Professional footballer sued for alleged breach of promise

August 5, 1905
Defences have been lodged and answers ordered in an action raised in Falkirk Sheriff Court at the instance of Mary Richards, 8 Sandyford Street, Kelvinaugh, Glasgow, against Luke Raisbeck, West Limerigg, Slamannan, at present a professional football player in Blackpool, for £500 damages for alleged breach of promise of marriage and seduction.

In her pleadings the pursuer states that one day in the year 1903, while she was living with her mother in Slamannan, she, along with her cousin, entered an aerated water shop in the village for a refreshment, and there met the defender, who was also a customer. The defender, without any invitation or introduction, entered into their company and made himself agreeable and entertaining by his conversation.

He thereafter accompanied the pursuer and her cousin to within a few yards of their house, and the pursuer alleges that the defender conversed with her chiefly, and expressed the hope when parting that he might be allowed to meet her again. To this the pursuer agreed. They continued to meet, as arranged, two or three times a week so long as defender’s professional engagements permitted him.

About the middle of 1904, the pursuer alleges, the defender proposed marriage to her, and she accepted him. They were afterwards looked upon and regarded by their friends and acquaintances as an engaged couple.

While the defender was in England playing football, the pursuer states that he wrote her regularly, and that his letters were invariably couched in the most loving and affectionate terms. He usually addressed her as “My dearest Mary,” and finished his letters with “Your loving and true sweetheart,” “Your true lover for ever,” and “Your true and loving sweetheart for ever;” and signed his letters “Luke Raisbeck,” each signature being accompanied by a number of crosses, meant to represent kisses.

The pursuer further alleges that about the month of July, 1904, the defender under a promise of marriage seduced the pursuer in her mother’s house in Slamannan. It is further averred by pursuer than when making inquiries she ascertained that the defender, on July 24 last, entered into an irregular marriage with a barmaid in Glasgow.

Pursuer states that consequently she has been affronted and has suffered grievously in her health, and her nervous system has undergone a severe shock, and also that the defender’s behaviour has wounded her feelings and blighted her future happiness and prospects.

The defender, in his defence, admits having first met the pursuer as condescended, and that they occasionally thereafter met as arranged, and also that he wrote letters to the pursuer while he was in England. He, however, denies having promised to marry the pursuer or having seduced her. The defender admits that on the June 24, 1905, he was married in Glasgow, and avers that following upon a letter which he had received from the pursuer he met her in Glasgow, and by mutual consent parted for ever.

Agents – For the pursuer, Andrew Galloway, writer, Glasgow: local agent, Mr. William Stevenson, solicitor, Falkirk; for the defender, Mr. Andrew Hunter, solicitor, Falkirk.
(Falkirk Herald: August 5, 1905)



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