Hughie Wilson

Hughie Wilson was not a Galston or Loudoun boy but it was a season as a twenty-year-old at Newmilns that first attracted attention. It led to a first Scotland in 1890, one of four over fourteen years, and a career at left-half and inside-left on both sides of the border that would last almost two decades. 

In fact "Lalty", as he was nicknamed, was born still in Ayrshire but by Mauchline, the son of John Wilson and Jean Mair. The year was 1869. And he would die in Ayrshire too, in 1940 in Kilmarnock and be buried back in Newmilns. But his early life in Scotland until a transfer, again in 1890, was something of a mystery now somewhat unravelled.          

John Wilson Snr. (Hughie would have and elder brother, John, and two son, John and James, the former also becoming a professional footballer, starting at Newmilns F.C., "The Lacemaker", founded in 1887, defunct in 1895 but with James Shields as if Honorary President) was a railway fireman. Jean or Jane Mair or Muir seems to have come from a family with farming connections around Mauchline, one farm being known as Bilboa, where Hughie was born, and also around Newmilns. The couple had married there in 1862. By 1871 the family was living in Kilmarnock and by 1881 it was in Paisley, with John Snr. now a railway-driver but with no sign of Jean. After that, however, the picture blurs until 1894, when in Newmilns Hugh, described as a "Lace Weaver" but giving an address in Sunderland marries local girl, Sarah Cairns, with the reason for the English address being that four years earlier he had been signed by the Wearsiders. In fact he would remain at Roker Park for nine seasons and two hundred and fifty or so games before moving on to Bedminster, which in 1900 merged with Bristol City. In 1901 he and family are living close to Ashton Gate, he now recorded as a Professional Footballer.      

But his stay in Bristol would only be for two seasons before a return to Scotland for six seasons at Third Lanark, the best part of one hundred and fifty games first at Cathkin Park and the rest at New Cathkin, the secnd Hampden, and his last two caps. It was followed by a final season, 1907-8, full circle at Kilmarnock, at which point the family, at least by 1911, returned to Newmilns, living on Main St., he back at his original trade as a lace weaver. And ten years later that was still his trade, by which time his eldest son had played seven seasons at left-back for Hearts but no Scottish caps for perhaps the simple reason he had been born in Sunderland and therefore "English". 

And it seems it was Newmilns where Hughie remains until his death in Kilmarnock Infirmary in 1940. Sarah would survive him by thirteen years and both are buried in the town's cemetery.   

Birth Locator:

"Bilboa" (Cottage), by Mauchline, Ayrshire


Residence Locations:

1871 - Bonnieton Square, Kilmarnock

1881 - 66, Causeyside St., Paisley

1894 - Blue House, Newcastle Road, Sunderland

1901 - 244, Upton Road, Southville, Bristol

1911 - 144, Main St., Newmilns 

1921 - 128, Main St., Newmilns

1936 - Newmilns


Death Locator:

1940 - Kilmarnock Infirmary, Portland St., Kilmarnock


Burial Locator:

Newmilns Cemetery


Other Locations:

Cathkin Park

New Cathkin Park  


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