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Raymie's truly reformed after wild child days; PARKS LIFE THE EX-PRO IN THE KNOW.

There was a chap on the door at my Dundee United digs and in walked Ray McKinnon.

We shared a trademark middle parting back then but not a taste in music.

His arrival came with an invite to head into town to see a group that specialised in something called cajun swing.

It was an introduction to a sophistication from a team-mate who, as a player and a person, has lived a life less ordinary.

The early 90s at Tannadice WERETORTUREUNDERJIMMCLEAN and Raymie was as rebellious as the lot of them, Duncan Ferguson included.

McKinnon would He loved his stars and stripes jacket, a show-stopper in whatever pub or club he chose to display his swagger, hence his hogging of the first-team the first admit of in early hairdryer.

was a Everything came so easy: an abundance of natural talent, vision, genuinely two-footed and a player who memorably scored a hat-trick of free-kicks in one game.

There was a permanent sense of mischief about McKinnon which made him the man most unlikely to have a career in management.

He'd be the first to admit a lack of discipline in his early days was a regret and may have stunted a development that should have had him rubbing shoulders with the best in the business. He knows all the tricks, the dodges and pitfalls of the footballer. He could write the book and personalise an entire chapter.

Ironically it's in coaching where his rise has been meteoric - and he has been making up for lost time.

A role within the SFA technical development department, boss of Brechin then Raith Rovers is an upward curve which will see him take charge of his beloved Dundee United - if he wants it.

Rarely does a job of that stature become a one-horse race, which is testament to the high regard in which he is held.

be Anyone who thinks it's a formality would be wide of the mark as there are other options that may prove more attractive.

firstto a lack discipline days regret His maturity disguises a maverick capable of becoming Scottish football's latest coaching success story - but it may be he takes his talent down south instead.

Hugely popular within the game, McKinnon is the managerial man of the moment and it's great to see one of football's good guys getting some recognition.

The once wildest child of Tannadice has reformed himself beyond recognition. He has even shed his middle parting and hopefully improved his taste in music.

McKinnon would be the first to admit a lack of discipline in early days was a regret

CAPTION(S):

SITTING PRETTY McKinnon is named Manager of Month

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 8, 2016
Words:443
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