GLF 43: Willie McVie - A Legend of My Time

Last updated : 16 August 2017 By GLF

Graham shares his thoughts about one of his heroes.


Willie McVie - A Legend of My Time

This is truly a legend of my teenage days rather than anyone in the last 10 years or so. Willie McVie was a bit of a hero to me as he played Centre Half and had bushy curly, hair and was also a bit of hard man on the park. Sadly when I was playing school and BB football in the late seventies this is who I thought I was, and on occasion when we were playing against "wee boys" at Watsonville for the BBs I would tell them I WAS Willie McVie (we can all dream!).

Willie joined the Well from Clyde, for the princely sum of £35,000 in 1975 for the start of the Premier League in 1975/76 season. He joined up with a home grown youngster (Gregor Stevens) in the heart of the defence and what a formidable twosome they were as they scared the living daylights out of any forward who came near! In this first season of the Premier League season we finished fourth and just missed out on a European place, in a season where Aberdeen and Dundee Utd narrowly missed relegation.

He stayed with the 'Well for four years, all of them in the Premier League, albeit the last of them saw us relegated to the First Division. This was after playing in the most heartbreaking Cup semi final I can ever remember as we lost 2-3 to Rangers at Hampden in 1976. We were coasting at 2-0 up with goals from McLaren and Pettigrew in the first half, but in the second half we caved in after one of the worst penalty decisions of all time!

When he moved on he moved to the United States to play in the NASL in 1979 for the Toronto Blizzards. Where some of his opponents would include names such as Pele and Beckenbaur, none of this would impress Willie as they would have been booted up and down the park no matter who they were!!

Sadly there was to be one blot on his career when he returned from America he chose to sign for Hearts!! This almost put an end to the hero worship, but there will always be a bit of the McVie style in me when I play five a sides, even now!!

Graham Barnstaple


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