There is no evidence that William Gordon ever played football but as a Scot and one born in 1870 it seems highly likely. But it is not for any skill he might have displayed on the field that he is remembered. It is for a Cup, one that is said still to exist but of which there seems to be no picture. It, the Gordon Cup, was first presented in 1914 to Manaos Athletic, the winner in the Brazilian jungle-city of the same name, of the first Amazonian Championship. Its donor is often referred to as an "English" merchant, of whom there were a number in trade on the Amazon river. But then Gordon, by then in his mid-forties, William Stewart Gordon, was a Scot, indeed one born in Elgin. His mother was a local girl, his father, Thomas, from Ross-shire, from the village of Fodderty, half way between Dingwall and Strathpeffer.
In 1871 the family, Gordon Snr. a clerk, is living in Elgin. In 1881 it does not seem to be in Britain. In 1891 they are back but now living in London, Thomas the Secretary/Accountant of an Oil and Coal company, and William a Tea Merchant's Clerk., the family also seemingly having connections with India. But what took him to South America, albeit perhaps briefly, at some point in the next decade is unclear. In 1901 the family is still in Camden in 1901 but he is not. However its may have been rubber. Certainly from 1910 onwards as a merchant he, or rather an Elgin-born, London-based William "Stuart" Gordon, at times described as a rubber-merchant can be seen regularly travelling, from Manaos (now Manaus) and Belem at the mouth of the River Amazon to Britain, from and to the States and crucially to Malaya and Singapore and back. And the name change from Stewart to Stuart may even provide a clue to his death, in 1943 in Kensington in London, leaving a widow, Ethel Burns Gordon, Burns being, coincidentally or not, the surname of one Manaus' early, British, footballing pioneers.
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