Frank McAvennie

Frank McAvennie

Frank started his playing career in Scottish Junior League football. His first senior football club was St Mirren.

Good form saw him sign for West Ham United in 1985 and he formed a formidable partnership with young English striker Tony Cottee and help West Ham reach their highest ever position in English football when they came third in the 85/86 season.

He scored 26 goals, one fewer than Gary Lineker, in the English Football League. That West Ham team became known as The Boys of 86.

Frank was selected for the Scotland national team in December 1985 for the World Cup qualifying play-off with Australia. He scored on his debut in a 2-0 win. This helped him to get a called up to the Scotland national team for the 1986 FIFA World Cup, under Alex Ferguson.

In October 1987, he moved back to Scotland with Celtic, for a fee of £750,000, helping them win the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Cup double. The Cup Final was particularly memorable for Frank as he scored two late goals to beat Dundee United 2-1.

Frank then returned to West Ham United the following season in a £1.2m deal and again scored on his debut against Norwich City. According to then Celtic manager Billy McNeill´s autobiography, Frank wanted to return to London and his model girlfriend Jenny Blyth. However Frank claims in his autobiography that Celtic were refusing to pay him a signing fee.

In any event this second spell in London was not as successful as his previous one. After turning down the chance to join the champions that season Arsenal, instead joining West Ham who were relegated the same season.

Things got worse when he suffered a broken leg early in the 1989-90 season, following a challenge by Chris Kamara, which put him out for almost a season. Frank signed off in style at West Ham however, scoring a hat-trick in his final match against Nottingham Forest but West Ham had already been relegated. In 1992, he moved to Aston Villa for a short stay before moving back to Celtic.

Finally he had spells at Swindon Town, Falkirk and his first club, St Mirren before retiring.