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A Liverpool Legend and Monaghan Man Honest John McKenna

Compiled by Kieran Duffy

Born on 3rd January 1855. Parents were Patrick and Jane McCrudden from the townland of Drumcaw in the parish of Donagh, Co. Monaghan which is a townland close to the neighbouring villages of Glaslough and Emyvale .

Saint Salvatores Church Of Ireland in Glaslough where John McKennas parents were married on November 2nd 1850.

The marriage certificate of Patrick and Jane Mc Crudden obtained from the archives of St. Salvatores Church in Glaslough.

Emigrated to Liverpool in the 1870s

McKenna worked as a grocers boy and vaccination officer with the West Derby Union.
Through his interest in politics and religion he met John Houlding then President of Everton F.C. A disagreement with the Everton boards led to Houlding/McKenna forming a new new club Liverpool F.C with John McKenna its first manager.

Liverpools first game was a 7-1 victory in a friendly against Rotherham on September 1st 1892. First league game in charge was a 2-1 victory away to Middlesborough on September 2nd 1893. Managed Liverpool from 1892-1896 and secured two Second Division Championships. Became more involved in Club Administration and became the first Club Secretary as well as overseeing the construction of the first Kop in 1906..

Anfield in 1892

Sketch Of Anfield Stadium in 1894

McKennas first Liverpool team was known as the Team of Macs because it was made up entirely of Scottish Players.

Liverpool Team Photo 1892 with McKenna Seated 5th from left in Front Row.

McKenna became more involved in Club Administration and was Club Secretary from 1892-1896. He Served as Liverpool FC Chairman from 1909-1914 and also from 19171919. John McKenna also served as English Football League President from 19101936 and in 1922 he retired from his duties at Liverpool FC to concentrate on his roles within both the Football League and the English FA.

From 191236 he also was Vice President of the English F.A. It was as his role as president of the English Football League and the Vice President of the English FA that he officiated at opening of the new roofed and extended KOP in 1928.

Liverpool KOP in 1928.

McKenna with his great friend the Everton Chairman Will Cuff shortly before his death on March 22nd 1936

Liverpool KOP in 1928 (View from outside the Stadium)

A year after his death a memorial to John McKenna was unveiled by Everton Chairman Will Cuff at Anfield on March 1st 1937.

The grave of John McKenna in Smithdown Road Cemetery in Liverpool.