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Coats stories

Coats and football in Brazil

How a Coats employee influenced the 'Beautiful Game' of Brazil

Archie McClean Coats employee in Brazil

Archie McLean (far right) and his team in 1916

It is well known that football (‘soccer’ in North America) holds a special place in Brazilian culture. What is perhaps less well known is the role played by a Coats employee in the development of Brazilian football in the early 1900’s.

Archie McLean was born in Scotland in 1886 and worked as an engineer at the Paisley Anchor Thread mills until 1912, when he moved with his wife to Sao Paulo to work for Coats Corrente. A keen footballer, Archie quickly established a team to play in the local Sao Paulo league and the teams unique style of play soon caught the attention of the Brazilian footballing public with its fast, short passing and mazy dribbling.

For many Brazilians this was a style they had not seen before and many chose to adopt it for themselves and adapt it over time to become the unique Brazilian style of play that the world knows today.

Archie returned to Scotland in the 1940's where he died at the age of 84, but his story survives, and this one time Coats employee is now considered by many as ‘The Forgotten Father of Brazilian football'.


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