Player name in full: William Donachie
Number of appearances: 431
Goals scored: 2
Born in Glasgow on 5th October 1951 Willie Donachie signed for City in 1968 as a youngster but had to wait until February 1970 to make his first-team debut.
His appearances were limited until March 1971 when he started the last 11 games of the season thus making the left back position his own for the next 8 seasons. He was a league ever present in seasons 1973-74 and 1976-77. In fact, during the other seasons he only missed a handful of games. Donachie was part of the City side that won the League Cup in 1976. He was renowned as a classy and dependable player immensely popular with City fans.
Willie left City in 1979 to join Portland Timbers.
In 1998 Donachie rejoined Manchester City as coach alongside manager Joe Royle. It had been a turbulent time for the club who now found themselves fighting relegation. Unfortunately, they arrived too late to save things and the team were relegated to football’s third tier.
The next season City were inconsistent up until Christmas but they then went on an unbeaten run in the second half of the season which saw the team reach the play offs. They won the famous 1999 playoff final on penalties, the importance of which cannot be overstated as the financial consequences of failure to be promoted would have been unthinkable.
The next season back to back promotions saw City back where they belonged in the Premier League.
Wille left City at the end of the following season when City were unfortunately relegated again.
Internationally, Willie was an elegant defender who won 35 caps for Scotland. He was in the Scotland squads for the 1974 and 1978 World Cup finals.
Non-City career (briefly):
In March 1980 Donachie joined Portland Timbers who played in the North American Soccer League. He later joined Norwich and Burnley before finishing his career at Oldham. At Oldham he became player-assistant manager to another former Blue, Joe Royle, helping the club to their most successful period in their history. Willie followed Royle to Everton, where they won the FA Cup.
Willie has subsequently held several coaching roles, and as of 2020 is manager of the Montserrat national football team.