November 26, 1910
There is no need for us to emphasise the fact that the subject of our present sketch is a Scot. The name itself implies this, but perhaps it is not so generally known, that this player’s father was a First League footballer many years ago, when some of the present generation were only starting to think of participating in the winter past time. Let it at once be thoroughly understood that we are not dealing with the Tariff Reform question in introducing this footballer to the notice of the Liverpool public; it is from a sporting standpoint solely that our interest is concerned we do mention him.
Donald Mackinlay was born at Boughall, near Glasgow, and football early attracted his notice. He did not, however, come under the ken of the public until he became associated with a club known as Newton Swifts, and with this combination he figured as an outside left for three seasons. The Swifts were attached to the Lanarkshire Juvenile League, in which however they made but little progress, but in the Juvenile tourneys they made their presence felt in Lanarkshire, and in five different competitions, they were victorious thrice, while on the other two occasions they were the runners’ up. Mackinlay thus became the possessor of five medals – three for winning and two as the result of being beaten in the final.
Mackinlay’s next club was Rutherglen Woodburn, and here it was that he became associated with the full back line. He operated in the forward ranks for about three months, but was then incapacitated through injury, and on his return to the team was tried in the rear division, and kept there. For one campaign only did he stay with Rutherglen, and then transferred his services to Newton Villa. This club was connected with the Lanarkshire Junior League, and after helping them as an outside left he was subsequently placed at left full-back.
Here he remained for one season a half back, and had some exciting experiences. His club gained second place in the Lanarkshire Junior League ere he left them, and participated in what must surely rank as a record in Cup Competition warfare. The Villa opposed Strathclyde no fewer than seven times in the third round of the Scottish Qualifying Cup Competition before they arrived at a decisive verdict, and not till then was victory theirs.
The Villa went as far as the fifth round of this tourney; reached the penultimate stage of the Lanarkshire junior Cup, and seemed well in the running for the ultimate acquisition of these trophies, ‘ere Mackinlay was brought to the notice of the Anfield people, and his acquirement led to the disruption of his native side.
In January of the present year he came to Liverpool, but did not figure in their reserve team until February 5th, when he played against Workington at Anfield as left full back. His subsequent appearances were intermittent, but on April 6th, he operated at left half back against Preston Reserves at Anfield, and showed most creditable form.
On April 20th he came into the League team for the first time, and at Anfield was the left full back in the match with Nottingham Forest. Liverpool won by seven goals to three, but we do not mean to insinuate that Mackinlay was the cause of this Forest failure.
His first season of English football therefore found him performing as full back, though with strong pretensions to a permanent place in the intermediate line. This present year he has gradually drifted into the half-back division, and in the minds of many good judges of the game, he seems best fitted for the post of left half back. Standing 5ft. 8in., and weighing 11st. 7lbs., he is well adapted from a physical standpoint for a position in a first class team, and so rapid has been his development since coming to Anfield that we may confidently expect him in the League eleven again in the near future.
In the summer months, he is especially interested in cricket, and in conjunction with a number of other youths in his native place indulges in the wielding of the willow and the hurling of the leather sphere. Batting and fielding are his chief points, particularly the former, and in this manner Mackinlay keeps himself fit for the more arduous work of a winter’s campaign. We trust that he will emulate the example of his father, and become – as the latter eventually was – one of the most consistent backs in the League.
(Joint Everton and Liverpool Match Programme: November 26, 1910)