One of Northern Ireland’s most capped players, David McCreery’s distinguished career was heading to its twilight phase when he joined Hearts in the summer of 1989. The Belfast born utility man had started his career at Manchester United, the highlight of which was helping them lift the FA Cup in 1977, defeating Liverpool 2-1 in the final. However, it had been a decade since The Red Devils had won the league championship and in 1979, McCreery joined Queens Park Rangers. After a spell in the North American League, he joined the Kevin Keegan inspired revolution at Newcastle United, playing alongside the former England international to help secure promotion for the Magpies to the top tier of English football in 1984.
Hearts manager Alex MacDonald grabbed the chance to sign the 67 times capped McCreery in 1989. Although he was by now 32 years old, the Ulsterman wasn’t at Tynecastle just to make up the numbers and played in 22 Premier League games that season as Hearts finished in third place in the league.
McCreery was to play a further two years in maroon - although Joe Jordan had replaced MacDonald as Hearts manager a year after McCreery’s arrival, the former Scotland striker quickly realised the important of his former Manchester United colleague.
McCreery’s final game for Hearts was in Gary Mackay’s testimonial game against Everton in May 1991. McCreery joined Hartlepool United before becoming manager of Carlisle United, leading the Cumbrians to a Third Division play-off place. Following a spell as manager at Hartlepool, McCreery headed back across the Atlantic to help develop the MLS league.
Today David McCreery is president of Weldmore Ltd a leading welding and engineering distributor in County Durham.