps cursed – with almost an excess of talent … above all the purist’s footballer.”

Alex O’Henley added: “In this the 100th anniversary of his birth it’s appropriate that the memory of Malky, or Calum as he was known to his family and team-mates, is kept alive and brought to a new audience.

“He was one of the greatest players in the first fifty years of Celtic Football Club and were it not for the advent of the Second World War his place in Scottish football folklore, already assured, would surely have been even greater. From humble roots, Malky’s story is one of triumph over adversity and as another son of South Uist it’s one I am proud and privileged to tell.”

This book will appeal to football supporters of all persuasions and anyone interested in 20th century social history in Scotland – from the Gàidhealtachd to Glasgow.