I attended this event last night at a bar in Nottingham where I live. He was great, really funny and entertaining. He did talk a lot about Forest (given where we were) but also Everton.
A few snippets:
- A joke about Rooney's education (or lack thereof).
- He's still very slim; I could not believe how slight he was really.
- When he spoke about Everton, it was obvious how much he'd loved it. He said how long he had worked there, and only left as had had "fallen out" with someone. Anyone know who this was?
- I did manage to ask him for his favourite memory – it was a bittersweet one: the Clive Thomas semi-final.
Reader Comments (24)
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1 Posted 08/12/2018 at 11:03:42
I haven't seen him at a game for ages which is explained by him having fallen out with someone – no idea who or why.
He had sublime skill and knew how to score goals – he could have done much better in his playing career with more application but he was a true maverick and marvellously entertaining on his day.
2 Posted 08/12/2018 at 14:23:01
3 Posted 08/12/2018 at 14:24:18
4 Posted 08/12/2018 at 14:55:19
5 Posted 08/12/2018 at 15:08:41
He was signed the same day as Bruce Rioch, a Friday, and we lost 4-2 the next day at Coventry.
I think he married Archie Styles's sister and lived in Liverpool for many years. I saw him at a funeral in St Mathews last year for a well known Everton fan.
6 Posted 08/12/2018 at 15:40:04
Smith could hardly get near him, and there was one particular memorable bit where we had a goal kick, and the ball was dropping towards the centre spot where McKenzie was marked by Smith. McKenzie trapped the ball before it hit the ground, flicked it up over his shoulder, turned gracefully, and sped off leaving Smith flailing around. It was wonderful.
I thought McKenzie was a fantastic player, incredibly entertaining, and I seem to recall he fell out of favour when Gordon Lee took over. McKenzie was no doubt a bit 'too fancy' for Lee's brand of football.
7 Posted 08/12/2018 at 15:40:48
Not sure if Mr Magic was ever an official 'ambassador' as an ex-player at the club to do the meet and greet thing other former players are tasked with.
His style of football and maverick personality was never going to be a good fit with Gordon Lee and that fallout 'twixt player and manager is common knowledge.
8 Posted 08/12/2018 at 16:05:27
Derek Mountfield and Kevin Ratcliffe are good examples of guys deemed to be too dangerous to be lounge hosts because they think for themselves. Whenever they are/were in a lounge, there was always a “minder” nearby to report back on anything they said.
9 Posted 08/12/2018 at 16:18:02
10 Posted 08/12/2018 at 16:45:05
11 Posted 08/12/2018 at 18:25:45
I did mean more recently – sounded like he had some kind of role until then...
It's made me go look up some clips – fantastic. The one against Stoke where the commentator reckons the ref's blown just to give Stoke a chance!
12 Posted 08/12/2018 at 18:54:08
I recall that incident described by Stan in the semi-final against Liverpool; Smith spent the whole game trying to nail Duncan but couldn't get near him. All the adjectives in the comments are valid but perhaps none more so than “maverick”. Duncan was and is his own man and Lee just couldn't cope with that.
I was devastated when he sold him and Duncan's Everton career had lasted only slightly more than a season's total of appearances. That's why I couldn't go with Colin”s assessment of him being one of the greatest Everton players ever.
Duncan, great player as he undoubtedly was, never stayed anywhere very long and I think is fondly remembered by fans of various clubs as an individual who lit up their teams for a short time.
I was very fortunate to have quite a few one-to-one conversations with Duncan as we both used to take our break during matches in the same place. It was an education for me listening to him talk about the game in progress.
He is also, as Tim says, a very funny bloke. For younger TW readers, if there are any(!), Duncan had some incredible party pieces like being able to jump over a parked car and throw a golf ball the length of a football pitch.
I remember someone in the hierarchy at Everton asked him to desist selling photos of himself jumping over a mini. He was told he was a lounge host and not there to promote himself. The joke was the demand was from the fans and Duncan had to then sell the photo surreptitiously.
13 Posted 08/12/2018 at 19:02:25
14 Posted 08/12/2018 at 20:20:41
Today, those players would grace any team in the world and yet, they only got a handful of England caps between them. What a waste of talent!
15 Posted 08/12/2018 at 20:39:14
Frankenstein, couldn't stomach his skill and spirit, and Duncan became folk lore too early, and went darn surf to The Bridge.
Duncan McKenzie, we all agreed was magic and still is.
16 Posted 09/12/2018 at 10:04:03
17 Posted 09/12/2018 at 16:01:12
Recalling this after he had retired, he said that he had been introduced to the crowd at 10 to 3, and by kick-off, he knew all their names!! Last I heard, he was living in Haydock.
18 Posted 09/12/2018 at 22:55:20
Also, I was at Anfield with my dad when Keith Weller wore white tights. May I also add Charlie George, Peter Osgood and Dudley Tyler to your list.
19 Posted 12/12/2018 at 00:14:01
I was surprised how youthful he looked — until I looked him up later and learned that his career had ended at just 32 years of age.
20 Posted 14/12/2018 at 10:02:49
That was one of the things Lee was always carpeting him about. Heard them having conversations about the possible dire consequences of this habit in the 300/500 bars after games, or various club events I was working on.
21 Posted 14/12/2018 at 10:28:29
As for Gordon, he once said "Give me a team of Mick Lyonses any day, than a team of Duncan Mckenzies." Although I was getting told not so long back by an ex-player that the screaming skull loved him as a fella – just wasn't a fan of his maverick style.
Getting back to Stan's story, the semi-final, I remember Smith being quoted in the Echo most of that week saying he's a circus act, etc and he'd do this and that to him. Yes, that worked, didn't it, beans-on-toast face. Another derby along with the other thousand where we were robbed.
22 Posted 16/12/2018 at 09:06:16
He's definitely someone who brings out good memories in people, as you can tell from this thread.
23 Posted 27/12/2018 at 11:17:17
I chanced upon a video "Maradonas 50 greatest skills". In the first few, he did a Rabona (look it up) and trapped the ball with his arse.
"Phaw" I said, "I saw Alan Ball do both of those things when Maradona was in nappies." The rest I thought was just like watching Duncan (though I will admit Maradona was more aggressive).
I'll just relate two Duncan "moves":
The ball stops and you, the gun striker, runs past the motionless ball and the numpty defender goes with you and leaves the ball. You skip past the wrong-footed dolt. Duncan did that twice in the same move. Ran past the ball taking the defender with him, let him recover, then ran past the ball again, taking the defender with him again, before skipping off with the ball.
Second trick: He picks up the ball. Two defenders come on to him. They stop. He moves to go forward and they lunge forward, but its a faint, they both pull back at the same time leaving a huge gap. Duncan skips through the gap.
He should be skill training the kids.
24 Posted 27/12/2018 at 11:36:03
He's still got the hump with Clive Thomas after all these years.
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