Early Scotland internationalists - new details

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Early Scotland internationalists - new details

Postby ScottishFA » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:48 am

I've been spending a fair bit of time recently working on the biographical details of early Scotland players, and it's amazing how much detail can now be worked out using digital resources. It is also apparent that there is quite a lot of wrong information in Doug Lamming's book - sometimes a day or a year out, sometimes he has completely the wrong player. It's hard to blame him for that, as he was working in the pre-internet age when the published word was the only source, and mistakes tended to be repeated once they were in print.

Anyway, I have posted a few on my Sports History blog at http://www.scottishsporthistory.com/sports-history-news-and-blog.html including William Barbour Agnew, David Alexander, William Bowie, Thomas Robertson and Bernard Breslin.

There are too many others to list here, and it's still a work in progress (which will probably never be finished!). In the meantime here are a few random corrections to generally published dates and info:

Matthew Armstrong (Aberdeen): born 13 (not 12) November 1911 in Newton Stewart. Died 4 October 1995 in Aberdeen.

William Wightman Beveridge (Queen's Park): died 26 (not 20) January 1941 in the pulpit of his church in Greenock, while preaching a sermon. There are obituaries in the Herald and Scotsman.

George Brewster (Aberdeen and Everton): generally quoted as being born in Culsalmond in 1893 - but this man died in 1921. I haven't worked out the correct dates yet!

Allan Craig (Motherwell): born 9 (not 7) February 1904 in Paisley. He died 26 December 1978 in Paisley.

Michael Gilhooley (Hull City and Sunderland, and others): born 26 November 1894 (not 1896). He died in Troon on 17 May 1969.

John Ainslie Johnston (Hearts): not Johnstone, his surname was spelled without an e on birth and death certificates. He was born in Stevenston on 17 November 1902 and died 12 October 1987 in Kilwinning.

Donald Ford (Hearts) has two middle names: in full he is Donald Campbell Clark Ford.

Robert Scott Gibson Neill (Hibs, Liverpool and Rangers): Neill not Neil. He was born in Glasgow on 24 September 1875 and died in Govan on 2 March 1913 of chronic alcoholism.
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Re: Early Scotland internationalists - new details

Postby Sat31March1928 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:34 pm

Brilliant. I'll update my records accordingly.
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Re: Early Scotland internationalists - new details

Postby Scottish » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:52 pm

Definitely agree it's time for a new Who's Who as it's now a quarter of a century since Douglas Lamming's book. As you say, sources available then were far fewer than now. I did see an 'updated' Who's Who a few years back. I didn't buy it because as far as I could make it everything up to 1986 was just a reprint of the Lamming book without any acknowledgment and that's something I don't like at all.
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Re: Early Scotland internationalists - new details

Postby cowdenbeather » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:59 pm

A new Who's Who would be a great idea - I have quite a few corrections/updates that could be used.

'e.g. James Ellis of Mossend Swifts wasn't capped it was his brother Dave.

And my favourite - You won't find any records of the birth of a James Curran Baxter on 29 September 1939 at Hill of Beath. His birth certificate shows his name at birth was James Curran and he was born at Kirkcaldy Maternity Hospital.
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Re: Early Scotland internationalists - new details

Postby bobby s » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:27 pm

cowdenbeather wrote:A new Who's Who would be a great idea - I have quite a few corrections/updates that could be used.

'e.g. James Ellis of Mossend Swifts wasn't capped it was his brother Dave.

And my favourite - You won't find any records of the birth of a James Curran Baxter on 29 September 1939 at Hill of Beath. His birth certificate shows his name at birth was James Curran and he was born at Kirkcaldy Maternity Hospital.


I'm very interested in your work Andy -and it's not just early internationalists. Similar to the above, according to his biography Alan Gilzean was born on 22nd October 1938 in Perth and not October 23rd in Coupar Angus as is often quoted.
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Re: Early Scotland internationalists - new details

Postby Scottish » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:29 pm

cowdenbeather wrote: You won't find any records of the birth of a James Curran Baxter on 29 September 1939 at Hill of Beath. His birth certificate shows his name at birth was James Curran and he was born at Kirkcaldy Maternity Hospital.


What's the story behind that then?
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Re: Early Scotland internationalists - new details

Postby cowdenbeather » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:55 pm

Bob Baxter was born in Burntisland and later lived in Lumphinnans. He was Raith Rovers captain in 1904 but his career was ended by injury. Bob was killed in 1915 in the Great War and his young children including sons Bob Baxter and Dave Baxter were later brought up in Lumphinnans by James Curran who became their step-father. Dave played for St Johnstone and in the 1938 2nd Division championship Raith Rovers side. In 1934 when playing for St Johnstone versus Dunfermline at East End Park Dave went on a darting run up the field with the ball at his feet. Watching on the sidelines was his stepfather James Curran who in the excitement suddenly collapsed. He was taken to the Dunfermline and West Fife Hospital but sadly had died after his seizure at the match.

In 1939, Dave's step sister Elizabeth Curran had a baby at Kirkcaldy Maternity Hospital. She was unmarried and the baby was named after her late father James Curran. Her step brother Bob Baxter (a well known player in the Fife juniors) and his wife Agnes Denholm (from a huge Fife footballing family) had no children and so adopted the baby at birth. They lived in Hill of Beath. The baby's birth was registered as James Curran but his name was extended to james Curran Baxter when he was adopted by Bob and Agnes.
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Re: Early Scotland internationalists - new details

Postby Scottish » Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:41 am

Amazing story. I had absolutely no idea.
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Re: Early Scotland internationalists - new details

Postby ScottishFA » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:32 am

cowdenbeather wrote:'e.g. James Ellis of Mossend Swifts wasn't capped it was his brother Dave.


What's the background to that? I have to say it is difficult to work it out:

When the SFA announced the team to play Ireland on 17 March 1892, it simply said Ellis (Mossend Swifts), and so did the match reports I've seen.

The SFA registration books show that Mossend had three players called Ellis around that time: James, David and Alexander.

David played for Hearts in 1891/92, including the week before the international v Ireland when 'Ellis (Mossend Swifts)' was capped, which would indicate that it was not David. However, he didn't play for Hearts on the day of the international.

Lamming, confusingly, says that it was James Ellis played for Hearts.

The SFA annual for 1892/93, and all subsequent records, say the cap went to to J. Ellis.

That's all I've got to go on.
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Re: Early Scotland internationalists - new details

Postby ScottishFA » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:12 am

Perhaps a first step towards a new Who's Who is for me to list the players for whom I have no clues at all for birth or death information, and in a few cases not even a first name. If anyone can provide some clues to these people, such as an address, an obituary, or a middle name, it would be appreciated. Here goes, in alphabetical order:

Harry A Anderson (Hibs, Raith, St Mirren)
William Anderson (Queen's Park)
John Blair (Motherwell)
Andrew Brown (St Mirren)
Robert Brown (Cambuslang)
Robert 'Plumber' Brown (Dumbarton)
John Buchanan (Cambuslang)
Robert Calderwood (Cartvale)
John Cameron (Renfrew, Rangers)
John Campbell (South Western)
James Cleland (Royal Albert)
John H Cross (Third Lanark)
David Davidson (Queen's Park)
James Duncan (Alexandra Athletic, Rangers)
William Gibb (Clydesdale)
David Hill (Rangers)
John Hill (Airdrie, QP, Hearts)
James Hogg (Vale of Leven, Ayr Utd)
James Hutton (St Bernard's)
John Inglis (Rangers, Blackburn Rovers)
James Johnstone (Abercorn)
Alexander Kennedy (Third Lanark)
John Kennedy (Hibs, Stoke, Glossop)
W Lamont (Pilgrims)
David Lindsay (St Mirren, Hearts, West Ham, Leith)
Alexander Lochhead (Third Lanark, Morton, Everton, Clyde)
Alexander Low (Falkirk, Workington, Raith Rovers)
James Lowe (St Bernards)
J McAdam (Third Lanark)
J McAulay (Arthurlie)
Edward McBain (St Mirren)
Robert McCormick (Abercorn, Stoke)
William McIntosh (Third Lanark, Partick Thistle)
Angus Mackinnon (Queen's Park)
James McMillan (St Bernard's)
John McPherson (Clydesdale)
R McPherson (Arthurlie)
John Marshall (St Mirren, Middlesbrough, Llanelly, Brooklyn)
John Marshall (Third Lanark)
John Miller (St Mirren)
Peter Miller (Dumbarton, Partick FC)
Robert W Neill (Queen's Park, London Caledonians)
James Phillips (Queen's Park)
John Russell (Cambuslang)
William S Somers (Third Lanark, Queen's Park)
George Somerville (Uddingston, Rangers, Queen's Park)
Andrew Thomson (Arthurlie and Third Lanark - one or two players?)
William Thomson (Dumbarton)
Thomas Turner (Arthurlie)
William Turner (Pollokshields Athletic)
William Watson (Falkirk)
John Weir (Third Lanark)

Anyone not on this list, I either have their dates or some information that should be sufficient to work them out. Happy to share.
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Re: Early Scotland internationalists - new details

Postby Scottish » Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:45 pm

ENFA gives the following:
Alex Lochhead (Everton) dob 12/5/1866, Johnstone
Bob McCormick (Stoke) born Paisley
Jock Marshall (Middlesbrough) born Saltcoats. Lamming gives Saltcoats too

There was a John Inglis played a few games for Preston 1888-89. Possibly same as Rangers & Blackburn man? No birth details.
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Re: Early Scotland internationalists - new details

Postby ScottishFA » Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:51 pm

The Lochhead date is definitely wrong. The man born in May 1866 was a soldier who committed suicide in 1896!
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Re: Early Scotland internationalists - new details

Postby bobby s » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:13 pm

Harry A Anderson (Hibs, Raith, St Mirren) - born 1892?
William Anderson (Queen's Park) - born 1860?
John Blair (Motherwell)- born 1910?
John Hill (Airdrie, QP, Hearts) - born 1859?
John Inglis (Rangers, Blackburn Rovers) - born 1859?
Alexander Kennedy (Third Lanark) - born 17/3/1847
W Lamont (Pilgrims) - Walter?
James McMillan (St Bernard's) - born 1866
John Weir (Third Lanark) - born 1858

This is the bits and pieces I have, although where I've collected them from I've no idea. I've always intended to get into Register House to try and complete the Hibs players details. One of these days, as the pre-war details are pretty scarce.
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Re: Early Scotland internationalists - new details

Postby LLD » Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:41 am

ScottishFA wrote:
cowdenbeather wrote:'e.g. James Ellis of Mossend Swifts wasn't capped it was his brother Dave.


What's the background to that? I have to say it is difficult to work it out:

When the SFA announced the team to play Ireland on 17 March 1892, it simply said Ellis (Mossend Swifts), and so did the match reports I've seen.

The SFA registration books show that Mossend had three players called Ellis around that time: James, David and Alexander.

David played for Hearts in 1891/92, including the week before the international v Ireland when 'Ellis (Mossend Swifts)' was capped, which would indicate that it was not David. However, he didn't play for Hearts on the day of the international.

Lamming, confusingly, says that it was James Ellis played for Hearts.

The SFA annual for 1892/93, and all subsequent records, say the cap went to to J. Ellis.

That's all I've got to go on.


I've been doing a bit of research on and off on Mossend Swifts though I haven't got as far as 1892 yet.
Contemporary editions of the West Lothian Courier are superb - they contain a wealth of information on local (and occasionally national) football so that might be a source that may very well yield a definitive answer. The West Lothian Local History Library in Linlithgow has it on microfilm.

Looking back a year or two, all the Ellis brothers featured regularly in the Swifts side. Alex. Ellis was usual listed as left back with David left half and James in the forward line - I'm not sure if this might help narrow the search down?
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Re: Early Scotland internationalists - new details

Postby ScottishFA » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:15 am

Talking of Mossend Swifts, their other international was Robert Boyd with two caps. Thanks to a genealogical message board I've been in touch with a descendant who kindly provided me with his dates:

Born 2 July 1867 in Whifflet, died 11 August 1930 in West Calder.

His grave is also online: http://www.gravestonephotos.com/public/gravedetails.php?grave=209488
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