Sandy McConnell

Following on from the story of Tom Bone who became a UK champion in quoiting, we focus on the career of a Glenbuck man who became a record-breaking cyclist ­— as well as playing professional football at the top level.

Sandy McConnell was born in 1875 and played for Glenbuck Athletic before a brief spell at Everton which preceded two seasons at Arsenal.

From there, it was across London to Queens Park Rangers before ending his career in 1906 at Grimsby Town.

While he was in between clubs, he smashed the track record at Muirkirk ­— riding 23 miles, 1,553yds in one hour.

An official at the Muirkirk track was convinced that this was a Scottish record and persuaded Sandy to compete against tougher opposition.

As an incentive the official, David Greenwood, paid the cyclist/keeper’s expenses and Sandy embarked on a run of success on two wheels.

He was a runaway winner in an all-Scotland three-mile race at Hampden Park, then finishing just behind the country’s champion in a race at Kilmarnock.

A local race which attracted a high standard of competitor was run between Torhill and Glenbuck Station ­— Sandy McConnell won a gold medal in that event.

He also won three medals for golf; and two for shooting at long and short range.

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