Duncan McComish

When Mexico's first football championship was played for in 1903 it was won by the Club Deportivo Albinegros de Orizaba, or as it was known then, the Orizaba Athletic Club. Founded in 1898 it had begun with cricket and was based at the Santa Gertrudis mill set up in 1897 in the town of Orizaba on the railway connecting the port of Veracruz and Mexico City and at the foot of the country's 4,000m highest peak. The mill itself processed jute, including making coffee-sacks. Its owners were the Kinnells from Dunfermline but via Narva, now in Estonia, many of its senior workers were Scots (that first, winning football eleven contained ten) and several were from Dundee, including the man credited in 1902 with instigation of its football, trainer and goalkeeper, Duncan MacDonald McComish.

In fact Duncan Macomish, whilst he was raised in the city on the Tay, the son of a Railway-porter cum Salesman from Crieff, his mother from The Great Glen in the Highlands, had been born in 1872 and in Kirriemuir. At nineteen he was working as a Dyer and is said to have played football at a decent level locally before being recruited, perhaps for the start of the mill's construction in 1892 but probably at twenty-one for is opening in September 1893, to Central America. And he soon settled in. In 1898 he married in Orizaba itself, his bride, local girl, Maria Moreno, with whom he is thought to have nine children. However, apart from that little else is known except that, with a son, Hector, born in Rio Blanco by Orizaba in 1919, at some point after that he and the family moved to Puebla, a hundred miles to the west. 1917 and 1919 had been times of great industrial unrest at Santa Gertrudis. And it is in Puebla that in 1930 he died at the age of fifty-eight.

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