Anthony 'Tony' McNulty (6 March 1957) is a former atypical English footballer who played exclusively in Dutch professional football. His trademark was the out-of-the-way maneuver.
McNulty is from the Liverpool area. He played in his youth for the association Oyster Martyrs from the Liverpool suburb croxteth. McNulty came to the Netherlands at the age of 20 to work in construction. Because of the love Tony settled in Groningen and signed up with amateur club Velocitas. There he was discovered by SC Veendam, which played in the First Division. Eventually his career would lead him past Veendam, Enschedé, Doetinchem, Zwolle and Leeuwarden.
The court of appeal came from August 1979 to January 1984 for Veendam. The petite Briton thrived in the football culture that the Netherlands is and was rich in. McNulty was a technically agile player who also occasionally scored his goal. Many times he slalomed his direct opponents completely crazy. McNulty came from first-team player Velocitas and with Jos Roossien and trainer Cor van der Steen the club at the Langeleegte picked him up. Tony soon got a base spot.
In the 4-0 loss at home to FC Wageningen, McNulty made his debut. He lost his job in construction and that's why he trained with FC Groningen in the morning. In the evening he travelled to Veendam to join the training. He ended up playing there for more than five seasons. Tony played 141 games for the 'Settlers' and scored 23 times.
In the winter break of the 1983/84 season he was loaned to FC Twente. The Tukkers also played in the First Division. Tony McNulty played sixteen official games for Twente, in which he scored once. By a second place Twente promoted to the Eredivisie. However, the team from Enschede waived an option to buy McNulty. Financially, FC Twente was unable to recruit him. After which he was sold by Veendam to De Graafschap in the summer of 1984. This amounted to 85 thousand guilders.
After a year for De Graafschap, McNulty moved to PEC Zwolle '82 in 1985. For this team, who played in the Eredivisie, McNulty was used by coach Co Adriaanse alternately as a right midfielder and right striker. Here, too, his outpassing manoeuvre came in handy. Every now and then the Liverpool fan also picked up his goal. He scored ten league goals in his first season with PEC. Nevertheless, the competition was strong with players such as Foeke Booy, Aziz Doufikar and Martin Wiggemansen.
After a second season, in which the man from the port city of Hull scored three times, he was waiting for a new adventure. The Englishman signed with SC Cambuur. Here he saw himself reunited with coach Fritz Korbach with whom he had previously had to deal with FC Twente. In 1989, there was bad news: no contract extension for McNulty. That's why he ended his career. After which he would play for the Groningen amateur clubs Oosterparkers, Club Italiano and VV De Vogels.
After his career, Tony McNulty settled in Groningen and got a job as a prison guard in Veenhuizen. And here too: attacking at a young age, later in the defence…
(Photo: ANP – Cor Out)