The “Poet” McGonagall Denounces Football

John McGonagall, ropemaker, Step Row, was charged — before Bailie Macdonald, at the Dundee Police Court to-day — with malicious mischief. He pleaded not guilty. It came out in the evidence that prisoner was creating a disturbance in a public-house in Lochee on Saturday night, and interfering with and insulting customers. He refused to leave the premises when asked, and ultimately had to be ejected. On the way out he drove his hand through a glass panel in the door. McGonagall, the “poet,” father the accused, appeared in Court and said his son was very obedient, and regularly gave up all his earnings. He had often told his son he was keeping bad company, especially when he went among football players, and he said, without fear of contradiction, that most football players were addicted to drink, and but for John’s being in the Lochee public-house on Saturday night he would not have been before theCourt that day. Mr McGonagall had given his son advice repeatedly, but he had rejected it, and, like many other young men who had such a high opinion of football, laughed at the advice given by his parents. He was of the opinion that his son was led unthinkingly into the pnblic house, and seemed to be a plot because he (Mr McGonagall) denounced the publicans in his public appearances in Arbroath aud Dundee recently. He believed it was because the publicans could not get him decoyed into their dens iniquity that they tried to ruin his family. The Magistrate found the charge proved, and imposed a fine of 10s 6d, with the option of week’s imprisonment.

Evening Telegraph, 31st December 1888

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