Billy Mackinnon

Up front in the 1872 team Alex Rhind's partner at the centre of Scotland's attack was Billy Mackinnon, William Muir Mackinnon, aged just nineteen. But unlike Rhind, who gained just the single cap, Mackinnon would be awarded nine over the seven seasons to 1879, leading the attack against England in the first eight fixtures and also against Wales in its first every game. Noted for his technical ability, described as *a brilliant, dribbling artist", he would, having joined in 1870 and been captain of the 2nd XI, also be in the Queen's Park teams that took the Scottish Cup in 1874, 1875 and 1876, scoring the opening goal in two of them. Moreover he is also credited with the first use, at least international use, of the bicycle kick. And if tallent in his feet was not enough he also had a fine tenor voice that would see him as a young man audition and be accepted by Milan's La Scala and in later life be a member of the Glasgow Choral Union, where post-football from 1882 he was a soloist, and the city's Cathedral choir.  

Billy Mackinnon was born in 1852 on Eglington St. in the Gorbals, the same street that fifteen years later would see foundation of his only club. He was the youngest of some ten children, the son James Mackinnon, of a pattern weaver, and Margaret McGill. In 1861 the family was still at 173 Eglington and in 1871 he is still at home now at nearby 88, Abbotsford Place, recorded as commercial clerk. And even a decade later, still recorded as a clerk, he was once more in the family home, which now was on Langside Road, which starts in Govanhill and finishes as the eastern boundary of the Queen's Park itself.

However, in 1883 in the Gorbals he had wed Margaret Conner, who incidentally seems to have earlier lived in Bonhill across the river from Vale of Leven F.C.. It might have been a marriage made by football, which by 1891 had produced two daughters and son, with the family now on Maxwell Road in Pollockshields. This was before a move soon after to Hamilton Road in Cambuslang and a further son and a daughter, five children in all. And there they would remain in 1911 and 1921.  

However, Muir Mackinnon would lose his wife in 1926. In fact he he would outlive her by fully eighteen years and when he died in 1942, aged ninety, still in Cambuslang now at 91, Hamilton Road and actually remembered in obituaries more for his musical prowess, would be not only Scotland's first great centre-forward but by some distance the last surviving member of that first 1872 team. He is buried at Westburn Cemetery, Cambuslang in another much neglected grave.

Birth Locator:                    1852 - Eglington St., Glasgow

Residence Locator(s):     1861 - 173, Eglington Street, Glasgow

                                             1871 - 88, Abbotsford Road, Glasgow

                                             1881 - 67, Langside Road, Glasgow

                                             1842 - 91, Hamilton Road, Cambuslang

Grave Locator:                   Westburn Cemetery, Cambuslang

Other Sources:


And there is always Andy Mitchell's inestimable: 

Scottish Sports History(1)

Scottish Sports History(2) 


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