The Allan Maxwell Story. By Tony Onslow

When Allan Maxwell decided to leave his native Scotland to play professional football, he had no idea that, eventually, he was involved in one of the most peculiar transfers that ever happened in Victorian England. He had been born, 2-4-1869 in Lanarkshire town of Dalziel, now part of Motherwell, where his Father worked as a Coal Miner. The 1871 census finds the family have moved to 30 Sunnyside Rows in Cambuslang where young Allan is confirmed as being 2 years old. He is listed as a Scholar on the 1881 census which reveals that the Maxwell family have now moved to the town of Hamilton. They were living at 5 Windsor Street when Allan Maxwell left school and joined his Father working at the Mine. It is around this time that he started playing football for Cambuslang on their home at Whitefield Park and was at the club when they became founder members of the Scottish League in 1890.They finished in fourth place but, at the end of the season, Allan Maxwell decided his interests would be best served by moving to Scottish League outfit, 3rd Lanark in Glasgow. He had not long been with his new club when Everton came in with a temping offer to move South, which he excepted, and play his football in Liverpool. However, when the newsreached the ears of a Scottish journalist, who wrote under the name of “Puffer”, he promptly aired his displeasure and penned the following article. It seems to imply that the Merseyside club had made Maxwell a previous off while he was at Cambuslang.

no sooner had 3rd Lanark got under way than the pirate makes in roads in to their territory and destroys what they had taken such pains to build up.  Allan Maxwell of Cambuslang who has only been with them something like a couple of months, has been bought by Everton. He left, I believe, for Liverpool on Wednesday by the 2 pm Express. His companions are supposed to be Foyer (St Bernard’s) and Pinnell (Blantyre Victoria). I have seen the later play in an important junior match – Scotland v Ireland – and was rather favourable impressed by his style. Mr Molineux should now feel well satisfied. A year ago, I figured a £100 Bank of England note which Allan Maxwell handed to the Cambuslang club to refund Everton – price of his blood – but I should like to know which landed the prize one year later (Scottish Sport, 24-10-1891.)

Our friend was correct in his assumptions that Maxwell and Pinnell had left Glasgow for Liverpool but Foyer, as it later transpired, did not travel with them. It is almost certain that Everton wanted Maxwell to replace Alec Brady who had recently left their club and returned to Scotland. Theexecutive had made a special arrangement for an Accrington X1 to make a mid-week visit to Anfield and both the new signing were reported to have played well as the visitors were beaten by 2 goals to 1. The club then announced that both men would appear next Saturday in the Combination side at Anfield but, at the eleventh hour, Maxwell was thrusted straight in the Everton first X1 for the visit to Deepdale where Everton were beaten 4 goals to 0 by Preston North End. He was then placed in the second X1 for a couple of games but returned for the visit to Wolverhampton Wanderers where Everton were again beaten by 5 goals to 1. Nevertheless, he retained his place in the side for the next home game against where he scored his first goal for the club in 5-1 win over Aston Villa. Allan Maxwell went on to make sixteen appearances, scoring four goals in the process, as Everton finished the season in fifth place behind league champions, Sunderland. The now famous internal dispute now occurred which saw Everton leave their former home at Anfield and move to their present-day home at Goodison Park. Allan Maxwell remained with Everton and took part in their inaugural match, against Nottingham Forest, and became a permanent fixture in the clubforward line. His team however, could not match the Sunderland “team of all talents” who were about to regain the league title but a prolonged, and arduous, FA Cup run had seen them reach the final where a game with Wolverhampton Wanderers now awaited them.

Allan Maxwell was part of the Everton team who took to field on the home of Manchester Athletic Club at Fallowfield where the number of spectators completely overwhelmed the enclosure and frequently interrupted the play. The Anfield club, who were favourites to win, put in a poor performance and were beaten by the only goal of the game. The club executive now put the extra money to good use by bringing in the much sought after Scottish International forward Jack Bell from Dumbarton who played in the three remaining Football League fixtures before the season came to an end.

Records reveal that Maxwell must have now married a certain Ayrshire lassie named Agnus McBlain, for their son, Thomas was born in Scotland on the 18th of August 1893 shortly before he returned to Liverpool. His employers however, had been busy in the transfer market and competition for places in the Everton forward line had intensified when they secured the signature of Jack Southworth, a prolific goal scorer, from Blackburn Rovers. Maxwell now lost his regular place in the side and made his final appearance, 4-11-1893, against Sheffield Wednesday before accepting an offer to join a Darwen side who were struggling at the bottom of the table. He had played in all 50 times for the Everton first X1 and scored 16 goals.

Maxwell instantly made his debut against a West Bromwich Albion side who drew a crowd of 5,000 to their home on Barley Bank Meadow. He played at centre forward but failed to score as Darwen won by 2 goals to 1. The Scotsman, during the rest of the season, managed to score only three goals as his side finished next to bottom of the table. They then lost a test match against Small Heath and were relegated to the 2ndDivision of the Football League. Allan Maxwell spent another two and a half seasons with the East Lancashire club, in which they failed to gain promotion, before excepting an offer to re-join the top tier of English Football with Stoke. This news of his transfer was reported sometime around the first week of January 1896. The Darwen directorate however, did not request a fee but asked the Potteries based club to foot the bill for a new set of Wrought Irons gates that were needed at the entrance to their Barley Bank enclosure. This they agreed to do, and the transaction went ahead.

Allan Maxwell now “teamed up” fellow Scot Willie Maxwell and made his debut in an FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur at the Victoria Ground where he scored twice as Stoke routed the Londoners by 5 goals to 0.They then eliminated Burnley before losing to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the 3rd round of the contest. Nonetheless they were at sixth place in the table, their best performance to date, when the season came to an end. Allan Maxwell remained with the Staffordshire side for two seasons before returning to his native land where he joined the St Bernard Club in Edinburgh. The move did not go unnoticed by the Scottish press, and a local journalist penned the following article… 

At centre Allan Maxwell is be tired. This player has done good service for Stoke but has wandered about too much to justify one believing he is as good as was thought to be when he first came from Cambuslang. (Edinburgh Evening News, 30-8-1897.)Allan Maxwell appeared to have ended his football career in Edinburgh before returning to the area where he was born and took up his oldoccupation as Coal Miner. He appears on the 1901 census living, along with Agnus, at 257 Glasgow Road, Hamilton while his Father-in-Law and the Brother of his Wife also reside at this address. Their son Thomas is not on this census form but may be found living with his Grandmother, and her four daughters, at Brook Street in Darwen. The family however, were soon re-united for they appear amongst the passengers on the SS Ethiopia when she sailed, from Glasgow, bound for New York. Allan Maxwell, who represented Everton in the 1893 FA Cup final spent the rest of his days in America and died there in 1956. The following picture shows his last resting place in Lexington 

Cemetery, Perry County, Ohio. He was 76 years old.

By Tony Onslow

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