Archie Lang 

Archibald "Archie" Lang is a man with no known picture or photograph or grave yet he is recognised as being one, with Joe Lindsay, of the two players first to be capped from his Dumbarton club and also pioneer of football in China. As to his start in Scotland he was born in 1859 on Dumbarton High St. at No. 97, later staying aged eleven in the tenements at No. 199 before the family move to College Park St. and then Risk St. But by then he was on his way. Having seemingly first played club football in 1874, so aged fourteen or fifteen as the craze for the game began, and more seriously from 1876 at eighteen he was showing enough promise to be selected for a Scotland trial, followed by three more, and in 1880 at nineteen at left full-back with club-colleague Joe Lindsay up front won his first and what was to be his only cap. At that point who knows what he might have gone on to achieve even despite the prospect of competition in the position from Tom Vallance, Andrew Watson and eventually Wattie Arnott but it was not to be. Having got his club to its first Scottish Cup Final fate intervene. In early 1881 his work as a Marine Engineer like his father, took him abroad and as it happened about as far from the Kinning Park encounter as is possible. He sailed for Shang'hai and would only make ever one more appearance for the The Sons of the Rock, in 1886 on a visit home, which in fact was to marry local girl, Mary Hutcheson, he giving his address as that of his parents by then on Risk St. 

However, his football career even in Shang'hai was not over. There he joined John Prentice a football-mad, Beattock-born, Greenock educated engineer and was joined by Fred Anderson, formerly of Queen's Park and Clydesdale and the man to have in 1874 scored Scotland's first ever goal. Anderson would go on to become President of the Shang'hai Rugby Club, educated at The Glasgow Academy he played both codes, but Prentice had in 1879 already been in at the foundation of the Shang'hai Engineers Football Club. In fact he was its first President and Lang on arrival would not only play for it but become club captain.  

Archie Lang, with Mary joining him, appears to have spent the rest of his working life in Shang'hai. Indeed, the next record seems to be in 1924 just a year before his death. A Mr A. Lang, engineer, returns to the UK aged sixty-five. The age is a year out but he travels from China and does so with a 35 years-old Mr. J. Lang, also an engineer, plus wife and a twenty-four year old Miss M.H. Lang. Possibly they are Archie's children, probably both born in China as there is no record in Scotland. Moreover, whilst the elder male Lang and "daughter" give an address in Glasgow, in Blackhill, the younger one gives a home address in Dumbarton. The hometown connection appeared still to be there.

In fact Archie was to die not in Glasgow but in Alexandria, his passing registered by his younger brother, John, who again stayed in the hometown. Furthermore he is recorded as a widower, which would explain why Mary had not also been on the ship's manifest, probably means she had predeceased him in Shang'hai, since there is no Scottish record of her death and none either of where she, indeed they, are buried, although in his case at least it is thought to be in Dumbarton Cemetery.

Birth Locator:

1859 - 97, High St., Dumbarton

 

Residence Locations:

1861 - 97, High St., Dumbarton

1871 - 199, High St. Dumbarton

1881 - Shang'hai, China

1891 - N/A

1901 - N/A

1911 - N/A

1921 - N/A

1924 - (20, Lossie St., Glasgow)

1925 - Gasworks House, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire

 

Death Locator:

1925 - Gasworks House, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire

 

Grave Locator:

N/A

 

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