1891–92 Dumbarton F.C. season

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1891–92 season
Stadium Boghead Park, Dumbarton
Scottish Football League Champions
Scottish Cup Seventh Round
Top goalscorer League: John Bell (19)
All: John Bell (21)

Season 1891–92 was the 19th Scottish football season in which Dumbarton competed at a national level, entering the Scottish Football League for the second time, and the Scottish Cup for the 19th time. In addition Dumbarton played in the Dumbartonshire Cup, the Glasgow Charity Cup and the Greenock and District Charity Cup.

Story of the Season[edit]


Dumbarton entered season 1891-92, the defending league champions, with an almost unchanged side. The battle between professionalism and amateurism in football still raged, but for now playing for the love of the game still won in Scotland.


The season opened on 8th August with a trip to the borders, where a friendly 3-3 draw was played against 5th KRV. A further pre-season friendly was played 4 days later at Airdrie – a 2-0 reverse being suffered.

The league campaign opened on 15th August, with a 2-0 success over Cambuslang – and a week later, the unfurling of the (joint) league champions flag was celebrated at Boghead where Abercorn were soundly thrashed 8-1.

However the month ended on a sour note, as Hearts defeated Dumbarton at Tynecastle 3-1 – leaving Hearts on top of the table, with Dumbarton and Celtic leading the chase 2 points behind.


On 5th September, Dumbarton went to Ibrox to play last season’s joint champions Rangers, and came away with an impressive 3-1 win.

A week later Leith Athletic were visitors to Boghead, and they left having been soundly thrashed 6-0.

On 19th, Hearts came to Boghead for the return fixture, and found Dumbarton a much tougher nut to crack at home – a 5-1 thumping being handed out.

The last game of the month took Dumbarton to Celtic Park, and on the day the Celts were too strong, winning 2-0.

So the end of September still saw Hearts in the lead, 3 points ahead of the chasing bunch of Celtic, Dumbarton and Leith Athletic.


At the beginning of the season a Canadian international touring side played a series of matches in the UK. One of these was against a Scotland XI on 3rd October at Ibrox Park. John McLeod and John Bell played in the 5-1 win for the Scots, with Bell scoring two of the goals.

On the same day Dumbarton visited county neighbours, Vale of Leven, on league business and despite the missing personnel managed to scrape a 2-1 win.

A free week was followed on 17th with a 2-0 home victory over Third Lanark. St Mirren were the next victims at Boghead on 24th – a 4-2 win being recorded – and on the last day of the month the unbeaten run was stretched further with a 3-1 away win over Leith Athletic.

At the end of the month, with another 4 victories secured, Dumbarton were still in second place – a point behind Hearts – but crucially had 2 games in hand.


The month began with a visit to Dumbarton’s other county neighbours, Renton, and after a close game came away with a 3-2 win.

On 14th Clyde were visitors to Boghead, and received much of the same treatment that previous teams had encountered. With no answer to the Dumbarton forwards an easy 8-2 victory was achieved.

A free week was followed by a rest from league duty and the first dip into Scottish Cup business. Much on the prompting of Dumbarton officials, a qualifying process had been introduced to the cup competition, and Dumbarton’s first appearance was at the fifth round stage – Glasgow Thistle being defeated 4-0 at Boghead.

So at the end of November the positions in the league saw Hearts lead with 21 points from 14 matches, Dumbarton second with 20 points from 12 games and Celtic in third with 16 points from just 9 games.


December began with a league visit to Cathin Park to play Third Lanark – where a 5-2 win was secured.

On 12th December, the local derby against Vale of Leven was played at Boghead – and it was Dumbarton who won easily 8-0. Indeed the thrashing was so bad that the Vale team left the field mid way into the second half – suffering not only the result but also miserable winter weather. Nevertheless the result stood.

A week later it was back to Cathkin Park – but this time on Scottish Cup duty. The end result however was no different with Dumbarton advancing to the next round with a 3-1 success.

The final game of 1891 saw near neighbours Renton come to Boghead with Dumbarton retaining their unbeaten home record after a close 2-1 win.

The league positions at the end of the year looked good for Dumbarton – now ahead with 28 points – five ahead of Hearts – but Celtic still posed a real danger, 10 points behind but with 6 games in hand.


The New Year began with a visit to Celtic Park in a friendly – With Dumbarton thrashing their league challengers 8-0. However a day later, whether it was through over exertions or too much Ne’erday celebrations, the tables were turned at Tynecastle with a 7-1 trouncing being handed out by the Edinburgh outfit. Then on 4th January, Dumbarton made the trip up north to face Aberdeen and came away with a fine 6-1 win.

Bad weather ensured that little football would be played for most of the month, until 23rd January when old rivals Queen’s Park came to Boghead for a seventh round Scottish Cup tie – which ended in a closely fought 2-2 draw. A week later at Hampden, in front of 15,000 spectators, Queen’s Park proved too strong and ran out 4-1 winners.


Bad winter weather put paid to any play by Dumbarton during February.

So the positions in the league at the end of the month were unchanged, other than Celtic closing the gap in third – now 6 points behind with 4 games in hand.


A series of international trial matches were held on 5th March to consider selection of teams to represent Scotland in the upcoming Home International Championship - John McLeod, Tom McMillan, Dickie Boyle, John Taylor, John Bell and Willie Thomson all took part.

A week later it was Dumbarton’s first match in the county cup with a home game against Methlan Park which ended in a 9-0 rout.

19th March saw Dumbarton’s return to league duty with a visit to Paisley and a 3-2 win over St Mirren.

On 26th March John Taylor and William Thomson both earned their first caps for Scotland against Wales, with Thomson scoring a goal in the 6-1 win. Despite these players missing from the team, Dumbarton defeated Cambuslang at Boghead, 5-2.

So having chalked up a further 2 league victories, at the end of March Dumbarton led the table with 32 points with 4 games left to play – still 5 ahead of Hearts in second – but more threateningly Celtic in third 9 points behind and with 5 games in hand.


On 2nd April John Bell earned his second cap against England, and John McLeod earned his fourth cap in the same game, with Bell scoring Scotland's goal in the 4-1 defeat.

9th April saw Rangers come to Boghead on league business. Unfortunately the referee from Dundee failed to appear and while both teams agreed to a Dumbarton referee taking his place, after the 4-1 home victory, Rangers protested the result.

The following week Dumbarton met Vale of Leven in the Dumbartonshire Cup final, and Dumbarton retained the trophy with a 2-0 win.

In a huge game which would go a long way to deciding the destination of the league title, Celtic visited Dumbarton on 23rd April and after a close game it was Dumbarton who emerged victors by 1-0.

Having taken the massive step of beating their closest challengers, on 30th April Dumbarton were odds on to beat Clyde in Glasgow – but it wasn’t to be and were on the wrong side of a 4-1 defeat.

So April ended with Dumbarton still ahead with 34 points, with 2 games left to play. Hearts had the same number of points but only had one remaining game, whilst Celtic were on 28 points with 4 games left.


May began with a midweek fixture – the replay of the protested match against Rangers – but this time there was no mistake – a 6-0 win being recorded. This victory ensured a 100% home league record.

Three days later on 7th May, Dumbarton knew that a draw at Abercorn would be sufficient to win the title outright – and this is exactly what was achieved – the result being 1-1.

A week later Dumbarton began their defence of the Greenock Charity Cup by defeating Dykebar at Cappielow 1-0.

On 21st May it was league runners up Celtic who would be Dumbarton’s opponents in the Glasgow Charity Cup – and Celtic would gain some revenge with a 3-1 win.

The final game of the season took place on 28th May, and unfortunately Dumbarton’s grip on the Greenock Charity Cup was broken with Morton winning 4-1.

It was however not the final game for one of the Dumbarton players as on 30 May, a Scottish League XI played a Scottish Alliance XI, with John Miller being selected to play in the 'League' team, scoring twice in the 4-3 win.

On the same day, the Dumbarton Rangers retained the Dumbartonshire Second XI Cup with a 6-3 win over Smithston Hibs.



All results are written with Dumbarton's score first.

Scottish League[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Scorers Attendance
15 August 1891 Cambuslang A 2-0 Taylor;Thomson,W
22 August 1891 Abercorn H 8-1 Bell;unknown(7) 3,000
29 August 1891 Hearts A 1-3 OG 7,000
5 September 1891 Rangers A 3-1 Taylor(3) 5,000
12 September 1891 Leith Athletic H 6-0 Taylor(2);Miller,J(2);McNaught;Bell
19 September 1891 Hearts H 5-1 NcNaught;Miller,J(2);Bell(2) 3,000
26 September 1891 Celtic A 0-2 12,000
3 October 1891 Vale of Leven A 2-1 Miller,J;OG
17 October 1891 Third Lanark H 2-0 Miller,J(2)
24 October 1891 St Mirren H 4-2 Taylor(2);Miller,J;McMillan 1,500
31 October 1891 Leith Athletic A 3-1 Bell;McMillan;OG 5,000
7 November 1891 Renton A 3-2 Thomson,W;McMillan;Taylor 3,000
14 November 1891 Clyde H 8-2 OG;Taylor(3);Bell(3);McNaught 1,500
5 December 1891 Third Lanark A 5-2 Bell(3);McNaught;Thomson,W
12 December 1891 Vale of Leven H 8-0 Taylor(2);Miller,J(2);Thomson,W;McDonald;McNaught(2)
26 December 1891 Renton H 2-1 McNaught;Bell
19 March 1892 St Mirren A 3-2 OG;Bell(2)
26 March 1892 Cambuslang H 5-2 McLeod(2);Miller,J(2);Bell
23 April 1892 Celtic H 1-0 Miller,J 12,000
30 April 1892 Clyde A 1-4 Bell 6,000
4 May 1892 Rangers H 6-0 Bell(3);Miller,J;Thomson,W;Galbraith 1,000
7 May 1892 Abercorn A 1-1 Thomson,W

Scottish Cup[edit]

Date Rd Opponent Venue Result Scorers Attendance
28 November 1891 R5 Thistle H 4-0 Taylor;Bell(2);Miller,J
19 December 1891 R6 Third Lanark A 3-1 Miller,J;Taylor(2) 4,000
23 January 1892 R7 Queen's Park H 2-2 Boyle;Miller,J
30 January 1892 R7r Queen's Park A 1-4 Taylor 15,000

Dumbartonshire Cup[edit]

Date Rd Opponent Venue Result Scorers Attendance
12 March 1892 SF Methlan Park H 9-0 Thomson(2);McLeod(2);Johnston;Taylor;McNaught;Keir;OG
16 April 1892 F Vale of Leven H 2-0 Miller,J;unknown 3,000

Greenock Charity Cup[edit]

Date Rd Opponent Venue Result Scorers Attendance
14 May 1892 SF Dykebar A 1-0 unknown 2,000
28 May 1892 F Morton A 1-4 unknown

Glasgow Charity Cup[edit]

Date Rd Opponent Venue Result Scorers Attendance
21 May 1892 SF Celtic A 1-3 Miller,J 10,000

Other Matches[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Scorers Attendance
8 August 1891 5th KRV A 3-3 McNaught;Bell;Miller
12 August 1891 Airdrie A 0-2 2,000
1 January 1892 Celtic A 8-0 Taylor(3);Thomson(2);Bell;McMillan;McNaught 15,000
2 January 1892 Hearts A 1-7 Thomson 10,000
4 January 1892 Aberdeen A 6-1 Thomson(2);Wilson(2);Reid;OG 2,500
9 April 1892 Rangers H 4-1[1] Boyle(2);Taylor;Bell

Player statistics[edit]


No. Pos Nat Player Total Scottish League Scottish Cup
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK Scotland John Barr 5 0 4 0 1 0
GK Scotland John McLeod 22 2 19 2 3 0
DF Scotland Richard Hunter 1 0 0 0 1 0
DF Scotland Alex Miller 21 0 18 0 3 0
DF Scotland Richmond 7 0 7 0 0 0
DF Scotland Alf Smith 10 0 8 0 2 0
DF Scotland Daniel Watson 9 0 7 0 2 0
MF Scotland Dickie Boyle 26 1 22 0 4 1
MF Scotland John Gillan 2 0 2 0 0 0
MF Scotland Leitch Keir 23 0 19 0 4 0
MF Scotland Alex Lang 1 0 1 0 0 0
MF Scotland Alex McDonald 9 1 9 1 0 0
MF Scotland Tom McMillan 20 3 16 3 4 0
FW Scotland John Bell 23 21 19 19 4 2
FW Scotland W Bell 1 0 1 0 0 0
FW Scotland Black 1 0 1 0 0 0
FW Scotland Buchan 1 0 1 0 0 0
FW Scotland James Galbraith 7 1 7 1 0 0
FW Scotland Hodge 1 0 1 0 0 0
FW Scotland John McIndewar 1 0 1 0 0 0
FW Scotland James McNaught 25 7 21 7 4 0
FW Scotland John Miller 24 17 20 14 4 3
FW Scotland John Taylor 21 18 17 14 4 4
FW Scotland William Thomson 24 6 20 6 4 0
FW Scotland A N Other 1 0 1 0 0 0

Reserve Team[edit]

Scottish Second XI Cup[edit]

Date Rd Opponent Venue Result
12 September 1891 R1 Rangers H 2-1
3 October 1891 R2 Cowlairs H 5-2
31 October 1891 R3 E Stirling H 10-3
21 November 1891 R4 Celtic H 4-1
5 December 1891 R5 5th KRV A 5-1
9 January 1892 SF Annbank A 2-2
30 January 1892 SFr Annbank A 1-2

Dumbartonshire Second XI Cup[edit]

Date Rd Opponent Venue Result
6 February 1892 R1 Clydebank A 4-4
13 February 1892 R1r Clydebank H 8-1
21 May 1892 SF Vale of Leven H 4-1
30 May 1892 F Smithston Hibernian H 6-3


* 12 league wins in a row - continues to be the record winning run by a Dumbarton team
* 8-0 win -v- Vale of Leven is still the biggest league win by Dumbarton
* John Bell retained his top League topscorer title for second season in succession scoring 19 goals
* Dumbarton remained unbeaten at home during the season in all matches played - a run covering almost 3 seasons.
* Dumbarton scored 124 goals in all games - the fifth season in a row and the seventh time in the club's history that the 'century' had been broken.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ This match was to be a league fixture, but the referee failed to turn up, and so it was agreed that a Dumbarton official stand in. However the League authorities subsequently ordered a replay.
  2. ^ McAllister, Jim (2002). The Sons of the Rock - The Official History of Dumbarton Football Club. Dumbarton: J&J Robertson Printers. 

External links[edit]