Kevin McNaughton is more than just a footballer; he’s a Cardiff City legend. The Scottish defender was a mainstay of the Cardiff City squad for over a decade, and his passion, dedication, and love for the club made him a fan favourite.
McNaughton joined Cardiff City in 2006, and quickly established himself as a key player in the squad. He was a versatile defender, capable of playing on either side of the back four, and his tireless work rate and commitment made him an integral part of the team.
But it wasn’t just his performances on the pitch that made him a legend at the club. McNaughton was a true gentleman, and he always had time for the fans. Whether it was signing autographs after training or taking part in community events, he was always willing to go the extra mile for the supporters.
The passion and pride that McNaughton had for Cardiff City was evident in everything he did. He was a true leader on the pitch, and his never-say-die attitude inspired his teammates and the fans alike.
Known as The Silver Fox, due to his attacking style down the right, coupled with his early-onset grey hair, he was a recognisable and entertaining part of one of the great Cardiff City sides.
McNaughton’s time at Cardiff City came to an end in 2015, but his legacy at the club will live on. He made over 250 appearances for the Bluebirds and helped the club achieve promotion to the Premier League in 2013.
Even after leaving the club, McNaughton has remained a firm favourite with the fans. When he returned to Cardiff City Stadium as a pundit for a match in 2019, the fans gave him a standing ovation, and he was visibly moved by the reception.
Bluebirds legend Craig Bellamy had many kind words to say about Super Kev, stating that he truly deserved his testimonial match in 2017. The game raised money for charity and gave fans the chance to say goodbye to McNaughton in one final outing in Cardiff.
Speaking to Wales Online, former Wales and Cardiff City captain Craig Bellamy said about Kevin McNaughton;
“Kevin didn’t have the chance to say goodbye and he deserves this benefit match on Sunday. He dedicated a lot of his career to Cardiff City.
“I knew that match against Chelsea was my last and when I was substituted and walked off Jose Mourinho came over, gave me a hug and said ‘You are a champion’.
“It felt right to end it there. That was me done. If I had gone out onto the pitch again it might have spoiled the moment for me.
“Naughts didn’t have the same opportunity and I hope the fans turn out in force to pay their respects for a good human being, a humble man who gave everything he had for Cardiff City.”
McNaughton became famous at Ninian Park and the later Cardiff City Stadium, not just for his consistent performances at full-back, but also his hesitation to get a goal for the team.
Over his 250+ games, the City legend only managed two goals. When he did score finally, the celebrations were huge and both the players and fans could not believe their eyes.
He also became infamous when a clip of his went viral. During a Cardiff City vs Middlesborough match in 2011, McNaughton was seen to have barged linesman Sian Massey as the ball went out of play.
While the clip did, at first, look a bit suspect, upon further viewing it was clear that the barge was not on purpose. Both Kevin McNaughton and Sian Massey laughed at the event after the fact, and the FA/Football League never punished the Scot for the push.
Kevin McNaughton is a cult hero and a legend for the Cardiff City fans. With his consistent yet unremarkable performances and his trademark silver hair, he was a constant and recognisable force during a fantastic time in Bluebirds history.
Helping his side to FA Cup, League Cup and Play Off finals, he came so close to glory many times. However, the team lost all three Wembley clashed (to Portsmouth, Liverpool and Blackpool, respectively) and he missed out on a trio of winners medals.
Luckily, the team bounced back from their losses to win the Championship in 2013. McNaughton lost his place in the side the next season, playing only five games in the Premier League, but solidified himself as part of a group of City heroes that made it to the top division.