Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

In Profile: Willie Donachie

23 October 2014

We take a closer look at the Club's new Assistant Manager.

Glasgow-born Willie Donachie began a long association with football in the 1960s when he came through the ranks with Manchester City, signing professional terms in 1968.

He debuted for City in February 1970 and quickly established himself as the Club’s left-back, going on to earn a full debut for Scotland in 1972 after previously playing for the Under 21s. In total he earned 35 senior caps for his country.

Donachie went on to make over 350 appearances for the Maine Road outfit, including playing in two League Cup finals, before moving to America with Portland Timbers in 1980.

After a season in the States he returned to England with Norwich City who paid £200,000 for his services before rejoining Portland in 1982 for a second spell.

In November 1982 Donachie signed for Burnley and went on to make 80 appearances for The Clarets before joining Oldham Athletic for the start of the 1984/85 campaign.

At Boundary Park he played over 150 league games and also began getting involved in coaching before being appointed Assistant Manager to Joe Royle at Oldham Athletic. The duo went on to enjoy great success at Boundary Park, taking the Club to the Premier League, League Cup Final and the unforgettable FA Cup semi-finals against Manchester United in the 1990s.

Donachie followed Royle to Everton in 1995 before a short spell as First Team Coach at Sheffield United prior to being reunited with Royle at Manchester City in 1997/98.

He stayed on at City for a period under their next manager Kevin Keegan but left to link-up with Terry Yorath at Sheffield Wednesday in November 2001.

Royle took him to Ipswich Town as his assistant in October 2002 and he spent almost four years on the coaching staff at Portman Road before moving on to Millwall as assistant to Nigel Spackman.

When Spackman left the club, Donachie was offered the chance to take caretaker charge and he steered The Lions away from relegation trouble and to a safe mid-table finish before being appointed to the role permanently.

He left in October 2007 and his next assignment was as boss of Antigua and Barbuda, overseeing two games against Cuba before returning to England to take up the post of Assistant Director of Newcastle United’s Academy.

He later took on a role as a development coach at St James’ Park and was working for The Magpies until as recently as February.

Advertisement block