Greenock Morton are delighted to announce that David Wylie is the next member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2023 and will be inducted at our end of season ‘An Evening with Morton’ event this Saturday evening!
‘The Cat’ holds the club record for the most clean sheets “between the sticks” and has made a total of 556 appearances in a Morton top.
David becomes our fourth inductee of 2023 and joins Erik Sorensen, Peter Weatherson and Davie Hayes.
David Wylie bio by Niall McGilp
The 1980s were a “yo-yo” period for the club, with Morton “enjoying” two promotions and three relegations in six years, twice returning to the top flight but unable to sustain that status. It was during this time that teenage goalkeeper David Wylie was recruited from Ferguslie United in 1985. Wylie made his debut as a 19-year old against Forfar Athletic in November 1985, in what was the first of his 556 games for Morton, over 14 consecutive seasons – a total which has only been bettered subsequently by one outfield player – Derek Collins.
At the time, Morton were going through a particularly bad run, anchored at the bottom of the First Division in 14th place, with only 8 points from 16 games. Gradually new manager Allan McGraw turned things around, and the introduction of Wylie and sweeper Jim Hunter brought immediate improvement leading to a respectable 7th place finish. David was a brave, athletic keeper, with good positional sense and fantastic reflexes; within a year, he was selected for the Scotland Under-21 squad to play West Germany, and several more call-ups followed.
That season, Morton, with Wylie in goal, clinched a return to the Premier Division as champions. although Wylie joined his predecessor, Murray McDermott, in conceding a century of goals as the squad was once again found wanting in the top tier. The remainder of Wylie’s long and distinguished Morton playing career was in the First Division, except in 1994/95, when League reorganisation consigned the club to the third tier. In a side full of talent such as Derek Lilley, Derek McInnes, Alan Mahood, Janne Lindberg and Marko Rajamaki, Wylie played his part with 14 clean sheets as they bounced straight back as Champions. In the decider against Dumbarton at Cappielow, over 6,200 fans saw Morton win 2-0, but only after “The Cat”, as he had been christened, produced a truly sensational early save to deny Sons’ Colin McKinnon.
1995/96 saw Morton come close to achieving back to back promotions, with Davy keeping 17 clean sheets in 33 league games. He was however ordered off in a cup replay at Montrose and missed three crucial league fixtures. With new ownership and management in 1997/98 season, change was on the agenda, and David played his final game for the club in September 1998 at Airdrie, keeping an incredible 150th clean sheet for Morton (a club record), as 9-man Morton held on for a 1-0 victory. He was transferred to Clyde the following week. In season 1999/2000 his performances helped Clyde to the Second Division Championship. David had a subsequent spell at Clydebank before joining Gretna, as a goalkeeping coach, where he made two final playing appearances.
Wylie later returned to Cappielow as goalkeeping coach, and indeed injury problems to Morton’s regular keepers forced him onto the bench in early 2009 as an unused substitute. It is doubtful if anyone will ever match David’s record of 556 games or his 150 clean sheets “between the sticks” for Morton.