The Sunderland Echo reports tonight that Joe McDonald, one of the last of SAFC’s ‘Bank of England’ side from the 1950’s, has died.
Left-back Mr McDonald signed for Sunderland in 1954 and made 137 appearances for SAFC, scoring one goal against Portsmouth, as part of a 3-3 draw, where his performance was described as “inspirational”, and during his career was known as “the gentleman of soccer”.
He became part of then manager Bill Murray’s core squad for the 1955/56 season of Fraser, Hedley, McDonald, Anderson, Daniel, Aitken, Bingham, Fleming, Purdon, Chisolm, Elliott and Shackleton, when the club finished 9th in the league and reached the FA Cup Final.
He was capped twice for Scotland and left Sunderland after four years, signing on for Nottingham Forest for a fee of £5,000 – his departure coming at around the same time as SAFC’s first ever relegation.
At the end of his playing career he went on to manage Yeovil Town for several years, eventually emigrating to Australia in the 80’s, settling in Adelaide.
Mr McDonald died peacefully in his sleep after a long illness, and is survived by his wife Eileen, and daughters Alison and Lisa.
His family have requested that any donations should be made to his favourite charity, Camp Quality – a residential camp for under-privileged children in Australia. Donations can be sent to Mrs McDonald at 20 Mowbray Crescent, Fairview Park, South Australia, SW126.