First foreign player for Hearts?

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Alan Brown
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First foreign player for Hearts?

Post by Alan Brown » Tue Jan 31, 2006 10:24 pm

A few years back while researching season 1908/09, I came across a goalkeeper for Hearts named De Meza. He played against Rangers on 28th November 1908, in a match Rangers won 4-3 at Ibrox. He sounds like he could be foreign, but I don't know any more about him, apart from the fact he was an amateur. He is mentioned in the Scotsman match report from the Monday. Perhaps he could be the first foreigner for Hearts?

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Post by Sat31March1928 » Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:55 am

Hearts had the first 'Coloured' footballer in Scotland to score a league goal. That was in the 1890s. He was called John or Johnny Walker, his nickname in those less PC days was 'Darky'. He also played for Leith Athletic and was recruited through the docks. So He would probably be the first Overseas player to play for Hearts.

Most confusingly He played at the same time as the other John Walker and Bobby Walker so I'm having trouble tracking him down in my records.

I'll keep you updated.
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Post by Sat31March1928 » Wed Feb 01, 2006 4:02 am

Jackson; James; Jackson; James; Jackson

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Post by Sat31March1928 » Wed Feb 01, 2006 4:35 am

He made his first appearance on 29th Oct 1898 in a 5-1 victory over Hibs.

http://www.londonhearts.com/scores/imag ... 102902.htm
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Post by Scottish » Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:07 pm

From 'Killie - the Official History' on Kilmarnock v Leith on October 8th 1898 just before Walker signed for Hearts.

" Closest rivals, Leith, were beaten in an enthralling match. Leith's winger, Walker, was one of the earliest black players in Scotland. Happily, there were no reports of racial taunting at this game."

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Post by Sat31March1928 » Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:31 pm

scottish wrote:From 'Killie - the Official History' on Kilmarnock v Leith on October 8th 1898 just before Walker signed for Hearts.

" Closest rivals, Leith, were beaten in an enthralling match. Leith's winger, Walker, was one of the earliest black players in Scotland. Happily, there were no reports of racial taunting at this game."
I was trying to find the game he scored in. The Scotsman has some reports where it just states that Hearts scored a goal without giving the players name.
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Post by Scottish » Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:41 pm

That was annoyingly common back then. From Kilmarnock's early league seasons there are three goals unaccounted for in 1895-96, one in 96-97, none in 97-98 and one in 98-99. All thereafter are accounted for.

The 'Scottish Referee' is a good publication to look but AFAIK the only places with extensive collections are the National Newspaper Library in Colindale and the Mitchell in Glasgow. Even there some editions are missing and others are virtually unreadable on microfilm. Not sure about the National Library of Scotland.

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Post by Sat31March1928 » Thu Feb 02, 2006 7:59 am

Jackson; James; Jackson; James; Jackson

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Post by Scottish » Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:54 am

Yes, the John "Darkie" Walker in question would still be with Leith at the time of these League internationals.

The SFA have registration details from 1893 onwards but it doesn't always include date and/or place of birth.

I'm hoping to get up there in the next few weeks to research my next book so if I get the chance I'll have a look at his registration details.

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Post by Sat31March1928 » Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:49 pm

scottish wrote:Yes, the John "Darkie" Walker in question would still be with Leith at the time of these League internationals.

The SFA have registration details from 1893 onwards but it doesn't always include date and/or place of birth.

I'm hoping to get up there in the next few weeks to research my next book so if I get the chance I'll have a look at his registration details.
I'll also check with David Speed and see if he can throw any light on it.
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Post by Cinneide » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:40 pm

Has any further research been done on Walker's place of birth (and perhaps early career prior to Leith)?

I found the following quote in Scottish Sport of 22 November 1898 after Hearts had played Partick Thistle.
“Well played, Darkey” was the opening shout at Meadowside and the compliment was deserved. Before Walker went to Leith he had enjoyed something of a reputation amongst Partick juniors”
[url=http://www.PTEarlyYears.net/]Partick Thistle - The Early Years - A Club History Online[/url]

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Post by Scottish » Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:16 pm

Leith signed Walker on March 24th 1898 from junior side Leith Primrose. See here

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Post by Cinneide » Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:40 pm

scottish wrote:Leith signed Walker on March 24th 1898 from junior side Leith Primrose. See here
Interesting, thanks David.

I guess it might make sense for him to have joined a east junior team from a west team before going senior, rather than jumping from an unknown Partick junior team right to a senior team.

Perhaps he was working in the docks in Partick and moved to Leith docks where he joined Leith Primrose.
[url=http://www.PTEarlyYears.net/]Partick Thistle - The Early Years - A Club History Online[/url]

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Post by Scottish » Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:55 pm

That's perfectly possible. One problem in finding out more is that Leith Primrose may well have been a new side. Brian McColl's clubs lists has 1898 as year of foundation/earliest reference.

Burnie_man

Post by Burnie_man » Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:14 am

He definately played for Leith Primrose as there is a reference to him in the Leith Observer saying that their "coloured player" had moved to Leith Athletic for season 1898/99.

Primrose won the Leith Burghs Cup in 97/98 and also won the Leith & District Junior League. I'm not sure when they were formed.

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