Alex Graham

There is every chance that the fathers, both from Galston, of Alex Graham and Davie Calderhead worked the same pit, albeit not at the same time. The future international footballers, both centre- cum half-backs were born perhaps no more than half a mile from each other but with twenty-five years between them. For Graham the year was 1889. But whereas Calderhead was drift away to begin his footballing career in Dumfries, Graham start was not at Galston itself but neighbouring Hurlford. That was before he moved with the whole family to Larkhall, where he began down the pit before in December 1911 aged twenty-two going to London for a trial at Arsenal, to be signed in January 1912 and make his debut in December that year just before the move north of the river to Highbury was made.

It was a stay at the now North London club that that was to last a dozen years, well over one hundred and fifty games, although interrupted by The Great War, when he returned to Scotland to the coal mining he had already known as a younger man. It would also include one cap, in 1921, before in 1924 in his mid-thirties he dropped two divisions to a struggling Brentford. By then just he had married, perhaps remarried, Virginia Dawson in Edmonton, North London. A daughter, also Virginia, was born that same year. 

In fact at Brentford Graham's footballing fortunes did not improve, not even when he became assistant manager and in 1926 he was at the age of thirty-six to drop out of the league altogether, whilst still staying in Brentford, where he would have a tobacconist-confectioners, to become player/manager at Folkstone, again with little obvious success. It prompted him to leave the game altogether and move back to North London once more and change profession. By 1939 the family was living in Muswell Hill, he recorded as Alexander Gilmore Allan Graham, his mother having been an Allan, and working as a decorator.

But at that point Alex Graham trail blurs. He is said later to have worked as a security guard. His wife seems to have died in 1970, but in Wallingford in Berkshire, whilst his own passing would be just two years later. However, it would be in Whittington Hospital in Islington but with a home address given still as in Muswell Hill. No burial place is known.

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