Manager from May 1920 to May 1927
A player with Newton Heath, the forerunners of Manchester United, he began his managerial career at Barnsley, where he had complete control of team affairs, which was unusual at the time. Despite improving the club's financial position, he sold Benny Green to Birmingham City and the team's form slumped dramatically.
The Glasgow-born McCartney returned north of the border to manage St Mirren and took them to the Scottish Cup Final and runners-up in the First Division on two occasions. He then managed Heart of Midlothian for 10 years before moving south to take charge at Pompey in 1920.
He gradually developed what was to become known as the 'Pompey Style' and in the 1923/24 season the club lifted the Third Division (South) title.
Three years later Pompey were in the First Division after pipping Manchester City to second spot by the narrowest of margins but in May fo 1927 he had to resign because of ill health. However, four months later, he took over at Luton Town where he had played but again he was dogged by ill health and finally forced his resignation and retirement from football.
There was plenty of affection for this hard-working manager and the launching of a testimonial fund quickly raised £300. In January 1933 John McCartney died and was buried just a short distance from Heart of Midlothian's ground where both he and his brother, Willie, had been succesful managers.