Hugh MacColl, the first captain of Sevilla and one of the club's founding members, was born in Glasgow in 1861. As a young marine engineer he worked in Seville for seven years, during which time he took part in the club's first match against Huelva on 8 March 1890. It is considered the first official football match in Spain.
When Hugh (or Hugo as he was known in Spain) returned to Great Britain in the mid 1890s, he and former team-mate Gilbert Pollock established MacColl & Pollock Ltd at Wreath Quay Engineering Works in Sunderland, a link which could be the origin of the Spanish club's red and white stripes. Although he ran the successful marine engine company on Wearside, MacColl met his end in Glasgow, dying suddenly in the Central Station Hotel on 31 August 1915 while on holiday in his home town. He was just 54 and had amassed a fortune of over £14,600.
He said: "I have been researching Hugh MacColl for the last few years, but I was never able to find his grave. Recently, I discovered some references in his wife’s personal correspondence, according to which Hugh MacColl was most probably buried in Cathcart Cemetery."
He followed that up with East Renfrewshire Council, who manage the cemetery, and to his delight they not only pinpointed the lair (Section 2a, Lair 38), but then sent out a member of staff to take the above photographs.
As Javier and colleagues are preparing a book on Hugh MacColl, this was a wonderful find. He has since uncovered the certificate (below) which records the purchase of the lair by MacColl's widow, Maude.
It is the latest fascinating episode since the discovery three years ago of the story of the club's foundation in the British Newspaper Archive, which effectively changed the history of Spanish football. Earlier this year there was a TV documentary and exhibition to mark the 125th anniversary.
While some fans of Betis and Huelva don't agree with the findings and have their own claims as Spain's oldest football teams, this week a meeting of club shareholders will vote to formally adopt 25 January 1890 as the date of foundation in Sevilla's articles of association.
For the UEFA Europa League title holders, it is another important step forward in discovering their history.