John McGovern

John McGovern (1949- )


Clubs: Hartlepools United, Derby County,

Leeds United, Nottingham Forest,

Bolton Wanderers.

A combative midfielder and leader on the field, John McGovern was Brian Clough’s first pick at a host of clubs and is best remembered for captaining Nottingham Forest to two European Cups. Although born in Montrose he moved with his family to the north east of England where he joined his first club Hartlepools United in 1965, serving under the legendary management duo of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor. Clough brought McGovern to Derby County in 1968 where he would win the Second Division title in 1969 and the League Championship title in 1972. McGovern followed Clough to Leeds United in 1974 and then Nottingham Forest in 1975.

At Forest he would win promotion from the Second Division during season 1976-77 and incredibly the following season he led Forest to victory in the Football League Championship and the League Cup. In season 1978-79 McGovern won the Charity Shield, the Football League Cup and the first of his European Cups, defeating Swedish side Malmo 1-0 in Munich. In season 1979-80 McGovern won his second successive European Cup, beating Hamburger SV 1-0 in the final in Madrid, and he also lifted the European Super Cup with an aggregate victory over FC Barcelona. Despite experiencing such remarkable levels of success it is surprising that McGovern never won a full Scotland cap although he won representative honours at Under 23 level.