Kirkcaldy footballers in America


Saturday, March 23 – 1912
In an American paper we observe a lengthy and interesting account of the career of the Tacony Football Club, Philadelphia, a team composed entirely of Britishers, and containing in its ranks several former Kirkcaldy players.

The goalkeeper is Bennell, formerly of Bristol Rovers; right back, John Small, formerly of Wemyss Violet, and a member of a well-known Kirkcaldy family; left back, Lance, formerly of Belfast Celtic; centre half, Morrison, late of Strathclyde, and a junior internationalist in Scotland; right half, Alex Hunter, formerly of Greenock Morton; outside right, Plant, late of Liverpool; inside right, George Kemp, late of Raith Rovers and East Fife; centre, Hector Macdonald, formerly of Raith Rovers and Heart of Midlothian; Tom Hyslop, formerly of Rangers.

Macdonald star player.
The newspaper from which we quote says – “Macdonald is easily the best all-round player in the country. His great knowledge of the inner points of the game, which he familiarised himself with when playing in Scotland, has always been in evidence, and there is not the last doubt that had he been in his native country he would have gained the highest honours. While Macdonald stands out more prominently than the rest of his confreres the other are not far behind, all being players of exceptional abilities. The forward line has not a superior in the East, their short passing being a treat to witness, and they always play to large crowds.

Great back division.
When we come to size up the back division of Tacony, they have about the best defence in the country. The full backs, Small and Lance, are a hard pair to beat, who are alive to all the tricks of the game. Small, although up the “Small” side, makes up for what he lacks in that respect by his daring work. Small is the best back in Philadelphia, his kicking and tackling reminding one of the famous English and Scotch international Billy McCracken.

Tacony F.C.’s record.
For the last three seasons Tacony F.C. have with considerable ease secured the championship of the Pennsylvania League, and there has hardly been an eleven which could give them a tough battle. In 1909-10 they also captured the American Cup.

Players capped.
John Small, who is a son of Mr. David Small, rope-spinner, Pratt Street (himself a former athlete and Rugby player), has been “capped” by the Pennsylvania League, and is a great favourite, not only for his sterling abilities as a footballer but for his personal worth. His reputation, we hear, has reached the ears of a well-known Scottish League club in the West country, and strong efforts are being made to induce him to return to his native country. Hector Macdonald has also for his League, while George Kemp was reserve. Kemp is at present home on a visit, and was in Kirkcaldy last week renewing former acquaintances. He looks hale and hearty, and is emphatic in his praise of Small as a class back. Tacony Club is alarmed at the prospect of the Langtonian returning home, and are using every persuasion to get him to remain in the United States.
(Fifeshire Advertiser, 23-03-1912)

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