Stags star told ‘never change’ by Cloughie

Duncan McKenzie in his Leeds United days.
Duncan McKenzie in his Leeds United days.

He’s the former Stags player Brian Clough once told ‘never to change’.

Exciting forward Duncan McKenzie scored 10 goals in 16 appearances at Field Mill during two separate loan spells with the club in the 1970s.

It was that kind of ability that later saw star for the likes of Nottingham Forest, Everton, Leeds and Chelsea as well as for Anderlecht in Belgium and in the United States - and prompted Cloughie’s unexpected remark.

“It was when Brian had been sacked after his famously brief reign at Leeds,” explained McKenzie.

“He called me out to meet him at a pub in Ockbrook and said: ‘Don’t be late’.” I made sure I wasn’t!

“He told to make sure that I never stopped doing the fancy flicks and tricks I tried - to never change - and I never did.

“It was people like that, who let me play my own game, who got the best out of me.

“I think he tried to buy me when he went on to manage Forest, but I got in the Leeds team and started scoring a few goals.”

It’s just one of the nostalgic stories that have made McKenzie (63) a popular after dinner speaker and now matchday ambassador at Everton. Guests at the Hall-Fast Charity Ball at the John Fretwell Centre, Sookholme, where he will appear on 9th May, are sure to be entertained.

The event is being held as part of the Mansfield firm’s drive to raise £40,000 for Fountaindale School.

McKenzie added: “It’s a fantastic charity that the money is being raised for.

“The people who work with the children are tremendously patient, do a terrific job and can only be admired.”

McKenzie cites Johnny Quigley as his mentor during his time at Mansfield. “He picked me up for training and taught me the dos and don’ts,” he said.

“Sandy Pate was there as well, I remember him being Mr Mansfield, and Jimmy McCaffrey went on to be best man at my wedding.”

“There was Jock Basford who was one of my managers - he was the definition of old school and had a Brylcreamed side parting - and chairman Arthur Patrick who drove a Jensen Interceptor.”