In my latest piece on the where are they now former Spurs players series, I’ll be looking at Gerry McMahon, and his time at Spurs during the 1990s. Although not someone who technically came through the youth system at Spurs (this series is often about former Spurs youth/Academy players), Gerard Joseph McMahon was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in the December of 1973. He started his footballing journey with Lurgan United, before joining Glenavon as a scholar in 1988. It was with Glenavon that the highly skilful and fast forward with an eye for goal, was scouted by a number of English clubs, after impressing for Glenavon as a teenager. McMahon was scouted, almost by chance by Spurs during the early 1990s. Spurs’ former Northern Ireland scout Robert Walker recalled to me how he first became aware of Gerry McMahon, in my 2021 interview with him: “ A memory which stands out from my time at Spurs, was when Spurs were signing Nicky Barmby, who had come over here to play against Northern Ireland Schoolboys and I kind of had to look after him for a while as John Moncur was having lunch with Nicky’s mum and dad. ”
“ Another one was a player called Justin McBride who was a very good player and played for Glentoran and was in his early 20s. This would have been in 1991 and I had to go and watch Justin playing for Glentoran v Glenavon in an Irish Cup game, the game ended 0-0. The replay was at Glenavon’s ground on the Tuesday night, so I went up to the game to watch Justin, but there was a player playing for Glenavon who I’d never heard of. As I knew most of the players over here, I could not understand why I I never heard of him, he was absolutely brilliant. I had no mobile phone at the time, so I went down to the social club and got a pound changed into ten pence pieces, and went to the phone on the wall and rang Terry Venables and said that you can forget about Justin McBride as I’ve seen somebody else. They then sent Ted Buxton (Spurs’ chief-scout) over to watch him but he (Gerry) ended up getting hurt in that game, but they signed him a week later for a good fee and also Spurs came over to play Glenavon in a pre-season friendly. Also part of the deal. The player also got to stay with Glenavon until the end of the season when they reached the Irish Cup Final, so Ted Buxton came over to watch the cup final and Glenavon won 2-1, that player was Gerry McMahon, who scored the winner. Gerry was another who loved it at Tottenham. ”
After joining up with Spurs in the summer of 1992 after being signed by the club for a fee of £100,000 , Gerry McMahon would often feature for their reserve side. However, in time he would feature for the Spurs first team in competitive matches on 20 occasions during his time at the club. He did score one goal for Spurs, and that came in a UEFA Intertoto Cup game against Östers IF. However, going back to the start of Gerry’s time at Spurs, and after he had spent time playing for them at both youth and reserve team level and also for Barnet (on loan), a very special day for the former Northern Ireland international would have been his competitive first team debut for the club. That came in a Premier League match with Coventry City at White Hart Lane at the end of the 1994/95 season. Gerry would leave Spurs in 1996, just over four years after he had joined the club, and after trials with Stuttgart and Udinese, the forward would depart for Stoke City on a permanent transfer.
Later playing for Scottish club St. Johnstone, during a particularly good time for the club in the late 1990s, Gerry McMahon returned to England for a while to trial with some clubs. However, he returned to Northern Ireland to reunite with Glenavon in the August of 2000, and would later become assistant manager, caretaker manager and reserve team manager at the club. Continuing his coaching career, Gerry was assistant manager with Loughgall, before becoming player-manager of Dromara Village, and later manager of Lurgan Celtic (Gerry even played as a goalkeeper in one game for them in 2019!). Nowadays the former Spurs man is a first team coach at Dollingstown FC, who play in the third tier of Northern Irish football, and he has been in that role since joining them from Lurgan Celtic in the summer of 2019. I would like to wish Gerry a successful remainder of the season with Dollingstown. He is somebody who should be very proud of all that he achieved in his footballing career as a player, and of course at Spurs.