Founder of Rangers Exclusive! The First Image of William McBeath.

Willie McBeath


During our research over the last few years into the Founders story we’ve been very fortunate to unearth some gems which have helped to enhance this incredible tale of the lads who formed Rangers Football Club back in 1872 for the world-wide Rangers support.

However, one item had remained elusive, an image/photograph of William McBeath.

Well, today that changes as we have finally found our man!

As usual with our research the ‘gems’ seem to be uncovered by chance whilst on the hunt for something else (I was on the trail of a portrait of Tom Vallance).

1885 03 14 William D MacBeath

As well as William’s portrait there is a fantastic bio that not only gives us more information on his life but it also gives us an insight into the early days and formation of the club.

As you might have noticed the article has his name as MacBeth rather than the correct spelling of McBeath.   The name change happened as soon as Willliam and his family moved south to Bristol (the census records for 1881 has the family name as MacBeth). We can only guess at why he changed it.

One thing that we did know about William that the article talks about was the presentation of the gold badge from the club. Here is the report from the Scottish Athletic Journal from 1884.

willie badge 1884 04 25

It was also nice to have it confirmed that he was also an artist like his friend Tom Vallance. The following clipping has a few of his paintings he had entered in to a local art exhibition.

Cornishman - Thursday 17 March 1881

It’s nice to finally put a face to William and add some meat to the bones of his story.