Shropshire Star

Johnny Phillips: Kevin McDonald has an uplifting tale to tell Wolves fans

Kevin McDonald’s return to Wolverhampton this coming Thursday evening should be an emotional and uplifting occasion.


The Scottish midfielder played a key role in the Wolves’ 2013/14 promotion to the Championship under Kenny Jackett.

He followed that up by becoming part of the Fulham squad which won promotion to the Premier League in 2017/18.

Yet throughout his long career he has suffered from iga nephropathy, a chronic disease which causes deterioration of the kidney’s performance.

Eventually a transplant was needed and it came via a donor who was a close relative – his brother, Fraser – in 2021. Incredibly, the kidney replacement operation did not end Kevin’s career.

“Of course there are times when you doubt everything, getting back playing, getting to the levels again,” said Kevin. “The longer it went on and the more my body was healing I thought, ‘right, I can do this’ and I wanted to do whatever it took.”

Kevin’s body initially rejected Fraser’s kidney, meaning he stayed in hospital for three weeks, including being put on an intravenous drip for over 10 hours each day.

“It was hard and draining but slowly the results improved,” he explained.

Fast forward less than a year and he was back in action with Dundee in Scotland in February 2022, before further moves to Exeter City and Bradford City. Earlier this season he took the managerial reins on a caretaker basis when the Bantams dismissed Mark Hughes.

Tickets for the event can be purchased at or by calling 01902 451 021.

A quick word on the penalty debacle at Stamford Bridge last Monday night.

Several Chelsea players embarrassed themselves and it was hugely disappointing for Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino, whose post-match press conference should have centred on the 6-0 win over Everton.

Instead, the childish squabbling when nominated penalty taker Cole Palmer had to fend off the attentions of Noni Madueke and Nicolas Jackson overshadowed the football.

The playground spat was a reminder of just how far there is to go before this young team can be taken seriously.

“If they behave like kids, it’s impossible,” bemoaned Pochettino in the aftermath of the game.

He was clearly unable to hide his frustration. It has been such a difficult season for the Argentinian head coach and for his sake, hopefully the

players involved have learned their lesson.