Saturday, January 21 – 1939
Discouraged by temporary loss of form and upset by the unfriendliness of part of the crowd a young football despaired of ever making his name in the game. Now he is one of its stars. This afternoon he will be taking his part in an important cup-game … and he owes nearly everything to one man.
The player is Jimmy McAlinden, brilliant young inside right for whom Portsmouth recently paid Belfast Celtic £7,500.
And the man to whom he gives most credit for his success is Elisha Scott, great ex-Liverpool and Irish goalkeeper.
Elisha became manager of Celtic when Jimmy was wondering if he would ever please the crowd again. The old star went to see a reserve game in which McAlinden was playing.
It was the same tale … everything the youngster did went wrong and the crowd let him know it. A spectator standing near Elisha was furious. “Look at him!” he raved. “He’s hopeless. He shouldn’t be in the team at all.”
“Shouldn’t be in the team at all?” echoed Elisha. “Why that lad’s got more football brains and ideas than the rest of the those twenty one put together.
“Shouldn’t be in the team at all? He’s in the first team next week … at inside right!”
Within three months McAlinden was the sensation of Irish football. Within a year he was a star, and the other day Elisha wrote to the youngster wishing him the best of luck over here.
To-day, Jimmy will be all out to make good against West Bromwich, for he knows that his continued success is the best news his old manager and friend could receive.
(Daily Mirror, 21-01-1939)