What ever happened to MK Dons defender Gary MacKenzie?

The big Scot made nearly 80 appearances for the club in two-and-a-half years
Gary MacKenzieGary MacKenzie
Gary MacKenzie

Gary MacKenzie arrived at Stadium MK in May 2010 from Dundee after signing a pre-contract agreement with Paul Ince's side earlier that year. By the time he arrived, there was a new man in charge, but MacKenzie became a mainstay in the heart of Karl Robinson's defence.

The Scottish defender came through the academy at Rangers before moving to Dens Park where he worked under Alex Rae - who would later go on to coach at Dons. Playing over 100 times for The Dee, his debut to Stadium MK was delayed due to injury but his first games were a struggle. A part of just one win in his first six games, MacKenzie was sent off against Tranmere at Prenton Park in his seventh outing for the club at the end of October, and made just two more appearances before the turn of the year.

Back into the side regularly in 2011, he was sent off for the second time of the season with Dons 2-0 up at Hillborough shortly before half time, as they struggled to hold on with 10 men and drew 2-2, eventually finishing the game with nine men when fellow Scot Peter Leven was also given his marching orders. MacKenzie scored the winner in the league game against Peterborough, but couldn't help Dons past Posh in the play-offs.

MacKenzie enjoyed a more consistent second season at the club, making 32 appearances, netting the only goal of the game against Colchester in January, but also received two red cards, including a dismissal against Charlton at The Valley, where he faced the press afterwards to apologise for clashing with Yann Kermorgant.

His third season at the club though would be a tough one for the defender. After making a solid start to the campaign, MacKenzie was sidelined for three months after hip surgery and it effectively spelt the end of his time at the club. He made a tentative return after surgery before he was loaned out to Blackpool in March. Dons activated a clause in his contract to keep MacKenzie for a further year, but would part company with the defender for an undisclosed fee to the Tangerines, who were impressed with his 12 performances and two goals.

After a solid year at Bloomfield Road, MacKenzie suffered an ankle injury which meant he did not make an appearance for the Seasiders the following year. He was out on loan at Bradford City towards the end of the 2014/15 season before moving to Doncaster Rovers for 2015/16. A loan spell at Notts County a year later would end his time at Doncaster, and MacKenzie returned to Scotland with St Mirren.

Establishing himself in the side during his first season in the Scottish Championship, MacKenzie helped the Saints to lift the title and earn promotion to the Scottish Premiership, with it earning an extended contract. Now 34, MacKenzie remains a fixture in the St Mirren side, and made 12 appearances until the coronavirus pandemic curtailed the season.

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