Alexander "Alex" Lochhead

In 1910, such was the esteem that Alex Lochhead was held in his home community of Neilston, that a benefit match was held for him in neighbouring Barrhead. It is said it was because he was in poor health. In fact it is more likely to have been because, in only his mid-forties, he had just been widowed and for the second time. More-over, he had six surviving children to feed, three from Mary, his first wife , who he married in 1886 and had died in 1895, and three more from his second, Barbara, with their wedding in 1896, who had passed away in 1909. Neither woman had seen forty.

Lochhead himself had been born in 1863. Both parents were from Paisley, his father a printer. His trade was initially a Band-Sawer and later Cabinet Maker. His footballing, as a half-back, began with local team Neilston Victoria but at eighteen he stepped up to the Paisley team, Abercorn, for three seasons. He then moved to the more local, top-flight team, Arthurlie of Barrhead, for a season in the year he married for the first time but was clearly looking for something else in first spending the 1885-6 season at more distant Morton and then heading South. However, he went to Notts Castle, a club in Nottingham that would collapse faster than it had been formed.

After that it was back to Arthurlie for one campaign and on to Third Lanark for three more. And it was there that he made a mark and in more than one sense. In December 1888 he was convicted of an on-field assault of a player from one of his ex-clubs, Abercorn. Nevertheless in 1889 The Thirds with him very much in the team would take the Scottish Cup and he personally win a first, and only, cap, on the strength of which he tried his luck Down South once more. This time he went to Everton, boarding as a cabinet-maker close to the ground, as Mary stayed at home, but arriving in early 1891 he did not establish himself, stayed a little over year and came North once more. But he came as an English professional into a still amateur Scotland and had, on re-joining his previous club, to wait until the following summer, that of 1892, to be reinstated to play.

The second stay at Cathkin Park would last a year. He ceased to play, albeit temporarily, in 1893 now aged thirty. The reason is perhaps the three children he already had and the increasingly poor health of Mary. She would die within two years and it would take another year before he was back, remarried, and playing, but now more locally. He had a season at Neilston once more, another with Cartvale in Busby and a last one with Barrhead Amateurs before at thirty-six finally hanging up those boots. 

Alex during his final footballing years and a little beyond had been and was still staying in Barrhead and would remain there until perhaps Barbara's death or more likely his mother's six years earlier in 1903. Certainly, from at least 1921 and probably earlier right to the time in 1939 of his own passing, although he died in a poorhouse cum hospice in Paisley, he had been living at what had been widow Lochead's address in Neilston. Indeed, he is buried in Neilston Cemetery, although it does lie more or less equi-distantly between his dual, home- villages. And there he joined in a still well-kempt grave both his former wives, his first son, who had died in 1887 aged three months, and a grandchild, who had passed away at just two weeks.

Birth Locator:

1863 - Stewart's Land, Neilston, Renfrewshire


Residence Locations:

1871 - Stewart's Property, Neilston, Renfrewshire

1881 - Neilston, Renfrewshire

1891 - 6, Skerries Road, Liverpool

(Martin's Land, Main St., Barrhead)

1901 - 102, Main St., Barrhead, Renfrewshire

1911 - N/A

1921-39 - 76, Main St., Neilston


Death Locator:

1939 - Craw Road Institution, Paisley


Grave Locator:

Neilston Cemetery, Barrhead, Renfrewshire


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