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Tam McKenzie

Personal information
Full nameThomas McKenzie
Place of birthEdinburgh, Scotland
Place of deathPeterborough, England
Height1.83 m (6 ft in)
Playing positionDefender

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Thomas "Tam" McKenzie (5 November 1922 - November 1967) was a Scottish professional footballer who spent most of his career with Heart of Midlothian.

McKenzie was born in Edinburgh and joined Hearts from Haddington Athletic in 1942 as a centre-half, having initially played as a centre forward as a juvenile with Pentland Rovers. After only one appearance for the Hearts team in the Wartime League, he left for Arakan, where he served in The Royal Scots during the Second World War.

McKenzie returned to Edinburgh at the war's conclusion and established himself in Hearts first team as a left back. Renowned for his strength and tackling skill, he enjoyed particular success in his personal battles against one of Scotland's most famous right wingers of the time, Hibernian's Gordon Smith. Despite Hibs enjoying great success in the late 1940s and early 1950s, McKenzie's effective shackling of Smith ensured that Hearts enjoyed the upper hand in Derby matches of the era.

McKenzie captained Hearts during the 1949-50 season and was part of the side which eventually ended their 48-year trophy drought by winning the 1954-55 League Cup. He saw off the challenge of Jock Adie to retain his place in the side, and was the left-back when Hearts won the Scottish Cup in 1955-56. He eventually lost his place in the side to the emerging George Thomson during the 1957-58 season but he made enough appearances to collect a winners medal, as Hearts won the League title for the first time since 1897.

In 1959, McKenzie eventually left Hearts, moving south to Wisbech Town at the age of 36. He played one season with the Southern Football League club before moving to March Town as player-manager. He was still domiciled in England when he died in 1967, as the result of a car crash. His son David would later play League football with Meadowbank Thistle in the 1970s.

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