General election: SNP’s Kenny MacAskill just got an invaluable endorsement – Steve Cardownie

Former Hibs hero and trade union supporter Jackie McNamara’s backing for SNP candidate in East Lothian is significant, writes Steve Cardownie.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 11:40 am
Jackie McNamara is backing Kenny MacAskill. Picture: Scott Taylor
Jackie McNamara is backing Kenny MacAskill. Picture: Scott Taylor

I was interested to read in yesterday’s paper that Jackie McNamara senior is backing the SNP candidate contesting East Lothian, Kenny MacAskill. I have only met Jackie socially on a couple of occasions but have known about him, his football career and his interest in politics for some time.

Although he played 21 times for Celtic where he scored one goal, he played most of his career at Hibs where he arrived from Celtic in exchange for Pat Stanton, which was not universally popular among the Hibs support at the time.

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He turned out for them on no less than 236 occasions, netting twice (yes, twice) and was soon highly regarded as an accomplished defender and the Hibs support soon recognised his invaluable contribution to the team.

In an interview with The Scotsman in 2011, he spoke about the time that he broke his leg playing against Hearts – “It was completely accidental and Bertie Auld, who was manager by that point, told me to keep playing, ‘It’s all in your heid son – have a jag and a lump of sugar’ That was the attitude back then. I actually played three more games before the hairline fracture was confirmed.”

A tough, uncompromising defender who could play a bit too, Jackie is also known for his commitment to helping the disadvantaged and his strong support for trade union solidarity, particularly amongst the mining community.

As an avid football fan Kenny will be delighted that Jackie is supporting his efforts to represent East Lothian at Westminster – such endorsements as Jackie’s can be invaluable in an election race.