Ian McNeill

Ian McNeill: 1932-2017

Leicester City Football Club were saddened to hear the news that Ian McNeill, who played nearly 100 games for the Club in the 1950s, passed away on 6 October, 2017.

Glasgow-born Ian was a Scottish Youth international who was signed by Leicester City manager David Halliday from Halliday’s old club Aberdeen in March 1956.

Playing at inside-right alongside such players as Arthur Rowley, Willie Gardiner, Derek Hines and Derek Hogg, Ian was a key member of the 1956/57 side which won the Second Division Title, scoring 18 goals, including a goal towards the end of the season in the first 10 seconds of a match at the home of promotion rivals Nottingham Forest

The following season, Ian’s crucial goal in the last match of the season at St Andrew’s in 1-0 victory over Birmingham City ensured that Leicester City survived in the top flight.

That season he played alongside outside-right Howard Riley who paid tribute to Ian. Howard said: “He was a very skilful player, similar in style to the great Johnny Morris. He was a pleasure to play with. He provided great service to me as a winger. He was a very good humoured and jovial character who was well liked by his fellow professionals.”

Ian left Filbert Street in March 1959, joining Brighton and Hove Albion, before moving to Southend United in 1962. He then managed Ross County to the 1967 Highland League title and had two spells as manager of Wigan Athletic, leading them into the Football League in 1978.

In 1981, he became assistant manager to John Neal at Chelsea, winning promotion to the First Division three years later, as well as being instrumental in signing the likes of David Speedie, Kerry Dixon and Pat Nevin.

Ian was a football man through and through. He also managed Shrewsbury Town as well as being assistant manager at Millwall, and a scout for Bolton Wanderers, Leeds United, and Norwich City. One of his discoveries was Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

Ian will be sadly missed and the Club’s thoughts are with Ian’s family and friends at this sad time.

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