Ian McCall (footballer)

Ian Holland McCall (born 30 September 1964) is a Scottish former football player and coach, who is currently the manager of Partick Thistle. During his playing days McCall played for Queen's Park, Dunfermline Athletic, Rangers, Bradford City, Dundee, Falkirk, Hamilton Academical, Happy Valley, Partick Thistle and Clydebank.

Ian McCall
Personal information
Full name Ian Holland McCall[1]
Date of birth (1964-09-30) 30 September 1964 (age 56)
Place of birth Dumfries, Scotland
Position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Partick Thistle (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1983–1986 Queen's Park 66 (9)
1986–1987 Dunfermline Athletic 47 (8)
1987–1989 Rangers 21 (2)
1989–1990 Bradford City 12 (1)
1990–1991 Dunfermline Athletic 38 (5)
1991–1992 Dundee 27 (9)
1992–1994 Falkirk 75 (9)
1994–1995 Hamilton Academical 6 (1)
1995–1996 Happy Valley ? (?)
1996–1997 Partick Thistle 7 (0)
1997–1998 Clydebank 21 (1)
Total 320 (45)
Teams managed
1997–2000 Clydebank
2000 Greenock Morton
2001–2002 Airdrieonians
2002–2003 Falkirk
2003–2005 Dundee United
2005–2007 Queen of the South
2007–2011 Partick Thistle
2015–2019 Ayr United
2019– Partick Thistle
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

He then began an extensive managerial career, mostly in the lower leagues of Scotland starting with Clydebank, Greenock Morton, Airdrieonians, Falkirk, Dundee United, Queen of the South, Partick Thistle and Ayr United.

Playing career

Ian McCall was born in Dumfries, Scotland. In his boyhood, he was a regular on the Palmerston terraces watching Queen of the South. His hopes of playing for his home town club were dashed, though, by then chairman Willie Harkness. "I played a trial game for the club, and thought I did reasonably well," McCall recalls. "Drew Busby was the manager, but I was told by Willie Harkness I might not make the grade. Instead I went to Queen's Park, and then three years after that was sold to Rangers for £250,000."[2]

McCall began his career as a midfielder for Queen's Park in 1983, then was with Dunfermline Athletic from 1986 to 1987, and Rangers from 1987 to 1990. He was transferred to Bradford City for £200,000 before rejoining Dunfermline. His playing career also included spells with Dundee, Falkirk, Hamilton Academical, Happy Valley in Hong Kong and Partick Thistle back in Scotland. His final club as a player was Clydebank, where he became player-manager during the 1997–98 season.

McCall never made more than 75 league appearances in a single spell for one club. He made 85 league appearances for Dunfermline broken over two separate periods with the Fife club.

Managerial career

His spell at Clydebank took place against the backdrop of an abortive scheme to relocate the club to Dublin.

In 17 games in charge at Morton, McCall achieved five wins and 9 defeats.

This was followed by a move to Airdrieonians. Airdrie challenged for promotion to the Scottish Premier League before the club's extinction in 2002, making McCall the last manager in the club's history. McCall won 23 of his 65 games in charge.

A spell, at Falkirk,[3] with the best win rate of his managerial career, led to McCall twice being offered the manager's job at Dundee United, which he finally accepted in January 2003. In McCall's first top flight managerial season the Tayside Club achieved a top-6 finish, but in the following season with the club in a relegation battle he was sacked in March 2005.

In November 2005, Ian McCall returned to management with his home town club Queen of the South. After a less than auspicious start to his reign as Queen of the South manager, the Palmerston outfit enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence in the early months of 2006, finally securing eight position in the league and thus avoiding having to play-off to maintain first division status. 2006/07 provided a second relegation battle. Allan Jenkins scored the Stranraer winner on a 2 January South West relegation derby leaving Queens firmly in the play off spot that was ninth place.[4] However Jenkins was sold to Gretna 10 days later.[5] Stranraer's league form imploded immediately recording only one other league win from then until the season's end.[4] Despite narrowly avoiding relegation, Ian McCall was sacked by Queen of the South, with his assistant Gordon Chisholm taking over. His departure from Queen of the South was in bitter circumstances. McCall fielded an ineligible player in Jamie Adams in a Scottish Cup run early in 2007. Queens were fined £20,000 by the SFA. Chairman Davie Rae described the fine as, "A considerable sum".[6] McCall's departure from Queens was at the season's end.[7] In 70 games in charge McCall notched 19 wins.

He became manager of Partick Thistle in May 2007.[7] staying until 15 April 2011 when he departed after achieving 70 wins from 179 games in charge. In his first season in charge, McCall largely rebuilt the squad, bringing in players such as Marc Twaddle, Gary Harkins and Liam Buchanan, each of whom would go on to serve with distinction at the club.

After three years out of the game, McCall was appointed manager of Ayr United in January 2015.[8] He led the "Honest Men" to promotion to the Scottish Championship through the play-offs in May 2016. They were relegated the following season in May 2017. McCall then led an instant promotion back to the second tier in the following season by winning the Scottish League One title. Ayr reached the promotion playoffs in 2018–19. McCall left the club in September 2019 to join Partick Thistle.[9]

Media work

McCall has worked for a number of years as a media pundit. McCall commented, "I can't really slag my bosses at the BBC because they're my pals."[2]

Personal life

McCall lives in Glasgow. He has a son, called Edson from a previous marriage.[10][11]

Honours and achievements




Ayr United
Partick Thistle


Managerial statistics

As of match played 20 July 2021
Team From To Record
Clydebank 1996 2000 113 36 31 46 031.86
Greenock Morton 2000 2000 17 5 3 9 029.41
Airdrieonians 2001 2002 65 23 25 17 035.38
Falkirk 2002 2003 30 18 9 3 060.00
Dundee United 2003 2005 92 28 24 40 030.43
Queen of the South 2005 2007 70 19 24 27 027.14
Partick Thistle 2007 2011 179 70 46 63 039.11
Ayr United 2015 2019 217 100 44 73 046.08
Partick Thistle 2019 Present 58 24 15 19 041.38
Total 728 287 190 251 039.42


  1. "Ian McCall". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  2. "DOWN HOME BOY For a man of only 41 he may have been round the block" – Sunday Herald, 18 February 2007
  3. "Falkirk Football Historian: Falkirk FC Managers".
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 September 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) "Stranraer results 2005/2006"
  5. Allan Jenkins at Soccerbase
  6. "Queens hit by £20,000 fine".
  7. "Glasgow - Daily Record". Archived from the original on 18 May 2010.
  8. "Ian McCall named new manager of struggling League 1 side Ayr United". STV Sport. STV. 5 January 2015. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  9. "Partick Thistle: Ian McCall appointed manager after Ayr United exit". BBC Sport. 23 September 2019. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  10. http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/providing-the-home-support-1-546565
  11. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/partick-thistle-boss-ian-mccall-1009168
  12. McKinney, David (13 December 1993). "Football: Falkirk find their fire". The Independent. London. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  13. "Stirlingshire Cup". SFHA. 2 July 2020. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  14. "McCall lands League 1 award". SPFL. 2 June 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
    "LEAGUE 1 AWARDS DOUBLE FOR AYR UNITED". SPFL. 9 May 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
    "MCCALL NAMED LEAGUE 1 MANAGER OF YEAR". SPFL. 21 May 2021. Retrieved 21 May 2021.