Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Supermac on TV Superstars; 40 Years Ago This Week, Malcolm Macdonald Appeared on TV's Superstars and Ran 100m at Olympic Sprinter Pace. DAVE MORTON Looks Back

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Supermac on TV Superstars; 40 Years Ago This Week, Malcolm Macdonald Appeared on TV's Superstars and Ran 100m at Olympic Sprinter Pace. DAVE MORTON Looks Back

Article excerpt

FORTY years ago, Newcastle United centre-forward Malcolm Macdonald was at the peak of his powers.

The free-scoring Londoner, 25 in 1975, had certainly delivered his fair share of joy to the Gallowgate terraces, spearheading a United side that could delight - and infuriate - and which was full of big talents like Terry Hibbitt, Jimmy Smith and John Tudor.

Already an iconic figure for the Magpies, Supermac was now an England player - famously smashing five against Cyprus that same year.

Indeed he was enough of a national household name for comedian Freddie Starr to impersonate him on his TV show.

1990s Toon Scott Sellars this day See He was also quite probably the fastest player ever to wear the black and white stripes of United.

Indeed, in this week 40 years ago, he would also astound BBC1 audiences with a devastating display of sprinting on the popular TV Superstars show.

The show, launched two years earlier, was an allround competition that pitted elite athletes from different sports against one another in a series of athletic events resembling a decathlon.

It was a huge hit, running from 1973 to 1985, before being brought back for a new generation in the 2000s.

Macdonald took part in episode two of the 1975 series in Malmo, Sweden. He remembers it being a swish affair.

"We were picked up at the airport in limos, taken to a great hotel and given a super dinner, surrounded by a bunch of attractive Swedish blonde women who appeared distinctly unimpressed."

Supermac's opposition would be strong.

"There was Harm Kuipers, the Dutch speed skater ; Jochen Mass, the racing driver; and Kiell Johansson NOSTALGIA favourite born on in 1965 Sport the Swedish table tennis player among others. A lot of people saw Kuipers as the favourite. I had other ideas," he recalls.

Macdonald showed his all-round sporting prowess to the millions watching on BBC TV.

Of the eight events Macdonald took part in, he did well at tennis and gymnastics, and won the weightlifting and pistol shooting, where the footballer proved to be a natural. …

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