Hugh Morton

In the same year, 1902, as Colin McNab was born on East Main St. in Darvel but would not stay long in the village so in neighbouring Newmilns there would be the birth of another footballer of note, indeed another Scotland right-half, one we again have no photograph to match the shirt. He was Hugh Morton. 

But that is where the comparison could be said to end. For Morton played the best part of his almost four hundred games over fifteen years almost locally at Kilmarnock, winning the Scottish Cup in 1929 and two caps against Germany and The Netherlands on Scotland's first ever Summer Tour in 1930. And at the end of his career on field in 1937, whilst still first coaching, then managing the reserves in the late 1940s and being a director from 1951 to 1958, he would return to live in Darvel, where he had played as a junior. Indeed he was to die still in Darvel, incidentally by Morton Park and yards from Darvel F.C.'s ground, in 1980 at the of seventy seven.

And here there is another comparison with a locally-born international, Alec Smith. He had returned to Darvel once more to become, as Morton did a generation later, a partner in a lace-making concern. Indeed lace-making was almost in Morton's blood. His father, Darvel-born Nichol, on Hugh's birth in Jeffrey Place, Newmilns, his mother's village, had been a Lace-Curtain Reader, his father before him, also Nichol, too had been a Lace Worker. Hugh's elder brother, also Nichol, would be a Manufacturer and their father would die a lace-factory manager. And in 1921, now with the family moved to Darvel and the year before he made his debut at Killy Hugh too is involved. He is a clerk at Morton Bros, Madras manufacturers, seemingly with a family connection, his father indeed already manager at Henry Gebbie and Co., Lace Manufacturers with his brother also a manager at another lace manufacturer, this time with a possible family connection once more. It was Henderson, Morton, Inglis.      

And as in life the Newmilns/Darvel Mortons remained together in death in the latter's Old Cemetery. Nichol, the father's passing would be in 1935. His first wife, Hugh's mother, Marion, had already predeceased him in 1919. His second wife, Sarah, did too in 1933. And there are other relatives from their generation. Nichol, the son's, death would be in 1975. He is buried with his wife, Bertha. And Hugh too is there with his wife, Elizabeth. They had married in 1927 in Darvel, Hugh describing himself as a lace-manufacturer not footballer, and have one son, named Nichol. Moreover there would be a further twist. Elizabeth, who would die in 1957, was a Morton too, with it unclear if they were related. And her family were also "in the trade", her father, Alexander, a lace-loom tenter.  

Birth Locator:

51, Jeffrey Place, Newmilns

 

Residence Locations:

1911 - 23, Jeffrey Place, Newmilns

1921 - 52, East Main St., Darvel

1927 - Edelweiss, Darvel

 

Death Locator:

1980 - Ranaldcoup Rd., Darvel

 

Burial Locator:

Darvel Old Cemetery

 

Other Locations:

Darvel F.C. Ground

 

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