Daniel John Ferguson "Dan" Paton is a man with no image in life, at least no sketch or photograph so far, but one in death in the form of his gravestone in Vale of Leven Cemetery. He was born in 1871 on Blairvault Farm above Jamestown, the first son of six children, his parents both Dumbarton-born, his father then an Agricultural Labourer. But the family was to move from the land, first to Balloch and then Bonhill, the father to work in the print-fields.
At eighteen Dan was also a print-field worker but at the same time, having begun with local, junior club, Vale of Leven Wanderers, was turning out in the forward-line of Vale of Leven itself. It was the second season of the Scottish League. The Vale would finish bottom and, it was presumably that it and Cambuslang were then not re-elected plus professional interest from down south prompted a move. He was signed by fellow Scot, George Ramsay, of Aston Villa, one of several dips into the Scottish market-place the Birmingham club would make that season.
However, his time at The Villa was not a success. Six months later he was back in Scotland, played a season back at The Vale outwith the league before joining the Edinburgh club, St. Bernard's, where he remained for four seasons featuring in the 1895 Scottish Cup winning team that defeated Renton. On leaving the Auld Reekie he would then return to the West of Scotland for two seasons with Clyde still in the First Division before at almost thirty returning to The Vale.
By then he had been capped just once, in 1896 and scoring from inside-right in a 4-0 defeat of Wales. That day "Toffee" McColl at centre-forward also won his first cap. But by 1902 his playing days were over and his settled back into normal life in Alexandria, working as Calico Flat Press printer until retirement. In 1901 he had married Margaret Carswell from Bonhill. They were to have five children, three girls and two boys and she would just outlive her husband. She would die in 1958 in Alexandria as he had done just a year earlier, aged eighty-five, to be buried in the Vale of Leven Cemetery.
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