106 Years Ago Today. George Goudie

106 Years Ago Today. George Goudie
On the 24th February 1911 Rangers President George Goudie Died Aged 52.

The Man Who Saved The Rangers.


President 1882 – 1883

Vice President 1883 – 1885

Club records would suggest that in terms of length of service to Rangers Football Club, George Goudie would not readily be thought of as one of the great figures in our history.

It was for one act, though, we are forever, literally, in his debt.

George Goudie was a Paisley “Buddie”, born at 2, Hamilton Street in the town on 9 April, 1859 to Humphrey, an engine-fitter (although later records would state he was a marine engineer), and his wife Anne.

It would appear young George spent his formative years overseas. There is no trace of the family in the census of 1861 or in that of 1871. They do appear in the 1881 census.

By then the family home was at 14 Union Street in Leith. The census records twenty-one year-old George had three siblings. Eighteen year-old Matthew and sixteen year-old William had been born in Greece. The youngest of the four sons, fourteen year-old Henry, had been born in Turkey. George’s occupation was given as “clerk”.

Research has, as yet, failed to reveal how the young clerk from Leith became, within a year, vice-president of Rangers Football Club!

Goudie’s first appearance in the Glasgow PO directory was not until 1886/87. We do know, though, that he was an accomplished athlete, being successful at distances ranging from 100 yards to 880 yards. It is not an unfair assumption that George became friends with Tom Vallance on the athletics circuit and he was brought into the Rangers’ circle through Tom.

When Archie Harkness died so tragically young in November, 1882, Vice-president George Goudie assumed the presidency of the club. These were not good times for the Rangers. Peter McNeil had left to concentrate on business and his steady hand on the rudder had been missed.

There had been no attempt to build up the club membership. The club was in such financial straits, the committee approached President Goudie requesting he provide a loan of £30 (just under £3,000 in today’s terms). This he did. Would Rangers Football Club have survived if Goudie had not agreed to provide the loan?

We have to assume that without it, the end may have been nigh. By the summer of 1883, the club was £100 in debt. George served just a matter of months as president. He stood down at the annual general meeting in May, 1883, held at the Athole Hotel. Tom Vallance became president. George served as his vice-president for the next two years.
The fact the committee felt they could approach George Goudie for a loan would suggest he had already established his business as a produce merchant with some success.

George married Jane Currie on 14 April, 1887 at her family home at 20 Kelvingrove Street. George had been living at 89 Grant Street, a short distance from Rangers’ old Burnbank ground.

The first marital home would appear to have been at Sandyford Street. By 1891, the family, now augmented by George, Jnr had moved to 20 Kelvingrove Street. George had had offices in Waterloo Street and York Street. Such was the success of his business, the family could afford to employ a domestic servant.

By the time of the 1901 census, George, Jnr had been joined by sister Jane and brothers Alexander and James. Five years later, the Goudies had moved to Pollokshields, the family home being “Dunard” at 14 Leslie Street.

George had retained his sporting competitive spirit, turning his hand to bowls. He had been a member of the St Vincent Club, then, on moving south of the river, Titwood Bowling Club. His final business address was in Howard Street.
George suffered from heart disease for the last eighteen months or so of his life. He died, aged only fifty-one, on 24 February, 1911. His funeral took place at Lambhill Cemetery in the north of Glasgow it was attended by his “wide circle of friends”. IMG_0237

A couple of years ago we located Mr Goudies’s final resting place but unfortunately the headstone was off it’s plinth and lying on the grass.

Since then our Restoration team have re-erected ,blast cleaned and polished Mr Goudie’s stone.

We do not have a great record of George Goudie’s time on the Rangers committee. That one act, however, the granting of a loan of £30, will ensure his place in our history will live for ever.

82 Years Ago Today. Tom Vallance


On the 16th February 1935 Rangers legend Tom Vallance died at the family home at 83 Pitt Street Glasgow aged 78.


Tom is buried in Hillfoot Cemetery in Bearsden and his funeral was attended by Mr. Struth, Chairman James Bowie and his old team-mate James McIntyre who both took a cord. Incredibly, players from the Vale of Leven team whom Tom had faced 60 years earlier in 1877 were also in attendance.

That will give you an indication as to how highly regarded Tom Vallance was.

Tom was paid the ultimate accolade by the Club in May 1898 when he was made a life member. In 2012 we had Tom put on to canvas by way of a painting by artist Helen Runciman which was unveiled at Ibrox Stadium at the end of our Founders Trail.
Tom Vallance took his rightful place at the top of the Marble Staircase alongside his friends and fellow Founders.

Some facts on Tom Vallance:

Tom had an incredible 60 year association with the Club.


He was a master oarsman, a champion athlete (he set a Scottish long jump record of over 21 feet), he studied at the Glasgow School of Art, had paintings accepted by the Royal Scottish Academy and was Rangers Club Captain and President for many years.

While President of the Club it was not uncommon to find Tom Vallance working the turnstiles on match day at First Ibrox.

We have recorded details of Tom Vallance being present at the ceremony held on 1st January 1929 which saw the opening of the Main Stand at Ibrox and also at a Dinner held in the old St.Enoch’s Hotel after a Rangers match in 1933, he was also a guest of the Club that year for the New Year’s day game against Celtic.


So, the lad who was present at Fleshers Haugh in 1872 was still attending Ibrox some 60 years later where the Club that he’d helped form and nurture were now playing in front of crowds touching 100,000.

Tom Vallance.


The Staff of Rangers Football Club on the Trail of our Founders.


The Staff of Rangers Football Club on the Trail of our Founders.

Since the Founders Trail first took to the streets of Glasgow in 2009 our primary objective has been to get our wonderful story out to as many people as possible and in turn safe guard the real Rangers story for future generations.

Last November our Board of Directors took the journey with us and it was then that we discussed with them our aim to take every Club employee around on the Founders Trail to give them an understanding of the foundations upon which our unique Club was built, and why it means so much today to so many.

We’re delighted to say that this coming Monday 6th February we’ll be taking a minimum of 33 office staff from the Club around on the Founders Trail.

Craig Mulholland has also said that he wants our Under 17’s and Under 20’s to take the Founders Trail with us as part of their education into what Rangers Football Club is.

We’re currently trying to pinpoint a date for this.

These are significant and positive steps being taken by our Club.

We at the Founders Trail are honoured and delighted to be playing a part in this process.

The Restoration of Rangers Graves Project. James Watson.



The Restoration of Rangers Graves Project.

James Watson.


Today we’re delighted to announce that the Restoration of Rangers Graves Project has taken another step forward with the re-erecting of James Watson’s stone at Cathcart Cemetery.


The cleaning and re-lettering of the stone will be done over the coming weeks.

James Watson.

Player 1874-1879
Vice President 1889-1890
President 1890-1891.

James was also involved in various Rangers committees.

Match records show that James Watson started playing with Rangers in 1874 but he was likely involved with the Club before then.

He was a member of the legendary 1877 team that got so close to winning the Scottish Cup.

James Watson is one of many players from the early days of the Club who took up various committee roles when their playing days were over.


James became President of Rangers in 1890.

He went on to become a teacher at both Calder Street and Hillhead High School in Glasgow.

James ended his days in East Kilbride in the Maxwellton area in a house called Kia Ora and passed on 25th May 1915.

James Watson was a huge figure during the growth of our Club.

He once again stands tall.


Remembering the 66. The Restoration of Rangers Graves Project.

The Restoration of Rangers Graves Project.
Remembering the 66.
When the Restoration of Rangers Graves Project was established three years ago it wasn’t only set up to restore the final resting places of those men from our glorious history but anyone within the Rangers family that we could assist.
Since 2014 we’ve restored 21 plots of those who formed and built our Club and we have many more to attend to over the coming weeks and months.
Last week we were contacted by a fellow supporter Chris Beglin who had been to pay his respects at both of the Markinch memorials which commemorate the lives of the five boys from the town who lost their lives at Ibrox on the 2nd January 1971.
He brought to our attention that the bench which was placed in their memory at Thornton Parish Church was suffering badly from exposure to the weather. Chris informed us that he was a joiner and that he’d like to strip the bench back and have a friend re-varnish it.
After consultation with the Markinch Memorial Committee and Thornton Parish Church this work will be carried out over the coming weeks and if needed on an annual basis.
Earlier this week around the time of the anniversary i got into dialogue with Ian Milne and Colin Shearer who are both in contact with many of the families and have intimate knowledge of many of the resting places.
Additionally the Club will let us contact any of the families who lost loved ones who’s details are currently unknown.
We are now pleased to announce this morning that the project to restore, and in some cases mark,all of the resting places of those who lost their lives at the Ibrox Disasters has begun.
Ian Milne who is the piper who played his lament at not only at Ibrox on Monday evening but at every grave site of our brothers and sisters who lost their lives has been in contact with the son of George Findlay who is buried in an unmarked grave at Riddrie in Glasgow.
The placing of a new stone here will start the project.
Not forgotten will be the two lads George Nelson and Tommy Thomson who both perished at the accident at Ibrox in 1961.
We at the Restoration Project have a dedicated team who apply the due love, care and attention to detail at every site that we’ve worked on and it will be an honour to help the families bereaved by restoring the sites of our fellow supporters.
This project will run in tandem with our current Restorations.
What’s been important in the process is the relationship that we have with a stone mason and many of the councils that we’ve dealt with over the years.
This is a huge project but one which will be seen through to the end. No-one will be forgotten.
We’re aiming for completion around the 50th Anniversary of the Ibrox Disaster in 2021.
This all of course will require funding.
We have over the years received many donations for which we are grateful and will appeal to our fellow supporters again as we highlight each individual plot and circumstance.
We will remember them.

Raffle for a signed jersey for The Rangers Graves Restoration Project.



Raffle for a signed jersey for The Rangers Graves Restoration Project.

How about this gem in time for Christmas ?

Only £5 per entry.

We have this framed shirt signed by this season’s squad up for grabs, every penny raised will go to The Rangers Graves Restoration Project.

It’s been very kindly donated by Robert Marshall of the Louden Tavern.

To be in with a chance of winning this wonderful jersey just donate £5 via the link below .

All names will go into a hat and the winner drawn on Monday 19th December at 1pm.

It will be delivered in time for Christmas.

Thank you.

PAYPAL LINK. – https://www.paypal.com/sendmoney
***Follow the link and add following email address along with donation – sonsofstruth@aol.co.uk

An Appeal to Restore a Tom Vallance self portrait.


Our latest restoration project will take us temporarily away from cemeteries and into the world of art.

Recent research has solved the mystery of a painting the Club has had tucked away in storage for decades.

The story starts in the archives of a German sports magazine from the 1920s and will finish with the painting restored back to all its glory.

Researching for the Founders Trail takes us to many weird and wonderful places in search of our history so searching German archives would probably be filed under weird!!

The ‘Deutsche Sport-Zeitung’ was a sports magazine that operated in Hannover during the 20s & 30s. JournalistJorgJörgenssen arrived in Glasgow in 1921 to do a lengthy article on Ibrox and the history of the Club.  Although written in German google translate does more that a descent job in revealing the jist of the text.


Bill Struth who had become the Rangers manager the previous year gave the guided tour. Training techniques were noted and a brief history of the club given a few paragraphs. The ground and stand were praised as was the pavilion.


The writer went on to give a detailed description of the interior of the pavilion revealing many details that have never been known before. The one that stood out was the revelation that hanging on the stair case was a life-sized painting of Tom Vallance.


The translation came out as the following “Very remarkable is a large oil painting on the staircase, which represents a player in life size, and was Tom Vallance. One of the old guard, who represented the club in the days when the name, so powerful today, had a nimble and feeble sound. Vallance, who also played for the Thistles against England during the years 1877 to 1879 and 1881.”

Could this be the same painting that the club had stored away?

Jim Hannah was duly contacted and asked for help.  As usual Jim came up with goods and found the painting and sent us the picture confirming it was the same picture. Although the painting was signed by Tom Vallance it was never know who the subject was.


Through Jim we have been given permission by the club to start a restoration on this fantastic piece of history.

We will be looking for a professional restorer to do the work but if there is a member of the Rangers family out there that does this sort of thing we would like to hear from you!!

If you can help email us at thegallantpioneers@googlemail.com

A Thank You From The Founders Trail.



A Thank You From The Founders Trail.

As the curtain draws on another Tour season we’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who joined us on the Founders Trail and Ibrox Stadium Tour during the last year.

2016 saw us take more people than ever before around Glasgow on our journey of discovery.

Over the last seven years we’ve taken almost 6,500 people around Glasgow on the Trail and through the front doors of Ibrox for the Stadium Tour, many for the first time.

Our Founders Presentation evenings continue to go from strength to strength , this is all possible because of the support we’ve received from yourselves.

Over the last two years the Restoration Project has seen us restore 21 plots of those men who built our Club.Our research work on the Restorations and Founders project will continue over the winter.

We’ve made new friends and met some wonderful characters all brought together by the Rangers family.

A special thanks goes to the the media team at Rangers for helping to promote the Tours and our continued work on the Restoration Project. Also the staff at Partick Bowling Club, Parks of Hamilton and the Tour Guides at Ibrox.

Last but not least, our resident gardeners at Craigton Cemetery who take great care of the McNeil ,Struth and many other plots.

On Saturday the 19th November the Board of Directors at the Club joined us on the Founders Trail and this will see further expansion of the Tours over the coming weeks and months.

The education process behind the Founders Trail is vitally important to us all as this will ensure that our unique and wonderful story is passed on to the next generation.

The Founders Trail will return in February with an expansion on the Founders Story and new locations.

Bookings for our first Tour dates for 2017 are coming in fast , they are as follows:

To reserve your seat just send an email to thegallantpioneers@gmail.com

Thank you.

The Founders Team.