An Everton fan is hoping to track down the descendants of an East Renfrewshire footballer so he can be remembered with a graveside plaque 83 years after his death.

Tony Onslow is desperate to give Alex Lochhead, who was born in Neilston in 1865 and played for his beloved Toffees, the recognition he deserves.

The left-half started his career with the village team before his exploits won him an invite to join players from The Third Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers (3rd LVR) in a side which later became known as Third Lanark.

They went on to win the Scottish Cup against Celtic in 1889, with Alex catching the eye of Scotland selectors and earning an international cap against Wales a couple of months later.

His talent eventually took him to Everton, who were just one game away from winning the English league when he joined in 1891.

Despite losing the final game of the campaign, Everton were crowned champions after their main challengers were also beaten.

Alex spent two seasons at the club, scoring in the Liverpool Senior Cup Final.

Tony, who lives in Warrington, told the Barrhead News: “Alex was buried in an unmarked grave at Neilston Cemetery.

“It’s not fair and I want to do something for him because I don’t want him forgotten about .”

In between winning the Scottish Cup and making the switch to Everton, Alex married his Aberdeen-born wife Barbara and they lived at 3 Main Street, Barrhead, where their first child was born.

Following his stint in England, he returned north and played for Clyde before retiring from the game.

He spent the rest of his days working as a cabinetmaker.

Alex was still residing in Main Street when he passed away on January 9, 1939.

Tony, who is the author of ‘The Scottish Footballers of Everton,’ was previously involved in honouring another former player who hailed from north of the border.

In 2018, the Clydebank grave of Andrew Hannah – the only man to captain both Everton and Liverpool – was marked for the first time, thanks to the efforts of Tony and the EFC Heritage Society.

He would now like to do the same for Alex, whose story he has been looking into for several years and who he is “pretty certain” will still have relatives in the area.

Tony added: “My mate’s mother is buried in the same cemetery. He has put a little marker there but, as an Everton fan, I would like to mark his lair with a small plaque and would need permission to do so.

“I am appealing for any relatives of Alex to come forward and get in touch.”

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