The death of Neil McBain

May 13, 1974
One of the most remarkable characters in professional football, Neil McBain, has died in hospital in Ayr, aged 78. A Scottish international centre half in his day, he played for Everton, Liverpool land New Brighton as just part of his incredible career and became one of the most travelled men in British football.

He played League football for seven clubs – Ayr United, Manchester United, Everton, St. Johnstone, Liverpool, Watford and New Brighton. He was manager of five – Watford, Luton, New Brighton, Leyton Orient and Ayr.

He also held sundry other posts as scout and trainer, including one with the Argentine club Estudientes de la Plata.

Mr. McBain, who won caps against England, Ireland and Wales in his Manchester United and Everton days of 1922-3-4 holds two records which are unlikely to be equalled.

Both were established on March 15, 1947, when, in an emergency, he turned out at the age of 52 as goalkeeper for New Brighton in a Northern Section match with Hartlepools.

This made him not only the oldest man to appear in League football but the one whose carrier spanned the longest gap – 32 years. His first appearance as Ayr’s centre forward against Clyde in a Scottish League game on March 20, 1915.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: May 15, 1974; via © 2018 Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited

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