Willie Gold
(and David)

That William Gold was in 1893 the captain of the team of mainly Scots from the Sant Marti suburb of Barcelona that against the city's British Colony played the first competitive football match in Catalonia and his record as one of the first two players to be sent off in the same is also a known known. However, who William Gold was has been an unknown, perhaps until now. 

The Sant Marti team was drawn from the lace mill newly inaugurated there by Newmilns, Ayrshire manufacturers, Johnston, Shields and a partner from Nottingham. Indeed, Willie Gold was said to have been born in Newmilns but he was not. And the key to the truth, in fact the story lies in the 1921 Scottish census. There at 58, Jamieson Terrace, Newmilns is the Gold family, Willie, his wife, Margaret, both aged forty-six so born in 1874-5 and two daughters. He is Lace Machine Tenter not for Johnston, Shields but now Hood, Morton and Co. His wife is Newmilns-born but he is not. His birth was in neighbouring Galston. Moreover, whilst his 8-year old daughter, Mary, is Darvel-born, so the other side of Newmilns to Galston, the birth of his other girl, Agnes, aged eighteen so born in 1902-3, is in "Barcelona, Spain". 

And there is perhaps more evidence. In Newmilns Cemetery there is a grave. It contains a William Gold dying in 1969 aged ninety-five, so born in 1873-4 and he lies with wife, Margaret, and daughters, Mary and "Nan", Agnes, all with birthdays that all match. The inscription reads, " In Memory of Margaret Aaron D. 27.2.1956 Aged 81y Beloved Wife of William Gold, Their Daughter Mary D. 29.10.1966 Aged 53 Beloved Wife of Hugh McGhee. the Above William Gold D. 1.10.1969 Aged 95y. Also Their Daughter Nan D. 30.12.1987 Aged 84". 

That Willie Gold married Margaret Aaron is clear, but it seems not to have been in Scotland or even England. It points to Spain. That of neither of them seem to have been in Scotland in 1901 does the same. That in 1911 both are in Darvel with only Agnes, once more recorded as Barcelona-born, a British-subject by parentage, ties in with a known footballing presence in the city for young William from 1893 to 1903, perhaps without interruption. After something of hiatus, a retrenchment as James Reeves and George Cochran left the city in 1894-5 he would be part of its revival with the arrival of Hans Gamper in 1899 and the formal formation in January 1900 of Sant Andreu F.C., soon known as F.C. Escoces, with him in the team alongside other others mainly from the Irvine valley, George Girvan and John Hamilton. And when Escoces folded he would move on with Hamilton and another member of the team, Joseph Black, to Hispania, one of the then several local teams also to have emerged. That is until it too folded in 1903 and Willie seems to have given up the game entirely, although he stayed in city as the supervisor at La Escocesa, as the Sant Marti factory was known, until his return to Scotland in 1908.     

But the above is not all. There is a further twist to this story. In 1934 a USA team with, like the 1930 team, several Scots in it took part in the second ever World Cup. It was held in Italy. And like the US team in that first World Cup it was managed by a Scot. His name is David Gould, David L. Gould to be precise. 

He is said to have arrived in America in 1891, to be aged eighteen and to have settled in and around Philadelphia. He is then known to have played for John Manz F.C. from the city, winning the American Cup in 1897, also for Thistles, British-Americans and Eagles and before that is also said to have turned out for Philadelphia Athletic and the Phillies. But no record of a Gould exists for any of these teams, although several report of Manz games spell his name as Gold and for the Phillies in 1894 there is a Gold scoring from the left-wing. 


Moreover, on hanging up his boots and in 1910 being a lace-worker Gould in 1911 became assistant soccer coach at the University of Pennsylvania, retiring seemingly at sixty-five in 1938, although perhaps with an interlude back in the lace-trade. Still today the university presents each year's best player with the David L. Gould trophy. And he would also officiate. In 1926 he ran a line for the US-Canada international. He was also a well-regarded referee, serving as President of both the Referees Examining Board and the Referees' Association. As a result he was in 1953 rightly inducted into the US Soccer Hall of Fame.        

Yet, whilst David L. Gould's role in US soccer is undoubtedly important, for our purposes it is in part peripheral. More to the point is that he is said to have been born in 1873 and in Galston. In fact his American death-certificate gives his birth-date as 4th January 1871, his father as John Gold and his mother as Mary Lindsay thus in 1891 he was not eighteen but twenty. Furthermore, in early 1891 at 8, Loudoun Rd in Newmilns and Greenholm the census records John Gold, a miner, his second wife, Jane,  five of his children with her and three by his first wife, Mary Lindsay. This latter trio includes sixteen year-old William Gold, born 1874 and a "Truttler", and "factory worker", David L. Gold, aged twenty so born in 1871 and in precisely Galston. In the USA the name might have morphed, the age perhaps been "adjusted", Galston become simply Scotland but there seems little doubt that Willie Gold and David L. Gould, by Scots tradition, David Lindsay Gould , the former a Spanish footballing pioneer and the latter very much his equivalent in the USA, were full brothers.

Birth Locator:

Orchard St., Galston, Ayrshire (Willie)


Residence Locations:

1881 - 40, Brewland St., Galston (Willie and David)

1891 - 8, Loudoun Rd., Newmilns and Greenholm (Willie and David)

1910 - 3139, Wendel St., Philadelphia (David)

1911 - 119, West Main St., Darvel (Willie)

1920 - 158, Duboise St., Newburgh,  Orange, New York (David)

1921 - 58, Jamieson Terrace, Newmilns (Willie)

1930 - 2855, Franklin St., Philadelphia (David)


Death Locator:

1939 - 519, West King St. Philadelphia (David)


Burial Locator:

Newmilns Cemetery (Willie)


Other Locations:

 La Escocesa, Sant Marti, Barcelona (Willie)


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