Jon Daly (footballer)

Jonathan Marvin Daly (born 8 January 1983) is an Irish professional football player and coach.

Jon Daly
Personal information
Full name Jonathan Marvin Daly[1]
Date of birth (1983-01-08) 8 January 1983 (age 37)
Place of birth Dublin, Ireland
Playing position Striker
Youth career
Cherry Orchard
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2005 Stockport County 91 (14)
2004Bury (loan) 7 (1)
2004Grimsby Town (loan) 3 (1)
2005–2007 Hartlepool United 64 (13)
2006Bury (loan) 11 (2)
2007–2013 Dundee United 167 (58)
2013–2015 Rangers 50 (21)
2015–2016 Raith Rovers 15 (1)
Total 408 (111)
National team
1999–2000 Republic of Ireland U16 8 (1)
2001–2002 Republic of Ireland U19 9 (7)
2002–2003 Republic of Ireland U20 5 (0)
2002–2003 Republic of Ireland U21 7 (1)
Teams managed
2016 Heart of Midlothian (joint interim manager)
2017 Heart of Midlothian (interim manager)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Daly began his senior career in England, where he played for Stockport County and Hartlepool United; he also had loan spells with Bury and Grimsby Town. He moved to Scottish football in 2007, when he signed for Dundee United. He spent over six years at the club, eventually becoming club captain, and won the Scottish Cup in 2010. He signed for Rangers in 2013, winning the League One title in his first season. Released by Rangers in 2015, he ended his playing career with Raith Rovers, retiring in January 2016 to take up a coaching role with Hearts. He was twice included in the PFA Scotland Team of the Year awards, for the Scottish Premier League in 2012 and for League One in 2014. In international football, Daly represented the Republic of Ireland at all youth levels up to the under-21 team.

Daly retired from playing in 2016 and became a coach at Heart of Midlothian. He took interim charge of their first team after the departures of Robbie Neilson and Ian Cathro.

Club careerEdit

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Daly started his career at Irish amateur side Cherry Orchard, before signing for Stockport County in May 1998. At Stockport he made an immediate impact scoring regularly for the youth and reserve team.[2] Daly began to make an impression on manager Andy Kilner during Stockport's pre-season tour of Scandinavia. After coming on a substitute against Landskrona BoIS, he impressed Kilner and the youngster was awarded with a start against Kristianstads,[3] in which he scored his first senior goal after "lobbing" the Kristianstad keeper.[4] The following season saw Daly become Stockport's second youngest player when he came off the bench to make his first team debut against Walsall. However, Daly failed to secure a regular place and he only managed to play in five matches in his first two seasons. Consequently, Daly had to wait until the 2001–02 season before he scored his first senior goal against Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup. After scoring his first goal, Daly began to play in the Stockport team. However, this was disrupted when he was sent off after appearing to elbow Mitchell Thomas during Stockport's 2–0 defeat to Burnley.[5] However, after receiving his ban, Daly returned to the side to face Wimbledon and responded by scoring his first league goal.

By the start of the 2002–03 season, Daly was regarded as one of Division 2's most promising strikers.[6] He played more regularly and he was involved in 35 of Stockport's 46 league games, scoring seven goals. During this season Stockport manager, Carlton Palmer, decided against naming a goalkeeper on the bench and revealed that he was planning to use Daly in net should their keeper get sent off or injured. However, this never occurred and Daly never made an appearance in net.[7] In October 2004 he went on loan to Grimsby, and scored on his debut against Chester City.[8] However, in his third and final appearance for Grimsby he was sent off against Scunthorpe United.[9]

In February 2005, Daly signed for Hartlepool, where he would stay for the next two years.[10] Daly's scored his first goal for Hartlepool against Bournemouth, which helped seal Hartlepool a play-off spot. Daly's most important goal came weeks later in the League 1 Play-off Final against Sheffield Wednesday, when he scored with his first touch after coming on as a substitute to put Hartlepool in the lead.[11] However, Hartlepool would later end up losing that match but the goal will be remembered as the goal that almost sent Hartlepool into the Championship. Daly would struggle to feature for the club the following season and was sent on loan to Bury.[12] In the 2006–07 season, Daly would at first again struggle to hold down a first team spot. However, he cemented his place in Hartlepool's record books with a remarkable scoring spree of seven goals in a week (three games), including his first hat-trick of his professional career against Wrexham on 30 September 2006.[13][14] After this Daly would struggle to refind his form and was surplus to requirements after Danny Wilson signed Richie Barker.

Dundee UnitedEdit

Daly was allowed to join Dundee United in January 2007 for an undisclosed fee.[15]

Daly made his debut for the club, on 13 January 2007, in a 5–0 loss against Rangers.[16] Having made eight appearance so far in his career, Daly scored his first goal in a 1–1 draw against League champions Celtic.[17] After the match, Daly performance was praised by Craig Levein, describing him as "tireless up front and a lot of people don't see all the work he does."[18] He scored again, the last game of the season, in a 4–2 win over Aberdeen.[19] In May 2007, Daly suffered a posterior cruciate ligament injury, ruling him out for around six months, which affected the start of the season.[20]

In the 2007–08 season, on 23 August 2007, Daly says he's making his return within the next six weeks.[21] Having appeared four times on the bench, Daly made his return, on 10 November 2007, in a 2–0 win over Kilmarnock. However, on his next appearance, Daly suffered another injury, in the 24th minutes, on his ankle, against Hibernian. He would be out for two months, expectations on making his return in New Year[22] Though the two months is about come to the end,[23] his injuries went even worse, that will keep him to recover for another month.[24] On 12 March 2008, Daly made his recovery and played his first match, coming on as a substitute for Craig Conway, in a 0–0 draw against Celtic. Towards the end of the season, Daly has since come on as a substitute without scoring, often playing out of position. Upon his return injuries, Levein described fully fit Daly as a new signing, having made a return.[25]

In 2008–09 season, Daly made his first appearance, coming on as substitute, in a 2–0 loss against Kilmarnock on 30 August 2008. Soon a week later, Daly scored two goals in consecutive games, against Hearts and Inverness Caledonian Thistle. He soon scored his first brace of his Dundee career, in a 2–0 win against St Mirren on 29 November 2008, before scoring third goal in two consecutive games. Later in the season, his form dropped badly by coming on as a sub without scoring, often playing out of position, though making several starts. On 23 December 2008, Daly would sign a new three-year contract extension, that will keep him until 2012.[26] On 11 January 2009, Daly provided assist for Prince Buaben before scoring a goal for himself, in a 4–0 win over East Stirlingshire, in the fourth round of Scottish Cup. In April 2009, Daly injured both his anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments, ruling him out of action for "at least 12 months",[27] although he was later expected to return within half that timeframe.[28] Shortly after suffering an injury, Conway scored a goal, in a 1–0 win over Hamilton, dedicating his [Conway] goal to Daly.[29]

Subsequently, returning in late November, Daly scored in his first two substitute appearances, including a winner against Celtic before netting his second hat-trick for the club in January 2010, scoring three in the club's 4–1 win at Falkirk. Following his hat-trick, He would add two more goal, adding his tally to five goal in three appearance. Jon finished the season as Dundee United's top scorer, and picked up a Scottish Cup Winners medal in May 2010.

United manager Peter Houston subsequently named Daly as club captain for season 2010–11.[30] Daly then scored his first goal of the season, on the opening game of the season, in a 1–1 draw against St Mirren. Daly would make his European debut, in the qualification round, as Dundee United lose 1–0 against Greek side AEK Athens;[31] then in the second leg, Daly scored his first European goal after coming on as a substitute, in a 1–1 draw, but the draw doesn't kept Dundee United in the Europa League because the Aggregate goal, which AEK scored earlier.[32] After the match, Daly said his goal couldn't save the club's European campaign, believing the club should have done better.[33] However, during the season, Daly would suffer injuries, such as head[34] and Hernia.[35] But he managed to overcome those injuries and on 1 May 2011, Daly received a red card after a second bookable offence, as Dundee United lost 4–1 against Celtic. The next game, on 7 May 2011, Daly, then, scored his hat-trick of his Dundee United career, as they beat Motherwwll 4–0.[36] Despite the injuries, Daly scored twelve goals in all competitions.

In the 2011–12 season, Daly started his season, playing in both legs of the UEFA Europa League tie against Polish side Śląsk Wrocław. In the second leg, following a 1–0 loss, Daly made an assist for David Goodwillie before scoring his first goal of the season, from the penalty spot, as Dundee United won 3–2. However, Dundee United were eliminated from the Europa League, thanks to the away goal rule. [37] Despite the loss, Daly then signed contract extensions with the club until 2013.[38] In April 2012, Daly was awarded the March Player of the Month award, in which, Daly described his form as 'the best form of his career'.[39] Shortly after winning the Player of the Month award, Daly, along with three other United players, were nominated for the PFA Scotland player of the year award.[40] Eventually, the award went to Charlie Mulgrew.[41] He had managed to score 19 goals in 36 matches for Dundee United by 1 April 2012, becoming a crucial part of the team and gained himself club captaincy. Daly would also score 22 goals in 43 appearances in all competitions.

In the 2012–13 season, Daly started his season, playing in both legs of the third round qualifier of the Europa League against Russian side Dynamo Moscow. In the first leg, Daly provided an assist for Keith Watson in a 2–2 draw. However, in the second leg, the club would lose heavily in a 5–0 loss. Daly scored his first goal of the season, on the opening game of the league campaign, in a 3–0 win over Hibernian. In a 3–3 draw against Kilmarnock, on 16 November 2012, Daly scored a brace. In a 4–4 draw against Inverness, on 15 December 2012, Daly assisted Josh Meekings before scoring another brace for himself.[42] Throughout the Scottish Cup campaign, Daly scored a brace in a fourth round tie against Stranraer; followed up by a double assist for Russell before setting a goal for himself, in a fifth round win over Rangers and in the semi-final, Daly scored twice, in a 4–3 loss against Celtic. Later in the season, Daly would score nine more goals in the league and finish second top-scorer behind Johnny Russell.

In the final year of his contract, Daly was linked with League Two side Fleetwood Town.[43] Daly announced he was to leave the club at the end of the season.[44]

Daly's exit from the club was confirmed on 19 May 2013 when he agreed a two-year deal with Rangers.[45]


On 24 May 2013, Daly agreed to join Rangers on a free transfer when the Glasgow club's transfer ban was lifted on 1 September 2013.[45] On 4 March 2013, Rangers announced they would make a move to sign Daly on a pre-contract deal.[46] Manager Ally McCoist confirmed their interest in signing Daly.[47] The move meant Daly would become the first Catholic player from the Republic of Ireland to sign for Rangers.[48] McCoist himself said that he had no problem with Daly's religion or place of birth.[49]

Ahead of the 2013–14 season, Daly scored his first goal for Rangers in a pre-season friendly against FC Emmen.[50] Daly scored his first competitive goals for Rangers in a 6–0 away victory against Airdrieonians making the score 4–0 and 6–0.[51] His next goal for Rangers was in a 3–0 victory over Queen of the South in the Scottish Challenge Cup Quarter Final on 17 September. On 28 September he scored four times in an 8–0 victory over Stenhousemuir. Another hat-trick was scored in a 4–0 away win over East Fife on 26 October. Daly scored Rangers only goal in the Ramsdens cup semi-final against Stenhousemuir to secure McCoist his first final as manager since taking over from Walter Smith in 2011.[52] A few days after Daly scored a double against Airdrieonians in a 3–0 victory in the Scottish Cup booking Rangers place in the next round.[53] Daly scored his 15th and 16th goals for the season in consecutive matches against Dunfermline and Airdrieonians respectively. Daly was ruled out for six weeks at the start of the 2014–15 season with a knee injury that required surgery.

On 29 May 2015, Daly confirmed that he had left Rangers and was a free agent.

Raith RoversEdit

Daly signed a short-term contract with Raith Rovers in August 2015.[54] He scored his first goal for Raith in a 2-1 loss to Hibernian on 24 October 2015.[55]

International careerEdit

Jon Daly represented Republic of Ireland from under 14 to under 21 level and was hailed by Niall Quinn as his successor to the Republic of Ireland front line.[3][56] Daly's talent was then recognised when he picked up Ireland's 2001 Youth Player of the Year award[57] and he was also given the opportunity to progress to the under-21 team. Daly maintained his promise and scored in Ireland under-19's 3–2 victory over England.

For the next two years, Daly kept his place and became a frequent goalscorer in the Republic of Ireland under-21 national football team[58] and went on to play at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship, playing in two of Ireland's group matches before their second round exit.[59][60][61]

Coaching careerEdit

In November 2015, Daly agreed to join Hearts as coach of their under-20 team when his contract with Raith expired in January 2016.[62] Following Robbie Neilson's departure, Daly was announced as joint interim manager of Heart of Midlothian with Andy Kirk.[63] He was again placed in interim charge of the first team in August 2017, after the departure of Ian Cathro.[64] Daly left Hearts in January 2020, soon after the appointment of Daniel Stendel as head coach.[65]

Personal lifeEdit

Daly is married to Linda and has two daughters.[66]

Career statisticsEdit

As of 1 June 2015[67][68]
Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
1999–2000 Stockport County First Division 4 0 4 0
2000–01 1 0 1 0
2001–02 13 1 1 1 14 2
2002–03 Second Division 35 7 1 1 36 8
2003–04 25 3 1 0 1 0 27 3
Bury Third Division 7 1 7 1
2004–05 Stockport County League One 14 3 2 0 1 0 17 3
Grimsby Town League Two 3 1 3 1
Hartlepool League One 12 1 12 1
2005–06 30 2 1 0 2 2 33 4
Bury League Two 11 2 11 2
2006–07 Hartlepool 19 9 3 0 1 0 23 9
Scotland League Scottish Cup League Cup Europe Total
2006–07 Dundee United Scottish Premier League 11 2 2 0 13 2
2007–08 9 0 9 0
2008–09 23 5 2 1 2 3 27 9
2009–10 23 13 6 0 29 13
2010–11 29 9 5 2 2 0 2 1 38 12
2011–12 36 19 3 0 2 2 2 1 43 22
2012–13 36 10 4 5 2 0 2 0 44 15
2013–14 Rangers Scottish League One 34 20 6 3 0 0 4 2 44 25
2014–15 Scottish Championship 19 3 3 0 4 0 2 1 28 4
Country England 173 30 8 1 7 3 188 34
Scotland 220 81 31 11 12 5 6 2 271 100
Career Total 393 111 39 12 19 8 6 2 457 133



Dundee United



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External linksEdit