112 Years Ago Today. George Goudie. The Man Who Saved The Rangers.
112 Years Ago Today. George Goudie, The Man Who Saved The Rangers.
On the 24th February 1911 Rangers President George Goudie died Aged 52.
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.
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.
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”.
A few years ago we located Mr Goudie'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.
Today we remember George Goudie.