Donald McKinlay (b. 25 July 1891 - 16 September 1959) was a Scottish defender, who was comfortable anywhere on the park, playing for Liverpool F.C. He enjoyed one of the longest careers of any Liverpool player, making his debut as an 18-year-old in 1910 and playing his last game 18 years later. McKinlay's career ended by injury in 1929.
Life and playing career
McKinlay was born in Glasgow, Scotland and played for Newton Swifts and Newton Villa before being signed by Liverpool manager Tom Watson on 27 January 1910 straight from the Scottish junior leagues. McKinlay made his debut in a Football League First Division match on the 20 April 1910 in a remarkable game against Nottm Forest at Anfield, the game finished with 10 goals the Reds coming out on top by 7 goals to 3 with Jack Parkinson netting 4, his first goal for the club came in the first minute of the 4-1 home victory over Spurs on 2 January 1912.
McKinlay's Liverpool career was slow to get under way and he only made 60 appearances before the outbreak of World War I in 1914. He lost four years of playing due to the war but upon resuming competitive football in 1919 McKinlay's career took off, he was awarded the captaincy of the Reds and lead them to successive League Championship titles in 1922 and 1923. He was regarded as a hard-tackling defender, and was predominantly used as a left-back but displayed such great versatility that he could also operate at wing-half, centre half and right across the forward line.
He stayed at Anfield for 19 years and played over 400 games for the club; he also scored a very creditable 34 goals, for someone who played most of his games in defence, but he was somehow only awarded two international caps by Scotland. The first of which came in a British Championship match at the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham on 4 February 1912 a game that the Scots lost 2-1 to Wales.
One memorable moment for McKinlay happened on 16 January 1926 in the 15th minute of a 2-1 league win at the Boleyn Ground, Upton Park against West Ham. McKinlay was a full 10 yards inside his own half when unleashed a shot that hit the back of the Hammers net!
Upon retirement from football in 1929 McKinlay stayed on in Merseyside, playing the game he loved for amateur side, Prescott Cables. He eventually became a publican in the Liverpool area, where he died, aged 68.
- Liverpool F.C (1910–1929) 434 appearances, 34 goals - 2 Football League Championships (1922 and 1923)
- Scotland (1922) 2 appearances