Motherwell have got more to thank us for than just large crowds.


Rangers Ancients


If it wasn’t for the Rangers then Motherwell might never have been a team!!

It just isn’t the years of the Bears pouring money into the Fir Park team coffers that the Steelmen have to thank Rangers for.

In fact if it wasn’t for the Rangers they might never have existed.

Motherwell where formed after the amalgamation of two local amateur sides that were based at the industrial factories of Glencairn and Alpha.

You see, in 1886, a Motherwell Charity Cup was organised by a local hotel which would be promoted with a friendly match between the ‘Glasgow Ancients’ and a select chosen from the town’s two top teams, Alpha and Glencairn.

1886 02 17 Scottish Umpire 1

The Glasgow team was mainly made up of the Rangers Ancient team (that featured the retired Rangers players of the early years) and a couple of Queens Park players. In fact one of the Queens Park men Harry McNeil played as a guest in Rangers first ever match in 1872. The team was captained by the great Tom Vallance.

1886 02 23 Scottish Athletic Journal

Such was the success of the match it was decided that the two teams would join permanently and form Motherwell FC.

1886 01 23 The Motherwell Times

‘If it wasn’t for the Rangers’

The Restoration of Rangers Player William Dunlop’s Grave. Volunteers Required.

The Restoration of Rangers Player William Dunlop’s Grave. Volunteers Required.
Saturday 20th June at 12pm.

As part of our on-going restoration of Rangers Graves project we’re looking for volunteers to help with work needing done on Rangers player William ‘’ Daddy’’ Dunlop’s final resting place.

1877William’s grave is at Cathcart Cemetery in Glasgow and sadly lies in what can only be described as a mini jungle.

William's grave in its current condition.

William’s grave in its current condition.

On Saturday 20th June at 12pm we’ll get to work on Willie’s final resting place and bring it back to hopefully something resembling it’s original state.

The meeting point is at the entrance on Brenfield Road.

William's grave previously.

William’s grave previously.


William 'Daddy' Dunlop

William ‘Daddy’ Dunlop

William Dunlop was a hugely influential figure during the early years of the Club and wrote the first ever account of the birth and subsequent years of the Rangers which is linked below.

Click on picture for True Blue article.

Click on picture for True Blue article.

As part of our day we’ll also take those who attend on a tour of Cathcart Cemetery which holds many more Rangers men including our first ever manager Mr William Wilton and afterwards we can retire to a local Pub for a well deserved refreshment.

If you’d like to assist with this project please email us at or call 0790 2855536

Iain and Gordon.

A Memorial To Moses McNeil at Rosneath Sunday 28th June

Moses McNeil's grave at St.Modan’s Parish Churchyard Rosneath

Moses McNeil’s grave at St.Modan’s Parish Churchyard Rosneath


Over the last few years while working on the Founders project we had the pleasure of meeting on a few occasions the late great Sandy Jardine.

He spoke often about a memorial for Moses McNeil at the Rosneath churchyard where he is buried but sadly fate was to lend a hand before that particular project was to come to fruition.

The plot where Moses was laid to rest has a stone with the names of Duncan Gray (Moses Brother-in-law) and his sisters Isabella and Elizabeth inscribed.

Sadly the name of the man who gave our Club it’s name of Rangers doesn’t appear , this would be down to the fact that Moses was the last one to pass away .

Today we’re delighted to announce to the worldwide Rangers support that the project will be completed next month by way of an engraved granite plaque which will be placed at Moses final resting place.

The Gravestone will also be cleaned and brought back to it’s original condition and the fading lettering re-done.

The granite plaque is being donated and the work that will be carried out is at minimal cost which will be met by donations already made to the Sons of Struth Memorial Fund.

For this we sincerely thank fellow Rangers supporter David Calderwood and those at the SOS memorial project.

A dedication service which will be conducted by the local minister Rev Christine Murdoch will be held at Moses final resting place at St.Modan’s Parish Churchyard Rosneath Road, Rosneath on Sunday 28th June at 2pm to which all are welcome.

The Final Resting Place of Another Two Rangers Men Located.

Following on from last week’s Rangers Graves blog we’re delighted to announce that we’ve located another two final resting places of Rangers men from our early years.

David Hill has been found in East Kilbride Cemetery and James Watson in Cathcart Cemetery.

Both played in that historic 1877 Scottish Cup Final.



David Hill in his Scotland jersey

David Hill in his Scotland jersey

David Hill's grave at East Kilbride Cemetery

David Hill’s grave at East Kilbride Cemetery










David Hill was a dependable player who was with the Club for over a decade during which he made 3 international appearances for Scotland.

This was written about David in 1891 – A most unselfish player was Mr. Hill. He was slow, but sure, and if ever a man showed an example in the field by at once passing on the ball when necessary, and never opening his mouth from kick-of to time call, it was he. One of the prominent figures all through quite a decade of seasons for his old club, Mr. Hill rendered the Rangers valuable service, and never failed to turn up when he was wanted. In the final Association Challenge Cup match with the Vale of Leven, played shortly before the one I am touching upon, and which ended in a tie, some splendid passing was witnessed between him and Mr. Wm. Dunlop, who, by the way, could not play in the Charity event in consequence of an injury sustained a week before.

David was born in Perth on 12 July 1858 and died 2nd February 1920.

He lived and worked in East Kilbride and is interred in its cemetery.

James Watson when he was president in 1890

James Watson when he was president in 1890

James Watson's grave at Cathcart Cemetery.

James Watson’s grave at Cathcart Cemetery.








James Watson who became head teacher at Calder Street School in Glasgow was a member of the Rangers Committee during our early years.

He became President of Rangers in 1890.

Like David Hill he lived the latter part of his life in East Kilbride. He live in the Maxwellton area in a house called ‘Kia Ora’

James was born on the 21st of February and died on the 24th May 1915.




The Final Resting Places of Two Rangers Men Located.


James Wilson Rangers Trainer 1897-1914

Sandy Marshall Rangers Player 1876-1880



!877 Scottish Cup Final team

Over the last few as we’ve searched the cemeteries of Glasgow for those men who built our great Club we were recently informed by a gentleman who’d taken the Founders Trail with us that there may be an ” Old Trainer of Rangers ” buried at Craigton Cemetery.

Just recently our research gleamed from the records at the Mitchell Library did in fact confirm that a James Wilson who was trainer at Rangers and a very respected individual who helped with the building of our great Club had indeed died suddenly due to a bout of double pneumonia in 1914 at 21 Princes Street in Govan aged 52 and was buried at Craigton Cemetery.

Edinburgh Evening News - Saturday 09 April 1898
Mr Struth while trainer at Clyde was offered James Wilson’s job at Rangers but refused to take another man’s place at our Club.

That changed upon the sudden passing of Mr Wilson.

The Club had actually organised a benefit match for Mr Wilson against Everton at Ibrox only a week before he passed.

Daily Record - Thursday 07 May 1914 Daily Record - Friday 27 February 1914
Sandy Marshall.

We also had on our records that Rangers player from the 1870’s Sandy Marshall was also buried at Craigton Cemetery but we’d never actually located his final resting place.

Alexander Marshall (1857-1883)
Compositor, Athlete and Footballer. Founder Member of Clydesdale Harriers. Played in Rangers 1877 Cup final team.

Alexander Marshall was born in c1857 to night watchman Patrick Marshall and Catherine Marshall. Alexander was a founder member of the Clydesdale Harriers and played for Rangers from 1876 till 1880 and during his time at the club he played in fifteen matches and scored ten goals. He was a member of the 1877 Scottish Cup Final squad and played in the two replays against Vale of Leven. Alexander was a compositor by trade and died age 26 on 17th August 1883 at 123 Hospital Street, Gorbals.

We have a copy of Sandy’s death certificate but the cause of death entry is badly faded, bronchitis is just about legible.

So, last  Saturday 9th May my colleague Gordon and I set off for Craigton for what turned out to be a very productive afternoon.

A real chill went through us as we cleared the earth and moss from James Wilson’s stone and the words ‘Trainer of Rangers’ emerged.

We were incredibly lucky in that although both stones are off their base and lying on the grass they were both face up which let us read the inscription and  both are intact.

Craigton Cemetery had given up another couple of gems.

Since Saturday we’ve had a brief discussion with Craig Houston at the Sons of Struth Memorial Fund to establish if funds could be used to re-erect these gentleman’s grave stones.

We’ll update on the progress of this project as it happens.

These men played an important  role in the early years of our Club and it’s fitting that their final resting places are tended to with the care and attention that they deserve.

We’re confident that we’ll be posting details of a third resting place at Craigton Cemetery very soon.

 jw sm