Ever since the introduction of professionalism in football by the English FA in 1885, there have been 43 world transfer records. Over the next few months, Karl Graham will be bringing us up to date with the history behind every single record. A new one shall be revealed on the site every Friday, from the very first one in 1893 to the most recent in 2013, and who knows there may even be a new record set before we reach the end.
Number 3 – Andy McCombie (Sunderland to Newcastle)
Andy McCombie was the man who wedged himself between Alf Common’s two transfer records. It involved his move from Sunderland to their local rivals Newcastle in 1904. The fee was £700, which would translate to approximately £74,000 of today’s money.
Andrew McCombie was born on the 30th of June 1876 in Inverness, Scotland. He was a right back who starred for Sunderland and Newcastle. He started his career at Inverness Thistle (who later merged with neighbours Caledonia) but moved to Sunderland in December of 1898.
McCombie was given his chance to impress a few months later and went on the make the position his own. He eventually helped the club to the league championship in 1902, having come close to it the previous two years.
This success led to him being called up to make his international debut against Wales in 1903. Despite being victorious in all of his appearances for Scotland, he only managed to earn four caps for his country.
1903 was also the year that McCombie was involved in a financial scandal with Sunderland. The club had given him £100 to set up his own business. McCombie considered this to be a gift, while Sunderland claimed it was a loan. When McCombie refused to repay it, the FA launched an investigation. They sided with McCombie and after discovering financial irregularities at the club suspended six directors and manager Alex Mackie.
This soon led to his move to Newcastle where he spent six years, winning the title in 1907. After he retired from playing in 1910, he became a part of the backroom staff until 1950. He died at the ripe old age of 76 in 1952.
Karl Graham, Pundit Arena.