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Duncan McKenzie
Right midfielder
1976-78

  Mick Lyons

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Duncan McKenzie was exactly the type of player fans anywhere will pay money to watch.  He had the ability to mesmerise defenders with uncanny sleight of foot; he was a sublimely talented individual capable of running rings around the most astute of defenders.  However, despite his incredible skills, he could be an immensely frustrating player to play with. 

A mazy run through the defence might well delight the fans but, when it ends with the player wasting the opportunity by running into trouble, it invariably annoys team-mates who have made runs into space for a pass.  There were those who felt that McKenzie would have been better-suited to a circus ring than a football pitch, and his off-field antics did nothing to convince them otherwise.  He was well-know for flamboyant stunts involving leaping over cars, or juggling as many balls as he could handle.

Of course he wasn't the first player of this ilk – George Best's career was as famous for its disasters as its triumphs; and neither was he the last – both Arsenal and Everton fans wondered at the mindboggling ability of Anders Limpar, and wondered at his mindboggling inability to display it consistently.  

To be fair to McKenzie, it is impossible to say how his career at Everton would have turned out under different circumstances.  He was signed by Billy Bingham from Belgian side Anderlecht for 200,000 in December 1976, but Bingham was sacked and replaced by Gordon Lee just a month later.  McKenzie and Lee had their differences, probably with the result that McKenzie didn't have as free a role as would have suited him.  Inevitably, perhaps, they led to his departure, but not before he had turned in some admirable performances – a notable game being the 1977 FA Cup semi-final v Liverpool.

He left in September that year for Chelsea where, much like the rest of his career, he dazzled the fans but still failed to make the most of his rare talents.


MCKENZIE, DUNCAN
10/6/50 Grimsby
Lge apps 48, total 61 (1)
Lge gls 7, total 14

This page Richard Pike & Marko Poutiainen 1999.

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