What can be said about Sir Danny which has not already been said a million times over? He is a Silkmen legend who has represented our club at all levels, for the best part of two decades and is widely respected by players and fans alike.
Danny was born in Wilmslow on 14th November 1980 and learnt his trade at the illustrious Manchester United Academy.
In 2001, Whitaker signed his first professional contract with the Silkmen and made his debut on 2nd February 2002 when his goal proved to be a mere consolation as Exeter City left the Moss Rose with all three points.
Danny really broke on to the scene during the 2002-03 season, the highlight of which being an extra time hat-trick against League One side Barnsley in the League Cup (see an in-depth report on this here).
With ten goals to his name before Christmas, it was no surprise when higher league teams started to monitor his progress. Then Silkmen Manager David Moss did not react well to this however, and in an interview with the Manchester Evening News stated –
Quite frankly, I am sick and tired of reading about players who have just signed two-year contracts but want to get away.
Danny Whitaker will be going nowhere except Macclesfield reserves if he doesn’t improve.”
Former Macclesfield Town Boss David Moss speaking to the Manchester Evening News.
Harsh words from Mossy – yet he was renowned for them wasn’t he!
Danny proceeded to have a number of steady seasons with Macc as he became an ever present in the side, weighing in with his fair share of goals in the process.
Despite making 45 appearances and scoring six goals during the 2005-06 season, Whitaker was released by the club shortly after picking up his Player of the Year Award.
Port Vale were quick to pounce and Whitaker agreed to join the League One club at the start of the 2006-07 season.
Once again, Danny proved to be an almost ever present for the Valiants over the next two seasons, notching up a total of thirteen goals.
Yet in the summer of 2008, Whitaker turned down an offer to stay at Vale Park in the wake of their relegation to League Two. Instead he decided to stay in League One by signing for Oldham Athletic.
For the next two seasons, Danny was again an almost an ever present, scoring eight goals for the Boundary Park outfit.
It was surprising that he was released at the end of the 2009-10 season therefore, in a move which angered many Latics fans who thought that he had done more than enough to earn a new contract.
Danny then moved to League Two side Chesterfield in the summer of 2010 and during the following season he did not miss one league match, His fifteen goal tally was priceless as the Spireites were promoted to League One as Champions, and Danny also featured in the PFA League Two Team of the Year.
Whitaker found it difficult to cement a regular place in Chesterfield’s First Team during the following season as they struggled with life in League One. He did sign a one year extension with the club in May 2012, however following the 2012-13 season he was released by Manager Paul Cook.
John Askey then brought Danny back to the Moss Rose in the summer of 2013, and since then he has defied his footballing age by showing everyone that he still has the same fitness, desire and determination to succeed as he did during his first spell with the club.
Danny signed up for his tenth professional season with Macc in the summer of 2017 and what a season it would be! The Silkmen’s very own Benjamin Button, he continued to get better with age, as could be seen with his pivotal performances during the 2017/2018 season, playing an integral role in the middle of midfield and hitting some memorable strikes, most notably against Sutton United, Aldershot Town and Tranmere Rovers.
Danny’s invaluable efforts were rewarded by Silkmen supporters and from further afield as he received the MTFC Player of the Year award in April 2018 and then a month later, Whitaker was honoured at the Non-League Paper’s National Game Awards, collecting the Player of the Year award.
Very rarely do players like Danny come along. He is rightly viewed as a Silkmen legend and as such, a well deserved testimonial will be granted to him in the near future.