164 Years Ago Today. Peter Campbell.Founder Peter Campbell was born at Garelochhead on the 6th Marc
164 Years Ago Today. Peter Campbell.
Founder Peter Campbell was born at Garelochhead on the 6th March 1857.
Peter came from a more privileged background than his fellow Pioneers.
His father John was a harbour master, his mother Mary was sister of Sir James Jenkins, honorary surgeon to Queen Victoria. The family home was “Craigellan”, a large sandstone villa in the lochside village of Garelochhead.
A life on the ocean wave was always seemingly inevitable for the youngest of our founders given the sea-faring family to which he belonged but it was the ocean wave that tragically claimed his life at the age of 25.
In the early 1870’s Peter moved to Glasgow and joined the Barclay Curle shipyard as an apprentice.
When he and his friends Peter and Moses McNeil and William McBeath struck upon the idea of forming a football club it was no doubt a welcome release from the Clyde-side for Peter.
He served a five-year apprenticeship with Barclay Curle and a further two years as a journeyman until 1879 while playing for the newly-formed Rangers.
He was one of the better players in the fledgling side. Indeed he was described in annuals of the time as one of most outstanding players of the period.
Like his fellow founders, Campbell played in that first match in May 1872 and went on to become a pivotal player for Rangers.
Campbell, who was vice-captain of Rangers, played for Glasgow against Sheffield in 1876 when he and Moses became the first Rangers players to gain representative honours.He scored five goals in the 1876/77 Cup campaign when Rangers made it all the way to their first final but as previously described they agonisingly lost 3-2 in a second replay to Vale of Leven.
His last match for Rangers was a Scottish Cup tie against the dominant Queen’s Park which was lost 5-1 in September 1879 and then he became one of the first Scottish players to move to England when he joined Blackburn Rovers and played for them briefly before hanging up his boots.
The smell of the salt was too strong in his nostrils. He is said to have had seven spells at sea with the London-based merchant ship Margaret Banks in the next three years and then, fatefully, he was on board the St Columba which was bound for Bombay with coal when it left Penarth in South Wales in January 1883.In horrific weather the boat never got past the Bay of Biscay off western France and Peter was pronounced drowned on March 3.The youngest of our founders died aged just 25.
On Saturday 22nd July 2017, after a period of negotiation with Penarth Council, we unveiled a memorial plaque at Penarth Pier to commemorate the life of Peter Campbell and his contribution in the formation of Rangers Football Club.The memorial was funded by our Restoration of Rangers Graves Project.
We’re fortunate to have something more tangible to remember Peter Campbell by. He was a member of the first Rangers’ side to win a trophy, the Glasgow Merchants’ Charity Cup in 1879,and there’s an incredible story behind the medal that Peter won that day.
Fellow Rangers supporter William Mason contacted us to tell of how one of his friends had found this medal belonging to Peter Campbell in a park in East Kilbride in 1968. A few years ago his friend loaned the medal to Rangers and Peter Campbell’s medal is on display in the Blue Room at Ibrox.
This is a permanent reminder of the contribution Peter Campbell made in forming our great Club.
Today as we charge towards our 55th League title we remember Founder Peter Campbell.