John, Dave and Roy Maconald of East Wemyss

Tuesday, April 5 – 1932
In senior football circles it is not unusual to find two brothers playing together for the same team. For a whole season, John, David and Roy Macdonald appeared together in the ranks of Dundee F.C.

The story of how their trails criss-crossed over the two countries before eventually converging on Dens Park makes most interesting reading.

The Macdonalds are still living within cry of their birthplace and football nursery – East Wemyss. There each of them worked in the pits and spent their Saturdays and holidays in trying to master the problems of the association game.

John, the oldest, was the first of the family to make a name for himself as a footballer. In 1904 he signed for Raith Rovers from the Vale of Wemyss juvenile team. The Kirkcaldy club won the Qualifying Cup during John’s last season in their ranks.

In 1906, when Rangers picked him up, he was a full-fledged outside left and worthy of a place in one of the greatest teams of all time.

While in Glasgow Jock was very unfortunate in missing a Scottish Cup medal. He played in that unhappy final of 1909 between Rangers and Celtic, when the Cup was withheld owing to a riot.

After three more years in Scotland John Macdonald joined many of his fellow countrymen in England.

In 1909 he joined Liverpool, and in the same season turned out for the Anglo-Scots against the Scots. In that year, too, he was reserve, along with the great Bobby Walker of Hearts, to the Scottish team for their match with England.

Seasons 1911-12 and 1912-13 were spent on Tyneside at St. James’ Park. From Newcastle, John came north to Dundee, where he played for a few months before the war.

From that time until 1919 he was in active service in the Gordon Highlanders in France.

For a little while after he was demobilised he sought employment in the shipyards at Dundee. At the beginning of season 1919-20 in company with his brothers, Roy and Dave, he re-signed for Dundee. It was during that season that the three played together.

In 1921 John went to settle down in his native Fife. His last season as a pro (1921-22) was spent with Raith Rovers, his first love.

For the past ten years he has been a miner in the Wemyss pits.

Five years with Dundee
David, second of the brothers in respect of age, had a season with the now famous Rosslyn Juniors before joining his older brother in Liverpool in 1912.

The two seasons prior to 1914 Dave spent near his old home. 1913-14 found him with Kirkcaldy United; the following season with East Fife.

In 1915 he joined the Navy, and for fully three years was a signalman in the English Channel.

Demobilised in 1919, Dave made a bee-line for Dens Park, and there he found a peg which he retained for five seasons. Dundee was his last club. With them he finished in 1924.

Some ten years ago, Dave opened up a licensed business in the Overgate. On his retiral from the field he transferred to the Wellgate. Five years ago he returned to Fife.

Today Dave is known for miles around as the host of the Wemyss Arms Hotel, Methil.

Dog and Bird Fanciers.
Like his brothers, Roy, the “baby” at the family, graduated to higher circles from local juvenile football. He played usually at centre half, and occasionally at full back. During his season with Kirkcaldy United (1913-14) he won a Fife Cup medal.

Net year he came to Dens Park, and, again following the worthy example of his majors, he joined the ranks in 1915.

Roy, like Dave, was a Gordon Highlanders.

While stationed in his regiment, in Ireland, he was transferred to Linfield for some time. That was in 1916.

After another season with the Dark Blues immediately after the war, Roy went south. Tottenham was the name on his railway ticket, and he spent all of season 1920-21 with the ‘Spurs.

His last three season in the game (1921-24) were spent with Bradford City. For the past eight years he has been working with John in the Wemyss coal pits.

None of the Macdonalds has lost his interest in the sport. All are supporters of East Fife.

Roy likes to go a little further afield for his entertainment, and enjoys an occasional trip to Dundee, Edinburgh or Glasgow, when the programme is a good one.

Through the whole of “the Kingdom,” the brothers are known as dog and pigeon fanciers. They have two fine greyhounds, winners of many prizes at open meetings. Their birds, too, have brought honour to the Macdonald name.
(Evening Telegraph, 05-04-1932)


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