Open main menu

Dr. John Macdonald (24 December 1861 – 29 August 1938) was a Scottish sportsman who represented Scotland at both football and cricket, the first Scotsman to represent his country at both sports. He was also a qualified medical doctor.

John Macdonald
Personal information
Date of birth 24 December 1861
Place of birth Inverness, Scotland
Date of death 29 August 1938(1938-08-29) (aged 76)
Place of death Edinburgh, Scotland
Playing position Centre half
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Edinburgh University
1884–1885 Queen's Park
National team
1886 Scotland 1 (0)

Cricket information
International information
National side
Source: CricketArchive, 15 February 2018
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only


Early lifeEdit

Macdonald was born in Inverness on 24 December 1861, the eldest of eight children.[1] His father was a house painter, local magistrate, and town councillor, while his mother was the daughter of a local farmer.[1] He attended Inverness Royal Academy where he played cricket, tennis, and rugby.[1]

Edinburgh University and cricket careerEdit

Macdonald attended the University of Edinburgh, graduating with a medical degree in 1884.[1] He played for the University at cricket, and while a student he represented Scotland at cricket in a three-day international against the Australians in September 1880, at the age of 18.[1] He also played for Scotland in an exhibition game against a group of American tourists, the Gentlemen of Philadelphia, in June 1884.[1] He was captain of the University side throughout 1884 and scored over 1,000 runs that year.[1] During his time at the University he also switched from rugby football to association football.[1] He captained the University's football team.[2]

Football careerEdit

Macdonald represented a Glasgow select side in 1885 in a 5–2 victory against a London select side at The Oval.[1] He made one appearance for Scotland in March 1886, against England.[2] In doing so he became the first Scotsman to represent their country at both cricket and football; it would be another 50 years before another sportsman (Scot Symon) represented Scotland at both sports.[1] In that match he played as a left half,[1] though he usually played as a "strong and capable centre-half."[2] He also played as an amateur for Queen's Park,[2] making 11 appearances.[3]

Later life and deathEdit

Macdonald returned to Inverness to set up a medical practice, and he eventually became Chief Medical Officer for both Inverness Burgh and Inverness County Council.[1] He was married with five children.[1] He continued his involvement in both cricket and football - captaining local team Northern Counties and representing a North of Scotland XI in the former, and becoming a Patron of the Highland League in 1932 in the latter.[1] Macdonald died in Edinburgh on 29 August 1938, at the age of 76.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o David Gordon (26 February 2014). "FORGOTTEN CRICKET/FOOTBALL INTERNATIONAL REDISCOVERED". Cricket Scotland. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Paul Smith (2013). Scotland Who's Who: International Players 1872–2013. Pitch Publishing. p. 161.
  3. ^