You'll have to follow me closely with this story because it is a bit of an indirect link but too good to be missed.
My great granny Grace Galloway, on my dad's maternal side, had a brother called Hugh Govans. He was born in 1868 in Crookedholm. I've written an earlier post about him being an engine keeper.
He married Ellen McGinn, a Galston girl and they had a daughter Grace McGinn Govans b. 11 July 1889 in Kilmarnock. Ellen died shortly after in 1891, leaving her young daughter with Hugh but he eventually married a young Belfast girl called Susan and they went onto have two more children, Hugh in 1909 and Susan in 1911.
Ellen McGinn, his first wife, had a younger sister Grace, b. 1873 who married Hugh Goldie from Dalry, b. 10 February 1874, an illegitimate child to Janet Goldie, a millworker.
Hugh began his working life as a coal miner but by 1901 he is listed in the census as a professional footballer. Hugh's footballing career lasted from 1890 - 1904 and he played for several top-class teams. He was a stocky little guy, only 5' 7" tall but weighing 11st. 10lbs. He played at half-back and I'm sure he made every tackle count!
The teams her played for were:
- Hurlford Thistle 1890
- St. Mirren 3 September 1894
- Everton 1895
- Glasgow Celtic 1 May 1897
- Dundee 3 February 1899
- Barry Town 1899
- Millwall 1899
- Dundee 2 June 1900
- New Brompton 1902
- Retired 1904
Hugh was in the Celtic team that beat Rangers 4-0 at the old Ibrox stadium in front of 31 000 tightly packed fans in a League match in 27 September 1897 when 'the finest football played in Scotland this season' was seen. Hugh's 'high energy' also made a big impact at Millwall but he seems to have had some 'drink-ralted' training problems at New Brompton.
He made 25 league appearances for Celtic and two in cup matches and even scored a goal!
By 1911, Hugh was the publican of the Thistle Inn, Crookedholm, where he lived with his wife Grace and their seven children.