On Wednesday, May 26, 2004 we reported that...

A DUMBARTON man has made a surprising discovery about his great great grandfather — an unknown football legend.

Alex Begg was over the moon to find out Malcolm McVean, from the Vale, was one of the first players ever to join Liverpool F. C. in the season the club was founded in 1892.

The information came to light when Mr Begg, of Crosslet Road, Silverton, found a piece of paper concerning his relative, which had been left by an elderly aunt who died.

After some research at Dumbarton Library Mr Begg found some details about McVean’s chequered footballing career during his brief life— as he died aged just 36 from suspected TB.

And after contacting the Mersey club Mr Begg last week received a rare photograph of his relative, with team-mates, which is believed to have been taken in August 1892.

Now he wonders what happened to his great great grandfather’s English League Division 2 Championship medals which he won with Liverpool as they began their fledgling ascent to their now Premiership and European greatness.

Read more: Archive Hour: Delighted Vale midwives win gold standard

Alex said: “I discovered the piece of paper in 1999 which contained some family background about Malcolm McVean, and that he was born on March 7 1871 at 45 Levenbank Terrace, Jamestown.

“I contacted Dumbarton Library and they found out more details about him and when I saw that he played for Liverpool I wrote to the club asking them about him and if they had a photograph. They passed my letter on to the club’s curator and he sent back details of his playing history but there was no photo.

“I wrote again recently to see if there was a photo and last week Stephen Done, the curator, sent me the first ever team photo of Liverpool FC which he thought was taken in August 1892. He said that McVean was an elusive chap.”

Mr Begg said that none of his relatives were aware of McVean, who was related on his mother’s side of the family.

“When I wrote about a photograph I really didn’t expect to receive one,” said Mr Begg. “None of the family had any idea that our great great grandfather was so famous.

"I would like to try and track down his medals as no-one seems to know where they have gone.”

Mr McVean is believed to have given up an apprenticeship as a boilermaker for a footballing career with the now defunct Third Lanark FC, who played in Glasgow, before signing up with Liverpool in the close season of 1892 — the year the club was founded.

While playing in an outside/inside right position he was a member of the team’s 1895-96 Division 2 Championship side and during his term with the club he made a total of 101 appearances in the Second and First Division and FA Cup and scored 30 goals.

He then transferred to Burnley FC in 1897 but it is also thought that he also played for Dundee FC and Bedminster FC in Bristol.

At the end of his playing careers he returned to home and died in June 1907 in Campbell Street, Bonhill. Prior to joining Liverpool McVean married a Margaret Miller and the couple had three children, Janet, Thomas and Malcolm, the youngest born in 1903 in their Bank Street, Alexandria, home.

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