Maurice Elliott

It was a pleasure to hear from Scottie Elliott, son of ex QoS forward of the early 60s, Maurice Elliott. A local boy born on 23rd November 1942, Elliott played for Dumfries Academy, Collin Boys F.C. and Royal Douglas Amateurs before signing pro terms for Queens at the age of 18 in the Summer of 1960. Jimmy McKinnell junior was Queens manager at the time. Elliott’s goals included 16 in 23 league games as well helping Queens to a League Cup semi final appearance. After only seven months he was signed on 1st March 1961 by the reigning Scottish League Champions, Hearts. He debuted for Hearts on the 18th of that month in a 1-0 home defeat by Kilmarnock.

Scottie told us of Maurice:-

“It`s odd because nobody really taught him to play football the way I, and perhaps you were. Maurice never saw his dad, James, who was blown up by a U-boat three weeks after Maurice was born.  Like many war babies, he was brought up in poverty. My Nana was widowed at 30 with 4 kids to bring up in one of Dumfriesshire`s first council houses, but they got through it and by the time Maurice needed football boots and bus fares to games (at one point he was playing for the Academy in the morning, and Queen`s (probably reserves) in the afternoon) his 3 older siblings were working and able to save together to get what he needed. My Nana made him shin pads out of an old sheet, sewn up and filled with flour! They were all proud when he played for the County, Scottish Schoolboys and of course Queens.”

“He was very modest about his football days and gave away all his memorabilia but my Nana kept lots of cuttings in a biscuit tin which I inherited. He did talk occasionally about playing both legs against Inter in the Fairs Cup [61/62 second round], scoring a hat trick against Hibs in the reserve derby and how he was terrified when he got to Hearts and realised he was meant to replace the great Willie Bauld!”

Elliott scored in a 2-1 home win against Celtic on 21st October 1961. The other Hearts scorer was the man who ultimately replaced Bauld, Willie Wallace, who later won the 1967 European Cup with Celtic. As well as this Elliott also played in a 1-1 draw against Rangers in the 1961 Scottish League Cup Final lining up again beside Wallace. Neither Elliott nor Wallace played in the League Cup Final replay but Bauld did. Rangers won 3-1 with three future QoS managers in their line up; Bobby Shearer, Harold Davis and Davie Wilson. Both games were played at Hampden.

Despite these laudable achievements Elliot was unable to secure first team football at Hearts notching three goals from his 17 first team games. He never played for the Hearts first team after the end of the 61/62 season. George Farm signed him to return to Queens on New Year’s Day 1964 but in the league Elliott played only five games in this short spell at Queens. He then spent the next two seasons at Montrose (25 goals from 50 league games) and then two also at Stenhousemuir (16 goals from 57 league games). Elliott then departed from the senior game by joining Broxburn. He eventually stopped playing due to recurrence of injury.

Scottie added, “While at Hearts he was taken under the wing of a director who happened to be director of a firm of Chartered Surveyors so Maurice became a surveyor, eventually running the company, Kean Kennedy. I only remember seeing him play one game, when I was about 4 (1972?) for Broxburn. He was an Associate Club member at Hearts and with me and my sister were season ticket holders for many years.  He was married to Pam, his childhood sweetheart from Dumfries Academy and they moved to the Algarve in the early 90`s and started a property management company. Sadly Maurice died suddenly of a brain haemorrhage on 19th October 1996 and was cremated in Lisbon.  We scattered his ashes in the Atlantic and my Nana said he was with his father at last. Apart from anything else, I wish I`d tapped him for more info / trivia / memories of his playing days.”

“My mum moved to New Zealand where my sister was living. My sister inherited the footballing genes and played until recently in Christchurch`s woman`s Sunday League.  Best I could do was winning Edinburgh`s Warriston League with my primary school team then I moved to Fettes College which only really had an ad-hoc football team (which I captained) - the oval game being king on that side of the divide sadly.  One lasting legacy of Maurice`s was the Arsenal shirt he brought back from a business trip to London around 1972 and I`ve been an Arsenal fanatic ever since. I live in Brighton now and make it to the Emirates whenever I can.”

As an appendage to the above published feature, a regular contrubutor to articles for, Bruce Wright, commented that he was a team mate of Maurice Elliott in the Dumfries Academy intermediary school team. Another team mate in this side that won the Dumfries and Galloway Schools league and cup double was future QoS chairman, Norman Blount.