Fred MacKay
Fred MacKay
Fred Mackay
● Fred Mackay, c1915 (ANC)

probably born in Scotland

Farquhar McKay (self-stylized as Frederick Cameron MacKay throughout his life) was born on Wednesday, 2nd April, 1856, in Kelvinhaugh, Glasgow.

The 6' 1 forward probably joined Thistle in 1881.

Aged 25, he made his first-known appearance on Saturday, 10th September, 1881, in a 3-1 win away to Mavisbank in the Scottish Cup.

That day, Fred became a member of our scoring debutant's club.

He scored the last of his 3-known goals on Saturday, 5th November, 1881, in a 3-2 win (aet) at home to Petershill FC in the Scottish Cup, netting a brace on the day.

He played his last known game for the club on Thursday, 6th April, 1882, in a 5-2 friendly defeat away to St Bernard's, having appeared for the Thistle on at least 6 occasions.

His known club-list included only Partick Thistle.

Fred died on Saturday, 7th July, 1917, in Hillhead, Glasgow, aged 61.

Bio Extra

The son of Alexander McKay (shipwright) and Flora McKay (née Cameron). Seemingly not enamoured with the Farquhar McKay name assigned to him at birth, our man let it be known (census, SFA records, spirit merchant records, death records) that he was to be a Frederick Cameron MacKay or F. C. MacKay. When it came to signing the death register entry, his son, Frederick (another personal statement!) signed himself "Frederick MacKay".

Fred had a number of jobs in his time - he followed his father into the shipyards and worked as a carter - but was mainly employed as a barman and shopkeeper, and was licensed to sell spirits. In 1881, in his mid-20s, he was living at 1149 Dumbarton Road in Whiteinch with his Partick-born 25-year-old wife, Maggie (née Sinclair), and their 1-year-old daughter, Katie. They would shortly move home to Stewart Place, also in Whiteinch. At that time, he was a new member of the Partick Thistle Football Club, who had moved nearby to his home the season before, namely their first private ground at Jordanvale. As a result, Thistle had attained membership of the Scottish Football Association for the very first time. We can ascertain that Fred was regarded as being able in terms of organisation, for he was appointed the match secretary for the second and third seasons at Jordanvale, and played for the first team on several occasions, always across the forward line. All of the club members could take pride in the fact that Partick Thistle went unbeaten for two whole seasons at Jordanvale, Fred especially so since he arranged all the fixtures in season two. Alas, the magic spell was broken in November 1882, when the mighty Vale of Leven proved to be a challenge too far at that stage of Thistle's development.

One of his relatives described Fred as a fine looking man, well built, and over 6 feet tall. In his thirties, he began to suffer with rheumatism, which affected his working life. In one of the places where he served alcohol, the masonic lodge would meet, and he had to become a mason in order to move among them and serve them food and drinks. The charitable nature of freemasonry meant that Fred's children benefitted from financial support from the institution at a time when he needed it. He and Maggie had at least 5 children together - Katie, Flora, Frederick, Isabella & Archibald. Sadly, Fred became a widower at some point, and was living at Maxwell Street, Partick, when he succumbed to pneumonia at the Western Infirmary, midway through 1917. His son, Frederick, was living with him at Maxwell Street at that time, and, as previously mentioned, it was he who signed the death register entry.

(WS/JK)



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