161 Years Ago Today.
Founder Peter Campbell was born on the 6th March 1857.
Peter Campbell was the first Ranger to score a goal for his country. In 1876 Peter and his fellow Pioneer, Moses McNeil, became the first Rangers players to gain representative honours. They were part of the Glasgow side that defeated Sheffield 2-0 at Bramall Lane. Recognised as one of the top players in Scotland, he was one of the first to move south, to Blackburn Rovers, playing there for a short time during the 1879/80.
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. Peter’s family were involved in the shipping industry. He was a Ship’s Engineer and was employed at the Barclay Curle Yard on the Clyde .Peter’s engineering certificate issued in 1882 shows his address as being 2 Parkgrove Terrace in Glasgow where he was living with his cousin Captain Bob Campbell. This is one of many locations that we visit during the Founders Trail. Peter retired early from football, to concentrate on following in the family tradition by going to sea and qualified as a marine engineer in 1882. But tragically, in the early weeks of 1883, his ship the “St Columba” floundered in the Bay of Biscay off the coast of France. The youngest of our Gallant Pioneers died aged only twenty-five. Peter’s ship departed on that tragic voyage from Penarth Dock in South Wales. 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 are 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. Peter’s medal from that momentous day is proudly displayed in the Blue Room at Ibrox Stadium. There’s an incredible story behind Peter’s medal. 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.