Club news

Matt McQueen: Liverpool F.C.’s choice


February 19, 1923
After careful examination of an extraordinary number of applications for the post of team-manager to the Liverpool Association Club, now threatening to establish a post-war record as League Champions, the directors of the club have appointed Matt McQueen to that position. There is no better-known man in the club, for he has been connected with Liverpool for over 30 years.

Matt McQueen, Liverpool F.C.
Matt McQueen

Matt McQueen, who was born at Harthill, Lanarkshire, was a footballer in the days of his youth, and earned a first-class medal at the age of 16, when his weight was 7st. 9lb.

Beginning with West Benhar, who for four years were never beaten on their own ground, he successively assisted Bo’ness, Champfleury, the Heart of Midlothian, and Leith Athletic, whom he joined in 1888-89.

However, one day a gentleman named John McKenna, posing as a commercial traveller, for an expedition to Scotland was no formal matter in those days, visited the warehouse where Matt McQueen was engaged in a position of responsibility.

On the same day Mr. McKenna signed both Matthew and his brother Hugh. That was October 27, 1892. They travelled to Liverpool on October 28, and on the next day played against Newtown, Montgomeryshire, in the English Cup and routed them by 9-0.

John McKenna, Liverpool F.C.
John McKenna

That was how his connection with Liverpool commenced, and it was continued in the capacity of a player until 1900-01. Strictly speaking Matt McQueen was a right half-back, but in these twenty seasons he played in all the eleven different positions as required. In his heyday he was 5ft. 7in. and 9st. 8lb.

The nine “Macs.”
McQueen went to Liverpool in the formation year of the club when it was renowned for its company of “Macs.” On the books at the same time were William McOwen, goalkeeper; Duncan McLean, left back; John McCartney, right half-back; Joe McQue, centre half-back; James McBride, left half-back; Malcolm McVean, outside right, and the two McQueens, with Mr. John McKenna as linesman in the first year of the club.

From 1900-01 to the outbreak of war Matthew McQueen was a well-known referee, but four years ago he became a director of the Liverpool club, resigned on February 7, and was appointed team-manager last Tuesday. His knowledge of the game is extensive and peculiar.

International Honours.
In his prime Matt McQueen received many honours from the East of Scotland Association, of which Frank Watt, of Newcastle United, was then the secretary. In 1890 he was capped by the Scottish Association against Wales at Wrexham, when the Scots won by 5-0.

The team was composed of many celebrities, but no one took the eye of McQueen so much as one Hugh Wilson, of Newmilns, who will for ever be identified with the rise of Sunderland.

A year later, March, 1891, McQueen was again at right half-back a Wrexham, when Scotland overcame the Principality by 4-3. But he recalls, with a feeling of almost veneration, that he played for his country against the Canadians at Glasgow on October 5, 1891, when the visitors were defeated by 5-1.

We say veneration because Mr. McQueen recalls the team, which was;
J. McLeod (Dumbarton), Walter Arnott (Queen Park), Hugh Smith (Third Lanark), Matt McQueen (Leith Athletic), A. McCreadie (Glasgow Rangers), Willie Maley (Celtic), G. Hector (Battlefield), W. Berry (Queens Park), J. Hamilton (Queens Park), Alex “Sandy” McMahon (Celtic), and John Bell (Dumbarton).

On Friday evening Matthew McQueen and William Maley were in he same company at Newcastle-on-Tyne.

Such was the team against the Canadians! Scotland would be proud to place an eleven like this in the field against England at Hampden on April 14 next.

Yet in that very season of 1891-92 England won at Ibrox by 4-1. The “old crocks” were the conquerors. In their annual report the S.F.A. remarked that their defeat by England was “the only black spot in our record.”

Not on the map.
The new manager recalls the day when Mr. Tom Watson, of Liverpool, inquired on the telephone where Turton was? Liverpool had a little Combination engagement there, and the late Mr. Watson ventured to remark to Mr. John James Bentley: “Turton! Why it’s not in the map.”

Liverpool found that it was, for their team was well beaten.

Tom Watson, Liverpool F.C.
Tom Watson Liverpool F.C.

For the moment Mr. McQueen will centre attention on higher games, as Liverpool have an ambition to be the first club to win the League championship in successive years since the division was increased to 22 clubs.

When Liverpool can beat Blackburn Rovers with such ease while two of their best men are taking part in a representative match the resources of the champions must be considerable. The compass is set for the port, and a week or two will decide that issue.
(Athletic News: February 19, 1923)

Liverpool managers together, from left: George Patterson, David Ashworth and Matt McQueen.
Three managers together

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