Bangor City recently interviewed former Northern Ireland, Leeds United, Watford and Glasgow Rangers player John McClelland when he watched his former club Bangor City in the Welsh premier game against Carmarthen.
John McClelland joined Bangor City in 1976 after being released by Cardiff, initially signing for Bangor as a forward McClelland went 15 games without scoring, he was working in a fish factory in Caernarfon, dropped from the first team and was on the verge of being sacked, until Bangor, who were facing a game without a recognised centre half, gave McClelland a second chance.
McClelland never looked back, the following season, 1977/78, Bangor reached the Welsh Cup Final (losing to Wrexham) and finished 3rd in the Northern Premier League narrowly missing out on promotion to the football league on the basis that Wigan had a better ground. McClelland who enjoyed an impeccable season at Bangor was then transferred to 3rd division Mansfield Town £10,000.
After making 125 appearances for Mansfield, McClelland transferred to Glasgow Rangers for £90,000, where he won two Scottish League Cup winner’s medals, and was twice a Scottish Cup runner up.
Called into the Northern Ireland team McClelland went onto win 56 caps for his country, appearing at two World Cup Finals in Spain (1982) and Mexico (1986)
In November 1984 Watford paid £225,000 to sign McClelland and during his five years at Vicarage Road he was voted Watford Player of the Season twice. He later played for Leeds United, where he played 18 times as Leeds won the Football League First Division title in the 1991–92 season.
Asked about his memories of Bangor City, McClelland recalled the unenviable accolade of scoring 3 own goals while at Bangor City in a game at Stafford Rangers, he said: “I worked in the old C&A Hospital (in Bangor) the practical jokers cut out the headline “McClelland Nightmare” and stuck it everywhere I went, even on the back of the toilet door!”