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Friday, 7 August 2009

They Wore the Dark Blue for Club and Country - Alexander Keillor

As touched upon in the previous "They Wore" article, Alexander Keillor made his Scotland debut as a Dundee player (he played for the national team with Montrose in 1891 and 1892) with two of his Dundee team mates on 31st March 1894.
Alexander Lowson Keillor was born in Dundee in 1869 but was raised in Montrose. He joined his home town team in 1884 and stayed with them until his move into professionalism, and to Dundee FC in 1893.
Keillor made 139 league appearances and 20 Scottish Cup appearances for the Dark Blues between 1893 and 1902. During that time he would be capped 4 times. His first international as a Dundee player was against Ireland in a 2-1 win. The media of the time noted his enthusiasm at the start of the second half:

"Stanfield started for Ireland but Keillor intervened and pressure was for some time kept up in the Irish territory"

Keillor's next international was a 2-2 draw with Wales in 1895, again Barrett was in goal and this time another Dundee player, William Sawers, joined them in the line up. Keillor's next international in 1896 was his first international played at home and, indeed, held at a ground all too familiar to him- Carolina Port. It would also be played in front of the largest crowd he would experience in an international match- 11,700. Proof, if needed, of the enthusiasm for the game that the Dundee public displayed in the early days of association football. The Dundee public were not to be disappointed, as Scotland would run out 4-0 winners, with Keillor scoring one of the goals. If this wasn't enough, they would be treated to another one of their club side's players being capped that day- William Thompson. It seems Dundee hit the ground running in their early years and adapted pretty quickly to professional football. Indeed, very few clubs has seen a player capped in their first season of existence; Celtic are one of them, but not many others can lay claim to that fame. Certainly, Queens Park may be excused, having been formed in 1867- 5 years before Scotland played their first international. However, I digress.
Keillor's last game for Scotland came in March 1897; three months before Queen Victoria celebrated her diamond jubilee. It was played against, who else, Wales. The game ended in a 2-2 draw and there would be no goal for him this time. At the age of only 27 it seems a shame that he wasn't given the chance by the Scotland selectors again.
Once he left Dundee in 1902, he returned to Montrose FC and retired in 1906. Keillor died in 1960, just two years short of seeing his former team lift the league championship.

Keillor's international matches:
Wales 3-4 Scotland, 21st March 1891, The Racecourse Ground 4,000 (while with Montrose)
Ireland 2-3 Scotland, 19th March 1892, Solitude Ground 10,500, (while with Montrose)
Ireland 1-2 Scotland, 31st March 1894, Solitude Ground 6,000
Wales 2-2 Scotland, 23rd March 1895, The Racecourse Ground, 4,000
Scotland 4-0 Wales, 21st March 1896, Carolina Port, 11,700
Wales 2-2 Scotland, 20th March 1897, The Racecourse Ground, 7,000

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