Date of birth: 30/09/1956
Place of birth: Newcastle
Pompey career: 1980 - 1987
Honours: 3rd Division Championship winners medal 1982/83, 2nd Division runners up medal 1985/86
Inducted into the Hall of Fame: 2010
Mick Tait is avidly remembered by Pompey fans as 'Yosser', a nickname given to the friendly Scouser from the BBC TV series 'Boys from the Blackstuff'. Although one of soccer's wandering players, Mick spent seven seasons with Pompey - the longest spell out of his seven clubs - and never gave anything less than 100 per cent in all of the 240 league games he played.
He was popular from the day he arrived from Hull City for £100,000 in June 1980 until fans mourned his surprise departure in August 1987 when he was released to third division Reading by Alan Ball. Tait was well known to Pompey before he signed. He had scored against them often enough!
As a 19-year-old in November 1975, he stole the show single-handedly at Fratton Park with two goals for an Oxford away win and then repeated the dose the following season at The Manor. One year later he netted another goal against Pompey, this time in a Carlisle shirt at Brunton Park. His first Pompey goal came against Burnley at Fratton Park in a 4-2 win during October 1980.
Four months later Tait scored an astonishing hat-trick in just five minutes to help Pompey demolish Exeter 5-0 at Fratton. He was an inspiration to the team. He served Pompey dependably at third and second division level as a forward, midfielder, defender and even winger, such was his ability and willingness to play anywhere under Frank Burrows, Bobby Campbell and Alan Ball. Players and supporters alike respected his unfailing commitment to the cause.
Tait had no particular flair. He just got on with the job he was asked to do in whatever shirt he wore - and during his Pompey career he played in every one of them except Alan Knight's goalkeeping jersey. The tag of 'Mr Dependable' followed Tait to Reading and Darlington, his next two clubs. Wherever he went he brought the team luck in winning silverware and avoided injury to clock up more than 650 appearances.
The man from Wallsend had moved back to his birthplace with his family - and went on to spend a spell as manager of Hartlepool United - but he still regards Pompey as a special club and has happy memories of the famous League Cup match at Anfield and the third division championship triumph.
Michael 'Mick' Tait (born 30 September 1956) was an English footballer and later a manager at the end of his playing career. His 760 league games puts him 13th in the list of English footballers. His clubs were Oxford United, Carlisle United, Hull City, Portsmouth, Reading, Darlington and Hartlepool United as well as Gretna in Scotland. Tait also later managed two of these clubs; Darlington and Hartlepool United. Since 2012 he has become a scout for Newcastle United FC.
Football playing career
Tait started his career as an apprentice at Oxford scoring 23 goals in 64 league appearances before moving on to Carlisle for £65,000 in 1977. He scored 20 goals for Carlisle in 106 league appearances before moving on to Hull City £150,000 in 1979. Tait scored 3 goals in 33 league appearances whilst at Boothferry Park before moving on to Portsmouth for £100,000 in 1980. At Portsmouth he scored 30 goals in 240 league appearances. In 1987 he moved to Reading for £50,000 scoring 10 goals in 99 league appearances before moving on to Darlington in 1990 for free. At Darlington he scored 2 goals in 79 league appearances. In the 1992 close season he joined Hartlepool United, scoring 1 goal in 61 league appearances. In the 1994 close season he joined Gretna, but within weeks he was re-signed by Hartlepool.
Football management career
In 1998, two years into his second spell at Victoria Park, Tait retired as a player and took over as player manager for the team until he was released in 1999. Tait then took over as manager for Northern Premier League Premier Division team Blyth Spartans, but left the Croft Park club at the end of the season. Two years later Tait was back in the Football League but this time at Darlington, taking over as caretaker manager in 2002. In June 2003 he was offered the job on a permanent basis, but was released by Darlington four months later in October 2003 until the club brought him back as reserve team coach. In February 2008 it was confirmed by Darlington that Tait had left the club. In 2009 Tait had a brief spell as coach at then Northern Premier League First Division club Newcastle Blue Star before taking over as manager at Conference North club Blyth Spartans in May of the same year. After the 2010–11 season his contract expired and was not renewed.
As a player