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Stephen Joseph McMahon (b. 20 August 1961, Halewoodmarker, Liverpoolmarker) is an Englishmarker former football midfielder who most notably played for Liverpool in the late 1980s. He is currently a football pundit for an Asia-based sports broadcaster ESPN Star Sports.

Playing career

McMahon started his career at Everton, the club he supported as a boy, playing for them as a teenager after appearing at Goodison Parkmarker as a ball boy. He made his league debut on 16 August 1980 in the 3-1 defeat to Sunderland at Roker Parkmarker, he went on to be voted the supporters player of the year by the end of the 1980/81 season. His commanding presence in the Toffees midfield earned him the captaincy of the club but Everton's lack of success couldn't quench his thirst for honours, so after 4 seasons which included 100 league appearances and 11 league goals McMahon was on the move.

He joined Aston Villa on 20 May 1983 for £175,000 (apparently rejecting a move to Liverpool in order to stay in the good books of the Evertonians), he made his league debut on 27 August 1983 in the 4-3 [derby win over West Bromwich Albion at Villa Parkmarker. McMahon settled quickly and established himself in the heart of the Villains midfield. However the success he craved never materialised with Villa finishing a disappointing 10th in his first season at the club, and to confound matters his previous club, Everton, finished 3 places above them in 7th spot. The following season, 1984/85, ended up worse than the previous one as Villa finished in 10th spot again, only this time Everton won the title.

McMahon agreed to join Liverpool on the 12 September 1985 for £350,000 thus becoming the first signing to be made by new manager Kenny Dalglish, and filling the void left by Graeme Souness over a year earlier. He made his debut 2 days later on the 14th in the 2-2 league draw with Oxford United at the Manor Groundmarker. He didn't have to wait long for his first goal either, it came a week later on the 21 September against his former club, Everton. McMahon's 42nd minute strike turned out to be the winner as the Reds triumphed 3 to 2.

He played a crucial role in Liverpool's "double" winning side of that season, although his joy at winning a League championship medal was tempered slightly by his omission from the side for the FA Cup final which again was ironically against rivals and former club Everton, the first all Merseyside FA Cup final. However, he was more fortunate than the other players left out by Dalglish as McMahon was given the substitute's role and ended up with a winners' medal when Liverpool won 3-1, though he did not get on to the pitch.

The following year, McMahon this time started at Wembleymarker when Liverpool contested the League Cup final against Arsenal. He set up the opening goal for Ian Rush but they ultimately lost the match 2-1. He had earlier scored four goals in Liverpool's record 10-0 victory over Fulham in the same competition. McMahon had also missed a penalty in the same game but scored another hat-trick in the following round against Leicester. In total, he scored nine goals in the League Cup that season, as well as five in the league.

Dalglish reshaped the side the following season, incorporating new signings John Barnes, Peter Beardsley, John Aldridge and Ray Houghton but McMahon remained in the side. By now his reputation as one of the best hardmen in the game was established. Though his tackling was often subjected to scrutiny by the football authorities and criticism from opposing players and managers, there was no doubt that his skills as a footballer were of the highest order.

McMahon scored frequently for a man in his position as Liverpool played some of the best club football ever seen and coasted to the 1988 League title. Memorable strikes included a 30 yard shot against Manchester United and the opener in a crucial Merseyside derby against Everton, although Liverpool only won the latter of those two games. When Liverpool reached the FA Cup final again, McMahon was one of the team's two Scousers (along with Aldridge) obliged to perform a localised rap on the official FA Cup final song Anfield Rap, written in a trend-encapsulating rap and house music style by team-mate Craig Johnston.

The song got to No.3 in the UK charts, but Liverpool surprisingly lost the final at Wembley to Wimbledon. McMahon was afforded the ultimate respect by Vinnie Jones, who said that if he could stop McMahon, then Wimbledon could stop Liverpool.

Later in 1988, McMahon won his first of 17 caps for England. There had been widespread clamouring in the press for manager Bobby Robson to select him, and indeed ITV commentator Brian Moore rapped a verse to that effect on the Cup final song ("Well Steve McMahon sure can rap, it's about time he had an England cap; so come on Bobby Robson, he's your man; 'cause if anyone can, Macca can!") with the last expression repeated in a scratch mix manner to emulate Melle Mel's rap which eulogised Chaka Khan on her 1984 hit I Feel For You. Robson awarded him his debut on the 17 February '88 in a friendly international with Israel in Tel Avivmarker. McMahon played the full 90 minutes along with fellow Reds Barnes and skipper Beardsley but couldn't influence a victory having instead to make do with a goalless draw.

In 1989 McMahon was again a regular fixture as Liverpool again chased a "double" of League and FA Cup. As one of the local lads in the team, he was deeply affected by the Hillsborough disaster during the FA Cup semi-final on the 15 April, he, along with the rest of Liverpool F.C, showed great compassion and attended a number of the funerals. Brian Clough was publicly critical of McMahon afterwards, although many people could understand the scousers determination to propel the Reds into the final which was to be played against Everton, a fitting final in many peoples eyes, he also wanted to bring the famous old trophy back to Anfield as a dedication to the 96 supporters who lost their lives.

Liverpool won the Cup by 3 goals to 2 - McMahon set up the opening goal for Aldridge after just 4 minutes of the final - but they lost the League title in a decider at Anfieldmarker against Arsenal. Television viewers saw McMahon telling his team-mates they were one minute from victory and another "double" and shouting "come on!" to himself as the game's last seconds ticked away, only for Arsenal midfield player Michael Thomas to score Arsenal's late winner and win the championship.

McMahon again played frequently as Liverpool won back the title in 1990 but lost out on another "double" when they were beaten 4-3 by Crystal Palace in a thrilling FA Cup semi-final, in which McMahon scored.

He was then selected by Robson for the England squad which would play in that summer's World Cup in Italymarker. McMahon came on as a substitute in the opening group game against the Republic of Ireland, but was responsible for gifting the Irish side their equaliser in the 1-1 draw - he miscontrolled a ball midway inside his own half of the pitch and Kevin Sheedy, a former Everton team-mate of McMahon's, stole the ball and crashed a shot past Peter Shilton. McMahon started the later group game against Egypt which England won, and then started the second round match against Belgium. He did not do a lot wrong in this game, but fatigue and a tactical change saw him replaced by David Platt, who went on to score a spectacular winner and keep hold of his place right through until the semi-final defeat against West Germany, scoring twice more during the tournament. McMahon did not feature again until the 3rd place play off against Italy. He would play just once more for England after the World Cup, in a Euro 92 qualifier against Republic of Ireland in November 1990.

After playing 15 games of the 1991/1992 McMahon left Liverpool to join Manchester City for £900,000 on Christmas Eve 1991 after playing 276 games, during which time he scored 50 goals.

McMahon made his City debut two days later on Boxing Day in a 2-1 win over Norwich City at Maine Roadmarker.

McMahon played in 87 league matches for the sky blues before an offer to become player-manager of Swindon Town tempted him away from Manchestermarker.

Post-playing career

When he arrived at Swindon in November 1994, they had recently been relegated from the Premiership and were battling against a second successive relegation.

McMahon joined them as they were preparing for a Coca-Cola cup match with Derby. Caretaker manager Andy Rowland picked the team, and the Town progressed to the next round. McMahon took full control for the next game - a league match at Southend - and he picked himself in the starting line-up. The Town lost 2-0, and McMahon was sent off.

McMahon's first victory came with a 2-1 scoreline against top-of-the-table Middlesbrough.

As transfer deadline day approached, rumours were rife that leading goalscorer, Jan Åge Fjørtoft, would be leaving the club - most sources quoting a fee of between £3m and £4m. When the day finally came, Fjørtoft was sold for £1.3m - McMahon saying that no other offers were on the table.

After Fjørtoft left, the goals dried up. The Town failed to score in six of the next eight matches, and were relegated to Division Two. McMahon was quoted as saying the relegation left him "feeling lower than a snake's belly".

The Town bounced back the following season, winning the Second Division championship. McMahon won three manager of the month awards, and the manager of the year. The two top scorers that season were McMahon signings: Wayne Allison, arriving from Bristol City, and Steve Finney, from Manchester City, and the only real problems the Town had were breaking down the opposition's stubborn defence, most sides playing for a draw.

The next two seasons followed similar patterns - a decent start, followed by a poor run-in. In 1996-97, Town held a mid-table position right up until the middle of March, but then scored just two goals in their last ten games - getting thumped 7-0 at Bolton, 5-1 at Oldham and 4-0 at Ipswich in the process - ending up in 19th place.

The following season's demise was far more dramatic. A win at Portsmouth on 31 October 1997 took the Town to the top of the table, a position they held until the middle of November. They remained in a play-off position up until the middle of December, and then won just three of the remaining 24 matches, scoring just twelve goals. Again the Town slumped to huge defeats - 6-0 at Man City, 6-0 at Middlesbrough and 5-0 at Norwich.

When the 1998-99 season kicked off, Town had no wins and just three goals (two of which were own goals) in the first five games, the calls for McMahon's head began to be heard. Chairman Rikki Hunt and McMahon seemed united - McMahon saying he wouldn't resign, Hunt saying he wouldn't sack him. Two consecutive derby wins, against Bristol City and Oxford, only strengthened their position. This was followed by a 5-2 defeat at Portsmouth - and when Watford then won 4-1 at the County Ground, the fans held an on-pitch protest, sitting in the centre circle at the end of the match, demonstrating that both McMahon and Hunt should resign. McMahon left the club "by mutual consent".

His next stop came at Blackpool. He arrived a few months before their relegation to Division Three in the 1999-2000 season, and took them immediate promotion via the play-offs and also won two LDV Vans Trophy in the same year.

McMahon's time at Blackpool was marked by a mixture of sparkling football and mediocrity, often in back to back weeks. Few fans could deny that his sides were amongst the most skillful and entertaining seen at Bloomfield Roadmarker in recent decades on their day, but also questions were asked about the level of commitment McMahon gave to his job. 'Playing golf' seemed to be a regular pass-time of the often entertaining scouser and some fans believed McMahon's sides lacked fitness and discipline. Whatever the truth, McMahon is likely to be remembered more fondly than not by the Tangerine faithful.

He left Blackpool following an argument over funds just before the final game of the 2004 season, having resigned midway through the season, only to burst in on the press conference announcing his decision to withdraw the resignation following a talk with chairman Karl Oyston. He spent his time after Blackpool as a pundit for BBC.

He was signed in early 2005 as the manager of Perth Glory F.C. for the inaugural Australian A-League season. However his tenure at the club was short. A combination of media speculation, poor signings, indifferent form, player discontent, a poor media image and an apparent dispute with the board saw him sacked in December 2005.

In early February 2006, McMahon signed an eighteen-month contract to work as a television pundit for Asia-based ESPN Star Sports, and is currently in the process of extending his contract by three years. It looks like he can continue praising Liverpool's performances despite them being poor at times and torment the viewers talking about Liverpool's zonal defence.[98073]

McMahon placed in 42nd position in the 100 Players Who Shook The Kop poll which asked Red supporters to name the best 100 players of all time.

Profitable Group

McMahon joined Profitable Group on their board of Directors as Group Commercial Director in March 2008 leading the Group's Strategic Sports Investment Division.

It was revealed in the News of the World that the group had tried to purchase his former club, Everton, but were knocked back.

It has also been reported that McMahon has played a part in the Group's rumoured bid for Newcastle United. .

There are 2 sides of the story of why Profitable Group has withdrawn their interests on Newcastle United in late July 2009. Steve McMahon has explained that Profitable Group had ended its interest in buying the club due to a lack of "communication and response" from Mike Ashley.

On the other hand, it is reported that the Singapore-based Profitable Group has shown no proof of funds. Since Profitable Group has shown no proof of funds, their offer was obviously rejected.

The Profitable Group was alleged by some to just be drawing up publicity and any serious involvement by them was met with skepticism by supporters.

Since then, the sports investment division led by Steve McMahon was taken out of the Group's website.


His brother, John McMahon, was an assistant manager of Shrewsbury Town, and was formerly on the coaching staff at Tranmere Rovers and now the current Reserves Manager for Liverpool FC, and his son, Steve McMahon, Jr. is a defender who played for Perth Glory F.C., Blackpool and was loaned out to Kidderminster Harriers in 2004.

Honours as a player

Honours as a manager

See also


External links

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