Clive Hayward – @Byehorse
Clive discusses the departing Shaun Mac
It’s better to have loved and lost than not have loved at all.
Shaun MacDonald leaves Torquay with my best wishes. His return to the club was unfortunately measured in months rather than years, but he didn’t half make his mark and should now kick on to good things.
I hope so, because the likeable Geordie dug us out of the manure last Autumn with immediate assurance which spread throughout a backline that had been leakier than a colander full of cock-a-leekie soup.
As we will all recall, our post-playoff trauma was heightened by the cataclysmically atrocious start to the season made by the newly-signed Mark “2 Year Deal” Halstead.
The Return of the Mack was as unexpected as it was successful. He had departed in the wake of Ashton Gate: unhappy at having become second choice behind Lucas Covolan and with the money he had been offered to re-sign. He was reputedly thinking about a career in the fire service. He certainly had a blaze to put out when he put the gloves back on in September. His effect was immediate, and permanent. He kept a clean sheet in his first game back (Southend at home). We became much more difficult to beat, and the figures are striking:
First 6 league games (Mac on the beach):
Played Won Drawn Lost Goals Conceded Goals Conceded Per Game
6 1 1 4 16 2.67
Next 37 league games (Mac in the sticks)
Played Won Drawn Lost Goals Conceded Goals Comceded Per Game
37 17 10 10 37 1.00
There’s not too much else to say.
Shaun had joined us in 2018 for a crack at regional football and- doubtless- the chance of a sun tan, having moved down from the North East where he had failed to make much of an impression with Gateshead or Blyth Spartans.
He was an ok addition to the squad, frequently having nothing to do as the likes of Jamie Reid, Saiko Janneh and Kalvin Kalala ran rings around the hod-carriers and electricians of the sixth tier.
By the summer of 2021 he was being kept out of the side by the Port Vale bound Samba Stopper and it looked like he may have burned his bridges. How lucky we were that Gary Johnson gave him another chance and that he was keen to take it.
I don’t remember there being too many Shaun MacDonald songs, and it’s clearly too late now. You know what though: I’m going to run some up the flagpole anyway & see who salutes.
With apologies to Martha Reeves & The Vandellas: “Shauny, Shauny, oh Shauny Mac, when are you coming back?”
The aforementioned Mark Morrison’s: “Return of the Mack”
Well, with enormous apologies to The Proclaimers and to Elvis (about whom this song was written)-
“Shaun I’d say the best one came from Tupelo Mississippi, I’ll tell you now that grown men cry and Irish girls are pretty”.
He was from Newcastle, I know. But I like the song. It’s a better spelling than “Sean” too!