William Fulton

In 1877 William Fulton, born in 1857, was at twenty a founder member of Abercorn, Paisley's chronologically marginally second, senior club. And he would play for it at half-back for the best part of a decade, by 1880, the first year of entry into the Scottish Cup, becoming its captain. Indeed, there was a second Fulton in that 1880 team, "J", quite possibly his elder brother, James. Moreover, there might have been involvement of a third, eldest brother, Robert, with in 1881 an "ex. President" recorded with that name.

The three lads were the first three children, three boys and then three girls, of locally-born parents, their father a Shawl Weaver. But Fulton Snr. died in the mid-1860s, his widow left to bring up the six weans. It could not have been easy, with the siblings having little choice but to begin work as soon as education allowed. 

The high-points of William's football career were in 1883, when he was selected for the Scottish Counties and then in 1894 when he received a single cap, against Ireland, in Belfast, a 0-5 win. His team never progressed beyond the fifth round of the Scottish Cup. He would then hang up his playing-boots in 1886 at just short of thirty but would remain close to the club, acting as an umpire, with each team having one on the field and the referee in the stand as ultimate arbiter, i.e. human VAR. 

Meanwhile, never marrying, William had worked progressively in the town's cotton mills and eventually set aside enough to open a tobacconist cum newsagents just where he stayed on the edge of the old town-centre. And that was how it was until he retired. He lived with other members of the family. He stayed closely associated with his football club until its dissolution in 1920. In fact he remained in the old town, always within a few hundred yards of the Abbey, until his death in a local nursing-home at the age of eighty-three, his death signed off by a niece. As to brother,  James, he also remained unmarried but nothing is known after 1891, whereas other brother, Robert, seems to have married and perhaps emigrated to Australia. 

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