Alexander Simpson ‘Sandy’ Young was a striker held in as high regard as his namesake would be some half a century later. The scorer of the winning goal in the final when Everton gained their first triumph in the F A Cup his name was destined to be recalled by Evertonians not only for this achievement but also for the headlines he made when his playing career was over.
Young was born in Slamannan, Scotland on 23rd June 1880. After playing a handful of games for St Mirren and Falkirk he signed for Everton and stayed with the club for ten years, making 314 appearances and scoring 125 goals, placing him 4th in the list of Everton’s top goalscorers. His day of glory came in the 1906 F A Cup final when his second half goal against Newcastle secured victory in a game which The Times considered had just one merit, that “the least worst team won”. He enjoyed huge popularity amongst the club’s supporters and when it was decided to sell him to Tottenham Hotspur in 1911 there was a great outcry. At the shareholders’ meeting the then Chairman, Dr James Baxter, implied to the assembled throng that the board had become aware of aspects of Young’s behaviour which were not common knowledge. In the light of subsequent events it seems that the board may have been justified in its decision. He was to play only 5 games for Spurs, then made 13 appearances for Manchester City.
In 1911 Young put up the money for his brother John to purchase a farm in Australia, at Tongala, north of Melbourne and in 1914 when his playing days were over he emigrated there himself. The brothers seemed to have argued a good deal about money and after one such confrontation, on 1st December 1915 Sandy Young shot his brother dead and then turned the gun on himself. The damage inflicted on himself was not great however, and in due course he stood trial for murder. At this point the Everton club wrote to the authorities in Australia saying they were able and willing to provide evidence of Young’s parlous mental state. It is likely that this played a large part in the charge being reduced to manslaughter, for which he was convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment. He served part of the sentence at the Ararat Lunatic Asylum. Released in 1919 Young returned to the UK in 1920 and lived there until his death in an Edinburgh mental hospital in 1959 aged 79. According to relatives he was living the life of a recluse in abject poverty.In 2014 the Everton Heritage erected a headstone at Edinburgh’s Seafield Cemetery to mark his grave. The service to mark it was attended by Everton legend and namesake Alex Young.
Sandy Young (right) pictured with the F A Cup and Everton captain Jack Taylor.
A 'mug shot' taken by the Australian authorities at the time of his conviction for the manslaughter of his brother.
Sandy Young's headstone pictured with his namesake Alex Young.
© Liverpool Footprints