Duncan McLean has several distinctions, one of which is that he is thought to be the first football-player to feature on a cigarette card. He also was a full-back of repute, notably on Merseyside, first with Everton. In fact there he did a right-back swap with Andrew Hannah. He returned to hometown Renton. McLean went down to win the 1891 League title. And then came the departure of Everton from Anfield and the formation of Liverpool, with Mclean choosing to stay on. He was in Liverpool's first team ever. He was one on the Team of the Macs, now at left-back and Hannah on the the right. He would also be in Liverpool's first League team ever and that which saw it promoted in 1894.
Duncan Mclean was born in Renton in 1868. Andrew, his brother, later a professional with Renton but never in England, was ten years his junior. They were the sons of locally-born Dye Field labourer and his Glasgow-born wife. Four years younger than Andrew Hannah the elder McLean grew up in footballing terms somewhat in his shadow and confined mostly to the reserve team. That is until 1888 and the raiding of the first eleven by clubs down South and the formation of Celtic, Hannah being one of the first to go. It allowed McLean to step up beside Archie McCall, show what he could do but not yet win a Scotland cap. That would come later, when, after five years at Anfield, two with The Blues and three with The Reds, in 1895 he returned North, but to Edinburgh and St. Bernards. And it was there he would be finally recognised by his country, twice, in 1896 and 1897.
In part it may have been because of marriage with Catherine Fox that same year. It took place in Alexandria, she being from there. And they were to have four children, three boys and a girl. However, Catherine was in 1907 to die. By then Duncan had returned home footballing career over, he had retired aged thirty, was back working in the dye-fields. And he was soon to remarry and within the local and footballing community. His second wife would be Jane Kelso, the widow of James and the sister-in-law of fellow international, Bob Kelso.
Jane McLean would bring a step-daughter into the family and she and Duncan would have a further son of their own and live out the rest of their lives within a few street in toe south of the village. Duncan would die in 1941 at the age of seventy-three and be buried in Milburn Cemetery alongside his first wife. Jane would join him in 1952, her passing in Old Kilpatrick.
1891 - N/A
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