M is for McGoldrick
After more than 100 appearances as a Cobblers player, Eddie McGoldrick enjoyed an impressive career at the top of the football pyramid, playing for Crystal Palace, Arsenal, Manchester City and the Republic of Ireland national team – earning 15 caps and a spot in the 1994 World Cup squad.
The attacking midfielder of Irish descent was born in London and made his first steps in the game as a teenage prodigy for Northamptonshire-based non-league side Kettering Town. After becoming a centurion at the club in three years, he moved on to Nuneaton Borough, before a deal with the Cobblers took him to the fourth tier in 1986.
In his first season in the English Football League, McGoldrick helped the runaway Cobblers clock up 99 points and lift a first league title in more than 20 years. His efforts in the division above saw the club finish sixth in the following season, and received attention from top-flight side Crystal Palace, who acquired McGoldrick’s services in January 1989.
Having completed the rest of that season as an Eagles player, McGoldrick stayed four more campaigns and featured 189 times in all competitions, scoring 16 goals. He helped Palace win the Full Members Cup and finish third in the 1990/91 league campaign – the club’s best finish in the football pyramid.
McGoldrick then signed for Arsenal in 1993, and despite a mid-season injury, made 27 appearances in his first campaign, including the side’s victorious UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup Final. Restricted minutes in the following two years resulted in a loan and eventual transfer to Manchester City.
After a short loan to Stockport County and 39 appearances for City, he finished his playing career back in Northamptonshire as player-manager at Corby Town and has since worked with youth teams at the Cobblers and Palace, as well as FCV Academy. Now, McGoldrick is the head coach of the Crystal Palace Foundation Academy, while operating as Head of Football at a secondary school in Northampton.