A medal awarded to a Scottish footballer for his bravery in battle in the final days of the First World War is expected to fetch more than £600 at auction in Australia.
The Military Medal was won by Sergeant George Richardson, of the 6th Bn. Cameronians and Machine Gun Corps for his actions on the battlefield in France in October 1918.
Born in Brechin in 1885, Richardson starred for Brechin City and was selected for both the Forfarshire XI and the Northern League XI before emigrating to America.
At the outbreak of war, he volunteered at the British Consul in New York and returned to Britain to enlist with the 6th Battalion, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles).
Richardson later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps, and was awarded the Military Medal “for conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty” near the village of Solesmes, in north west France, on the night of 19-20 October 1918.
His citation reads: “Owing to the failure of a bridge across the river Selle, he was isolated with a party of men. He collected them and with much initiative brought them forward through the heavy shelling to rejoin the main body.
“On the morning of the 20th when the attacking infantry were held up by deadly machine gun fire, in assisting to get his section into action, he exposed himself with the utmost gallantry and disregard for his personal safety to the machine gun and shellfire which swept the neighbourhood of his positions.
“He was invaluable in assisting to lay the guns, and his conduct through the whole operation was worthy of the highest praise.”
Richardson suffered gunshot wounds to his thigh and chin in fighting the following day but is thought to have played for Brechin City again after the war before returning to America.
His Military Medal; 1914-15 Star; British War and Victory Medals, will be sold at JB Military Antiques auction in Morley, Australia, tomorrow, with an estimate of $1000-1200 AUS (£523-628).
Spokesman Ed Robinson said: “Sgt Richardson was a patriot who left America to do his bit for king and country – as you can see by his citation it was a well earned Military Medal.
“We would like to see them returned to a family member of Sgt Richardson as a first choice or to go to Brechin City FC if they have a history wall.”
Richardson had played junior football for Brechin Hearts and Brechin Rovers before joining the recently formed Brechin City in season 1907/08.
He played 17 games for City that season and earned selection for both the Forfarshire and Northern League selects before emigrating.
Richardson returned to Brechin for a period after the Great War and may have returned to action for City. When the club resumed football on March 29 1919, the team that lost 4-1 to local rivals Forfar included a number of pre-war veterans, including one named Richardson.
His war medals have been kept in Australia by a collector with Scottish ancestry.