The man who saved the Rangers

George Goudie

George Goudie

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 the Western Necropolis, attended by his “wide circle of friends”.  The funeral directors were James Henderson and Co.  Yes, the same James Henderson who, too, became president of Rangers and at the time of George’s death, was chairman of Rangers Football Club Limited.  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.

George Goudie

A Jambos view of The Founders Trail

We’ve been sent a great review of The Founders Trail from a Hearts fan who attended our first tour of 2011.

The weekend of Saturday 26 March and Sunday 27 March was set to be a boring one due to the fact there was no proper football on, only that stupid international drivel. What was I going to do?

Well my boyfriend came up with a solution which pleased him but not necessarily me. “Why don’t we go to Ibrox on Saturday to watch the U19s play Hibs in the Youth Cup Semi Final?” He said. I have to admit it didn’t exactly fill me with joy, especially since Hibs were involved, but it was a game of football after all so off we travelled from Aberdeen to Glasgow. Not a bad game and it’s always nice to see Hibs get knocked out of a cup competition!

“What are we going to do on Sunday?” I asked him. “I’ve booked us on the Founder’s Trail” he says. So it’s back off to Ibrox on the Sunday (Good job we were staying at my sister’s house in Broxburn and not coming down from Aberdeen again.), myself, my boyfriend and his 7yr old daughter (already a dyed in the wool Bluenose). I didn’t know what to expect and really didn’t know if I was going to enjoy it or be bored senseless, it wasn’t the history of my club after all but I thought I’ll give it a go and may even learn something.

Onto the bus we went in the company of Rangers TV and a load of other Blue Noses complete with handouts and maps. Both of these were very detailed and well presented. Our guides, Iain, Neil and Gordon were a fountain of knowledge and I found myself beginning to enjoy this history lesson. We travelled round Glasgow to places like Flesher’s Haugh, site of Rangers first match, to Burnbank to Kinning Park and finally back to Ibrox. In between these places we were driven past the homes and businesses of Rangers founding fathers to Craigton cemetery, resting place of Peter and William McNeil and Bill Struth. The tour ended with a tour of Ibrox Stadium, which I have done before, but as always the trophy room is a sight to behold, even if you are not a Rangers fan.

I wasn’t looking forward to the Founder’s Trail but after it I can honestly say that from a Jambo’s point of view it was fantastic and very informative. I think that ALL the Rangers players, anybody who works for the club and most importantly the fans should do the Founder’s Trail to learn about the history of their club.

To the guys who have researched all this stuff and still continue to unearth more as the days go on WELL DONE!

Always a Jambo