John Douglas McPherson, a cricketer who had turned to the round-ball game, played as a forward for Clydesdale from 1873 for at least two seasons but apparently little more. At that club he was a team-mate of fellow Scotland-players Robert Gardner, David Wotherspoon, William Gibb, Fred Anderson and Reddie Lang. Indeed in the one international he played, in 1875, the first away-draw with England, it was alongside Gardener, his club-captain.
McPherson, renown for his speed and dribbling, had at the age of just twenty come to prominence in scoring the first hat-trick in the history of the Scottish Cup, when in the first round in its first year Granville had been the team at the wrong end of a 6-0 trouncing. He would also feature in the Clydesdale eleven that would lose to Queen's Park in the Cup Final five months later. But McPherson was another of the earliest players, who was not a Glaswegian. He was the son of a Highlander, Donald, probably from Badenoch, and an English-born mother. They had married in Inverness and John, the sixth of eight children, been born in 1853 by some reports in Ross-shire in Dingwall and in others in Inveraray in Argyll.
But, if Dingwall it was, they soon moved on. By 1853 at the latest the family was to be found definitevely in Inveraray, where his father ran the Argyll Arms Hotel, now the Inveraray Inn. Certainly the family, the father and John were there in 1861 and again in 1871. Moreover, he was there once more in 1881, working with his father and reported to have done much for both football and cricket in the town. The local football club was formed in 1890 but disbanded five years later. However, by 1882 the family is said to have again moved on, this time to the Queen's Hotel in Rothesay. But about then twenty-nine year old John is said to have been subject to a paternity-suite back in Argyll and seems to have disappeared, at least so far. He may have left the country with one possible pointer. In 1904 the passing with no other mention is reported of a John Douglas McPherson, aged 52 so born in 1853. And the place of death: Godstone, Surrey, England.
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