Everyone at Dundee Football Club were saddened to learn of the death of former player Danny Malloy who passed away at the age of 84.
Born in Longcroft, Stirlingshire on November 6th 1930, Malloy joined Dundee in 1950 from Camelon Juniors aged 20 but had to wait three years until he made his first team debut for the Dark Blues.
His debut came on September 12th 1953 at home to Raith Rovers in the Scottish League Championship and he was drafted into the defence from the reserves (where he had started out as a winger) after back to back 4-0 defeats away at Partick Thistle and Falkirk. In front of 23,000 at Dens, Malloy, playing at centre-half alongside Doug Cowie, impressed Dundee manager George Anderson enough in the 0-0 draw to quickly establish himself in the side and become an ever present for the rest of the season.
Malloy was a no nonsense defender who earned himself a reputation as something of a hard man and also became the side’s regular penalty taker. His first goal for the club came from the spot against Aberdeen at Dens on New Year’s Day 1954 when The Dee defeated The Dons 4-2 in front of 28,000 – Jimmy Toner (2) and Billy Steel getting the other goals.
Seven of his eight Dundee goals came from twelve yards but the one goal that wasn’t from the spot was a memorable one as it was the winner in a 1-0 League Cup sectional away at Celtic at Parkhead – a result that gave Dundee a League Cup double over the Parkhead side after a 3-1 win at Dens two weeks earlier.
Malloy was the only ever present for Dundee in season 1954-55 and his impressive displays at the heart of the Dark Blues’ defence earned him a call up for the Scottish League. He lined up against his English counterparts on March 16th 1955 and was part of the side to record a memorable 3-2 win at Hampden n front of 29, 394.
Eight months later however Malloy was on his way out of Dens when signed for Cardiff City in December for the considerable fee of £17,500. Recent wins over Partick, East Fife and Queen of the South in Danny’s last game elevated Dundee to within four points of league leaders Celtic and so the sale of the defender was not a popular one with the fans.
The centre-half had developed into a key man for Dundee and he was regarded as a likely successor to George Young in the Scotland team. His departure was heavily criticised by the fans and despite the balance sheet deficit, it was a move sadly lacking in ambition.
In Cardiff, Malloy became something of a legend, captaining the Bluebirds to promotion to the top tier in 1960 as well as winning two Welsh Cups. He quickly established his reputation as a hard man down south and on January 11th 1958 knocked Middlesbrough striker Brian Clough out with a right hook, after he had been giving Danny some ‘verbals’. Fortunately for Malloy, it was missed by the officials and throughout his entire career he was only sent off once in a reserve game for Dundee against Brechin.
Malloy did return to Dens Park in February 1956 when he played for Scotland in a B international against England and in front of 11,500 the Auld Enemies drew 2-2 with Dundee keeper Bill Brown earning his first international cap.
Malloy went on to become player/manager with Doncaster Rovers during Dundee’s Championship season, the only side he would manage and would later finish his career with Clyde.
For the Dark Blues Malloy made 88 appearances (72 League, 11 League Cup, 5 Scottish Cup) and is fondly remembered by Dundee fans of a certain vintage.
Everyone at Dens Park would like to pass on their condolences to Danny’s family for their loss including to Danny’s son Andy with whom he wrote an excellent biography in 2013 entitled “Memoirs of a Hard Man – The Danny Malloy Story.”