Birthdate: 25 July 1891
Birthplace: Newton Mearns, Scotland
Date of death: 16 September 1959
Other clubs: Newton Swifts (1905-08), Rutherglen Woodburn (1908-09), Newton Villa (1909-10), Prescot Cables (1929-31)
Bought from: Newton Villa
Signed for LFC: 27.01.1910
International debut: 04.02.1922 vs. Wales
International caps: 2/0 - 04.03.1922
Liverpool debut: 20.04.1910
Last appearance: 01.09.1928
Debut goal: 02.11.1912
Last goal: 05.03.1927
Contract expiry: May 1929
Win ratio: 43.32% W:188 D:111 L:135
Honours: League Championship 1921/22, 1922/23
Wartime games/goals: 136 / 24
LFC league games/goals: 393 / 34
Total LFC games/goals: 434 / 35
Player profileFew came tougher than Donald Mackinlay who was Liverpool's captain from 1922-1928. He certainly enjoyed his two decades at the Reds: "If I had 20 years to go again, I would go back to them," he said in 1955. Mackinlay made his debut for Liverpool 19 years of age on 20 April 1910 when Liverpool defeated Nottingham Forest 7-3 with Jack Parkinson grabbing four. He only made two appearances as left-half the following season and featured on the right and left of the half-back line at the close of 1911/12. Mackinlay was slowly making a name for himself but the question was what was his best position. He played in five different positions in the 1912/13 season mostly as an inside-right where he was said to be "as nippy and quick as a jack-in-the-box." He had quite a magnificent shot in his arsenal and he scored six goals in 23 matches that campaign. He was moved back and forth as well in the following season and after only featuring in two out of the last 11 games he was given the enormous responsibility of playing as left-half in place of injured captain Harry Lowe in the 1914 FA Cup final which Liverpool lost 1-0 to Burnley. Mackinlay appeared regularly for Liverpool during World War I and made 136 appearances and scored 24 goals. Once the League resumed in 1919/20 Mackinlay was a firm fixture in the side and formed probably the best full-back pairing ever in the history of Liverpool with him on the left and Ephraim Longworth on the right. After sharing the captaincy with Longworth in the 1919/20 season he was made sole captain in January 1922 at thirty years of age and held on to this honour until he left Liverpool seven years later.
Mackinlay was the proud general of the Liverpool side that won successive League Championship titles in 1922 and 1923 and had the leadership qualities necessary for such a demanding role. Mackinlay's shooting prowess gave him a return of 34 goals for Liverpool, of which only four came from the penalty spot. One goal possibly more memorable than the rest came on 16 January 1926 in the fifteenth minute of a 2-1 league win against West Ham. Mackinlay was a full ten yards inside his own half when he unleashed a shot that hit the back of the Hammers' net. In honour of his 19 years of service for the club Mackinlay received his fourth benefit from Liverpool in the last game of the 1928/29 season against Manchester City at Anfield. He received a cheque for a total of £468. Mackinlay stayed in the Merseyside area to play non-league football for a while with Prescot Cables and later became a publican in the city of Liverpool. He was a keen golfer and enjoyed playing the drums! Not surprisingly Donald Mackinlay is a member of Liverpool FC's Hall of Fame.
Appearances per season
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
|12||Preston North End|
|8||West Ham United|
|4||Bradford Park Avenue|
Goals per season
A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring
|2||West Ham United|
|1||Preston North End|
Wartime Appearances / Goals
|50||28.02.1914||Oldham Athletic||Boundary Park||League|
|150||05.03.1921||Huddersfield Town||Leeds Road||League|
|200||16.09.1922||Preston North End||Anfield||League|
Scottish keeper, Kenny Campbell, told his life story in the Weekly News. Chapter one was published on 7 May 1921.More
Scottish keeper, Kenny Campbell, told his life story in the Weekly News. Chapter two was published on 14 May 1921.More
Published 17 January 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo.More
Few came tougher than Scottish full-back Donald MacKinlay who was a player at Anfield from 1909-1929 and Liverpool's captain from 1921-1928.More
Elisha Scott is without a doubt one of the greatest goalkeepers in Liverpool's history. His career spanned an astonishing 22 years from his arrival in September 1912 until he left in June 1934. More
"I thought a lot of him. If Jack had had a little more 'devilment' in him, he would have been one of the best inside forwards in the game."
Former Liverpool captain, Don MacKinlay, on Jack Balmer in 1955
"One of the finest centre-halves I have ever seen. I would have loved to have played behind him. What a tragedy it was he was moved about such a lot. Why Liverpool let him go this season I just don’t know."
Former Liverpool captain, Don MacKinlay, on Bill Jones in 1955
He hits the ball with ferocious force, and commands the ball as though it were tied to his boot.
The Liverpool Echo on Donald Mackinlay on 23 September 1918
"I think the game was tougher in my day. I remember one match in the early twenties when Wadsworth injured a leg and I saw blood coming out of his boot. I told him to get some attention to it and his reply was: “Who’s blood is it, yours or mine?’ and went on playing."
63-year-old Donald Mackinlay, former captain of Liverpool, remembers Walter Wadsworth in an interview in 1955.
"He appeared in half a dozen different positions but the thing I remember most was his skill with a free kick. If I was leaving with a message and Liverpool had been awarded a free kick, I would wait until it had been taken because I knew anything could happen. He hit the ball with terrific power but also had a remarkable touch."
Leslie Edwards, the sports editor of the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo couldn’t praise Mackinlay’s abilities highly enough.
"Generally today captains do not have sufficient responsibility. It seems to me that all they do is to take the team out and toss the coin. There’s not enough directing and you hardly hear them shout instructions. In my day I had full control on the field and if there was any decision on changing of positions, I took it. I am speaking generally and not individually, but captains today are not what they used to be. I told my players: “If I have to say anything to you, answer me back and don’t start sulking.”’
Mackinlay, captain of Liverpool 1922-1928, explains the skipper's role in the Evening Express in 1955.
“Red is my colour. I’ll play for Liverpool as long as they will have me. I don’t want to play for anybody else and when I pull off the red shirt for the last time I expect I will finish with football, at any rate as a player.”
Donald Mackinlay was a Red through and through evident in his interview with the Evening Express on the 25th of January 1923
- Cup rehearsal at Anfield - 5 February 1927 (sketch)
- Donald MacKinlay interviewed in the Evening Express on 19 February 1955
- Donald's war-cry - 21 February 1927
- Limelights (sketch)- 1925-26
- Liverpool's footballers in training by the sea - 20 January 1926
- Mackinlay praised in the Echo in the 1924/25 season
- Mackinlay's scoring prowess - from the Liverpool Echo on 26 December 1922
- Revenge is sweet! - Liverpool draw Southampton in the cup 1926 (sketch)