Danny Malloy.


The death was announced yesterday of former City centre half Danny Malloy who spent six years with the club after signing from Dundee in 1955. I’m too young to have seen Danny play for City, but he is someone whose name nearly always crops up when I discuss great City players with those old enough to have seen him turn out for us.

RIP Danny Malloy, b 6/11/1930, d 14/1/15.

RIP Danny Malloy, b 6/11/1930, d 14/1/15.

Under the circumstances, it seems best that I leave it to one of those who grew up watching Malloy play for us, so here’s what regular correspondent Dai Woosnam has to say about him;-

“I saw every home game that Danny Malloy played, and a fair smattering of his away games too. Along with John Charles, Ivor Allchurch and Graham Moore, he was one of the only 4 TRULY GREAT players I saw in a City shirt…I was a bit too young to see Alf Sherwood, other than a couple of games.
Best memory? Not the promotion game against Villa when he spoke from the grandstand to us kids who had spilled on to the pitch in delight. But that amazing game on 28 December 1957 when City were beating LIVERPOOL 5-0 at half time! We kids in the Boys’ Enclosure could not believe it. Nor could manager Trevor Morris as he warned City at half time that “we have not won the game yet!”
And captain Danny famously replied “Och, but we are slight favourites though boss, eh?!”
I remember how after every game, we would run after him for his autograph as he emerged into the car park. His big black car was always gleaming and some boys would put their sweaty fingerprints on it to get their balance, as they jostled for position to get his autograph. And Danny would always sign every one. But the fingerprints would exasperate him. And he would be unable to contain his slight annoyance: he would raise his voice slightly and say “Och, get away from the CAR please laddie!”
Ah, halcyon days indeed.
And the staggering thing is this: for a tenner a week Cardiff let their star player go after the first of the two seasons in the top flight. He was on the then maximum wage of £20 which was abolished that year. He wanted a 50% increase. Bill Jones turned this down by saying “No player is bigger than the club”. (Ah but it turned out that Danny almost WAS !!)
Johnny Haynes was also on the same £20, but that same summer got a staggering 400% increase to become the first £100 a week footballer …and Malloy was every bit as good a footballer, and just as VITAL to the Bluebirds, as Haynes was to Fulham. He wanted a tenner pay rise, not EIGHTY.
We went into the second season with Splott-born Frank Rankmore, who was a decent centre half who looked a bit like Burt Lancaster. But he wasn’t the commanding centre half that Malloy was, and more importantly, was not the LEADER of MEN.
Cardiff have never had such a leader since.
And you know, I genuinely believe that City would have stayed up that second year were Danny at the helm. And who knows? They may then have consolidated and consolidated and done an Arsenal or Everton and never left the top flight since!
All for a tenner! Half a century in the wilderness resulted. Let it be a warning to us all, not to be too parsimonious.”

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11 Responses to Danny Malloy.

  1. Big Al says:

    Great footballer and leader both on and off the field of play.
    R.I.P Danny.
    Big Al

  2. Geoff Lewis says:

    Hi hope you are well and feeling the “blues”. I remember Danny Malloy, he was a great centre half, one of the best to play in a Cardiff shirt.
    I was sixteen at the time back in April 1960, when after beating Aston Villa , on the Saturday to gain promotion to the old First Division, we played Plymouth Argyle the following Tuesday evening.
    I was in the grange end at Ninian Park, right behind the goal- this was a game that did not really mean a great deal to us, but was important to Plymouth as they needed the points to avoid relegation.
    I do believe that Danny helped them on their way, when he gave away a penalty. I think it was in the second half and they beat us 1-0.
    There was a wry smile on his face when he brought the guy down and looked into the crowd.
    Geoff Blue

  3. Dai Woosnam says:

    Thanks, Paul, for doing me the honour of reprinting my memory of Danny.
    The photo you have chosen is an ideal one.
    Well, (a) because it was so true to life.
    And (b) because with it being a close-up, your readers who never saw him play, can realise that barring the hairstyle, he was like an identical twin of Carles Puyol!
    Not just facially.
    But in size, gait and playing style.

  4. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Good to hear from you again Geoff.

    Do I detect another Leyton Orient 1978 (the game where Peter Kitchen scored to keep Orient up against a City team who, being diplomatic, had their minds elsewhere)?

  5. Mike Herbert says:

    Danny Malloy – City Legend?

    Having only recently become aware of your blog, I am enjoying catching up with some of the earlier posts. I remember the late Danny Malloy as a favourite of the fans despite the occasional own goal. He simply gave everything for the team every time he played, which I think is a good starting point for becoming a legend. He bossed the defence in particular as well as the whole team. I remember him as being not very tall for a centre half – though in the immediate post war years I think most players were not as big as those of today! I wanted to check this idea that he was small (possibly 5ft 9ins?) for a centre half and turned to a reference book: Cardiff City 100 Years of Professional Football written by Terry Grandin in 2010. I expected to find Danny listed in the chapter on Legends which includes about 40 playersbut and was disappointed not to find his name. Terry Grandin just includes all players who made 290 appearances (why 290?) or scored 50 goals or more. As the author, it is of course, his prerogative to choose the criteria as to who should count as a legend but it was disappoining none-the-less not to find Danny listed there.

    You could certainly argue that Terry Grandin’s selection is biased against defenders and that the term “legend“ is too readily used. It should take into account a lot more than appearances and goals because on his criteria merely good players like Gary Bell (291 appearances – one over the threshold –perhaps that’s why it was 290! ) and Damon Searle (297 appearances) are Legends while Danny Malloy (225 appearances) is not – though his leadership skills led to his being made captain of the side that won promotion to the old first division in 1960 – something that should count a lot more than mere appearances perhaps?

    To close I would add my partial agreement to Dai Woosnam’s asessment of having seen four truly great players in a City shirt – Ivor Allchurch, John Charles, Graham Moore and Danny Malloy. For myself, I would not include Graham Moore or Danny Malloy as quite at the same level as the others but I would add Trevor Ford to Allchurch and Charles – partly for his goal scoring ratio (59 goals in just 110 appearances), partly because he really excited the crowd every time he got near the opposition keeper (fair shoulder charges were allowed then!) and partly because he played in the first City match I saw: Cardff v Blackpool on 11th February 1956 in the old first division. I had been taken by my father to see the absolutely truly great Stanley Mathews who played for Blackpool (second in the table) and was a hero to supporters of many clubs (football was less tribal then!) but I came away from the game with my own hero – Trevor Ford, who won the match for Cardiff 1-0. Unfortunately for City, Ford was suspended by the FA in 1957 for revealing he had received payments above the legal maximum wage while at Sunderland, though he did later play in Holland.

    PS: I have still failed to find any refernce as to Danny Malloy’s height or lack of it!

  6. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Hello Mike. I agree with so much you say. My own view is that the word “legend” is way too overused these days in football and so, perhaps, my criteria for applying it is too strict – I would say I’ve only seen about ten players the word should be applied to in 52 years of watching the club.

    It certainly should not be applied automatically once someone has reached a certain number of matches. I cannot comment on the two players you mention in particular – I never saw Danny Malloy play and, if I saw Trevor Ford in action, it would have only been in the Charity game that I have a vague childhood recollection of watching him in (it would have been sometime in the mid 60s if my memory isn’t playing tricks with me I’d guess).

    What opinions I’ve got on City players from times before I started supporting the time were based, initially at least, almost entirely on my parents views – Danny Malloy was in the team just after they stopped going to games regularly, but I think they would have seen Trevor Ford as a City legend (particularly my mum!).

    As for Danny Malloy’s height, the Who’s Who of Cardiff City players by John Crooks states he was five foot eleven – he looked about six foot tall to me when I saw him walking around the Ninian Park pitch at half time a few years ago, so that seems about right to me.

  7. Andy Malloy says:

    Many thanks for all of your kind comments about my dad. He really would have been made up to read some of the tributes you guys have been posting. As I’ve said before, he retained a strong affection for the Bluebirds and the Cardiff people in general that really did last a lifetime. It’s been more than 6 months since he passed away but I still miss him and think about him every day. Growing up in our home was a fantastic experience as he was just the nicest dad in the world, and a genuinely funny man who always found time for everybody, especially the local kids. To everybody in the community he was simply ‘big Danny.’ And yes, Bob, he was indeed 5ft 11ins tall
    Andy Malloy

  8. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Thanks for getting in touch Andy, it’s really good to hear from you. As I mentioned, your dad had left City by the time I saw my first game, but what I can say is that Cardiff fans are usually pretty demanding when it comes to judging former players. Frequently you hear the words “good player, but…………….” when a City fan is describing a former Bluebird, but maybe the best compliment I can pay your father is to say that the “but” is nearly always missing when I hear someone talk about him. Even the slight criticism of him I’ve sometimes heard (the occasional own goals Mike alluded to) is often tempered with the thought that a lot of those own goals only came about because Danny was brave enough to put his head and body into areas that other players wouldn’t in an attempt to defend City’s goal – I think it’s safe to say that the overwhelming emotion of those old enough to have seen your dad in a City shirt is gratitude.

  9. Lindsay Davies says:

    I think I’ve already mentioned this to my pals at the Supporters’ Trust, but, here goes. As a kid in the late-50s/early-60s I had a subscription to “Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly”, and I still remember a lovely article about Danny – titled “Scotsman, with an Irish name, is a Welsh hero”…and he was. A great man.

  10. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Thanks Lindsay – do you still have those magazines? If you haven’t, you may be interested in these




    The first two both feature Danny.

    Also, have a look at this


    I’ve got this book and can only endorse what the reviewer says (I was a Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly reader from about 1965 to 1972) – used copies of the book can still be bought on Amazon for about £2.50.

  11. Lindsay Davies says:

    Many thanks for the links,
    Sad to say, none of my “Charlie Buchan’s” has survived.
    It’s probably 50-odd years since I’ve clapped eyes on that article, so, I hope I remembered the headline correctly!
    I certainly remember Danny appearing in the main stand before the mighty throng which had ‘invaded’ the pitch when we won promotion in 1960.

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