Tuesday 2nd December 2014

DEFENDER Mark McLaughlin celebrates his birthday today!

Now at the ‘veteran’ stage of his career, the big fella turns 39 today.

Mark, who grew up in Port Glasgow and now lives in Renfrew, began his career at junior club Arthurlie, where he was a Scottish Junior Cup winner, before moving to then first division Clyde in 1999.

He made his debut in a 3–1 win away to Stenhousemuir. On October 7 2000 he scored his first senior goal away to Alloa Athletic at Recreation Park, and only two weeks later he scored in a 2–2 draw against Ross County at Broadwood.

After five years at Clyde, he joined Hamilton Academicals in 2004. He was part of the 2007-08 campaign for promotion to the SPL.

After his contract expired at Hamilton in 2012, he rejected a new deal and decided to join the team that he has supported since childhood, Greenock Morton.

He was named as Morton’s captain in August 2012, but was released from his contract on Christmas Eve 2013.

He was snapped up in January 2014 by manager Ian Murray to fill the gap left by on loan defender Aaron Barry on his return to Sheffield United.

He played a key role in the latter half of the 2013/14 season, helping Sons to a creditable fifth place in the SPFL Championship, and signed a new one-year contract in May.

Alan Findlay

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