Brian McDermott



89/90 APPEARANCES: 41                                                                                  


Brian McDermott, perhaps better known now in the game for his managerial exploits after leaving Exeter, was a talented winger during his time at St James Park.

After being released by Queen's Park Rangers as a 15-year-old, McDermott joined Arsenal as an apprentice in January 1977, after they had spotted him playing for Slough Schools. He signed professional forms with the club in February 1979.

He was a regular in Arsenal's reserve team, finishing as top scorer in the London Combination in 1978/79, before making his debut as a substitute against Bristol City on 10 March 1979.

He did not properly break into the Arsenal first team until the 1980/81 season, notching 45 appearances (14 as substitute) in all competitions in that season.

He was then loaned out twice by the Gunners, once to Fulham in March 1983 and then to IFK Norrköping between April and October 1984, where he was named as Sweden’s player of the year.

McDermott then secured a permanent move to Oxford United in December 1984, having made 72 appearances for Arsenal, scoring 13 goals. He then had a spell on loan at Huddersfield and then moved to Cardiff before signing for Exeter City in February 1989, initially on loan, before the club paid £7,000 for his permanent signature.

He was then a key member of Terry Cooper’s Fourth Division championship winning side making 41 appearances that season. He also scored three goals including the winner against Southend United that got the Grecians promoted and provided a number of assists.

He left the Grecians to sign for Conference side, Yeovil Town in November 1990 for a fee of £10,000 and becoming their assistant player-manager, where he added a further 62 appearances and 12 goals, before retiring from playing.

It is, of course, in management where he has continued to make a name for himself. Winning promotion to the Premier League as manager of Reading and having a spell in charge of Leeds United.