|William's birth registration.|
Just days before William's third birthday his father, James, passed away. James had fractured his spinal column in about September 1890. I can only presume that he incurred the injury down the pit, perhaps a fall of stone, but I can't find any evidence of such.
On 30 April 1909, William married Jeanie McQuade at Larkhall, and they went on to have two children together. It was around this time that William joined Larkhall United Football Club, and went on to play for them for seven years. He later played for Bellshill Athletic as centre half-back.
In late March 1916, William contracted a "chill" while at work down the pit. This later turned into a combination of pleurisy and pneumonia, which he sadly died from on 2 April 1916. William was a very popular young man, and was deeply mourned by his family, friends and local footballing circles.
Published in the Hamilton Advertiser, 8 April 1916.
"A fine, manly fellow, a player who put his whole heart into his play, and possessed, as he was, of considerable ability, it was not surprising that he should be a favourite with Lanarkshire's football enthusiasts. His demise will be regretted by a wide circle of friends."
It should be noted that William's first cousin, William McLean, was the grandfather of the three footballing brothers; Willie, Jim and Tommy McLean. So football is clearly in the McLean blood.