David Prophet McLean

Scottish Football Answers to Questions

David Prophet McLean

Postby nightfire » Sat Apr 04, 2009 1:57 pm

The John Litster record of pre-war players has Davie signing for Celtic on 05/02/1905 and then again on 21/04/1907.

Davie was born on 13th December 1890 (Alphabet of Celts) and would therefore have been 14 years old when he first signed and 16 years old in April 1907.

Were players able to sign for a club whilst under 18 years old in those days?
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Postby scottish » Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:52 pm

He played for a club called FORFAR Celtic. See HERE right-hand column

Information which came to light after that was written has Maclan as having scored 405 league goals in total - 162 in England and 243 in Scotland, thus making him the only Scot other than Jimmy McGrory to score over 400 league goals.
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Postby nightfire » Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:02 pm

scottish wrote:He played for a club called FORFAR Celtic. See HERE right-hand column

Information which came to light after that was written has Maclan as having scored 405 league goals in total - 162 in England and 243 in Scotland, thus making him the only Scot other than Jimmy McGrory to score over 400 league goals.


Thanks for that.

The query is over his date of birth which in the linked page is given as 13th December 1887 whereas the "Alphabet of Celts" has it as 13th December 1890.

Where is the 1887 date from?
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Postby scottish » Sun Apr 05, 2009 2:52 am

nightfire wrote:Where is the 1887 date from?


I don't have the book to hand so can't check it but I think it was from Douglas Lamming's 'Who's Who'
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Postby nightfire » Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:43 pm

scottish wrote:
nightfire wrote:Where is the 1887 date from?


I don't have the book to hand so can't check it but I think it was from Douglas Lamming's 'Who's Who'


I've just received a scan of Davie's birth certificate stating he was born on 13th December 1890.

I wonder if he lied about his age when he first went to Celtic
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Postby soccerhistory » Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:42 pm

The (incorrect) birth date of 1887 for David Prophet McLean appears in quite a number of sources. I suspect that because he was playing adult football from such an early age (he was 13 when playing for Forfar Half Holiday) some researchers might have thought 1890 couldn't be right. However, in the late 19th century boys left school and entered work at a much earlier age than today and so it was possible to play in adult teams if you were good enough. McLean is often confused with the other David McLean (who was mainly a manager) and Jim Stewart wrote an article that appeared in issue 8 of Soccer History on this subject.
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Postby nightfire » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:14 am

soccerhistory wrote:The (incorrect) birth date of 1887 for David Prophet McLean appears in quite a number of sources. I suspect that because he was playing adult football from such an early age (he was 13 when playing for Forfar Half Holiday) some researchers might have thought 1890 couldn't be right. However, in the late 19th century boys left school and entered work at a much earlier age than today and so it was possible to play in adult teams if you were good enough. McLean is often confused with the other David McLean (who was mainly a manager) and Jim Stewart wrote an article that appeared in issue 8 of Soccer History on this subject.


Is there any link to this article?
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Postby Cinneide » Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:45 am

nightfire wrote:
soccerhistory wrote:The (incorrect) birth date of 1887 for David Prophet McLean appears in quite a number of sources. I suspect that because he was playing adult football from such an early age (he was 13 when playing for Forfar Half Holiday) some researchers might have thought 1890 couldn't be right. However, in the late 19th century boys left school and entered work at a much earlier age than today and so it was possible to play in adult teams if you were good enough. McLean is often confused with the other David McLean (who was mainly a manager) and Jim Stewart wrote an article that appeared in issue 8 of Soccer History on this subject.


Is there any link to this article?

You could buy the magazine - http://www.soccer-history.co.uk/backissues.asp
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Postby nightfire » Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:24 pm

Thanks for the link. I've purchased No8 and some others :lol:
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Postby scottish » Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:27 pm

Just to confirm the 1887 birthdate I gave in the original article is from Lamming. I checked with Brian McColl' site to confirm that his two earlier Forfar clubs (before Forfar Athletic) were indeed junior clubs not juveniles and that was in fact the case. As an aside I noted that there were two unior clubs called Airdrie who had the misfortune to play at what must have been Scotland's answer to the Wankdorf stadium - Fiddlenaked Park!
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Postby nightfire » Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:23 pm

scottish wrote:Just to confirm the 1887 birthdate I gave in the original article is from Lamming. I checked with Brian McColl' site to confirm that his two earlier Forfar clubs (before Forfar Athletic) were indeed junior clubs not juveniles and that was in fact the case. As an aside I noted that there were two unior clubs called Airdrie who had the misfortune to play at what must have been Scotland's answer to the Wankdorf stadium - Fiddlenaked Park!


Any idea where Lamming could have got his data?
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Postby scottish » Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:54 pm

nightfire wrote: Any idea where Lamming could have got his data?


Not really. I suspect soccerhistory is on the right track, particularly as the date is right and the year wrong which suggests a tampering with the year rather than a mix-up with an older brother or someone with the same or similar name. It's possible that an obituary recorded the earlier date.

Remember, Douglas Lamming wrote his book in the mid-1980s without any of the resources available nowadays.
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Postby nightfire » Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:38 am

I'm visiting Register House in Edinburgh on 15th April and will check that there is not another David Prophet McLean registered on 13th December 1887.

I don't expect there to be which will confirm 1890 as the year in which Davie was born.
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