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The Restoration of Rangers Graves Project. George Young.

The Restoration of Rangers Graves Project. George Young.

After a bit of searching yesterday we were delighted to find the final resting place of Rangers legend George Young in Grandsable Cemetery in Grangemouth.

We’ll now try and locate his family with a view to restoring the stone.

George Young.

Born: 27 October 1922, Grangemouth

Appearances: 428

Goals: 31

Honours Won with Rangers League Titles 1946/47, 1948/49, 1949/50, 1952/53, 1955/56, 1956/57

Scottish Cup 1947/48, 1948/49, 1949/50, 1952/53

League Cups 1946/47, 1948/49

Caps: 53 (Scotland)

RANGERS have been fortunate to have had some fantastic captains in their history and there are many who believe that George ‘Corky’ Young was the greatest of them all. He earned his nickname because of the lucky champagne cork he carried in his pocket, but it hardly seems an appropriate nickname for a man who stood 6ft 2in tall and weighed 15 stone. Young was a massive man in every sense and his influence on both Rangers and the national team was colossal.

Originally a centre half, Young moved to right back to allow Willie Woodburn to fill the central area. They were two of the six men who comprised the famous Iron Curtain defence. He had many qualities – most obviously as a tough defender. He was awesome in the air and a fierce tackler, his long legs often preventing the opposition breaching the Rangers backline. His fitness was such that between autumn of 1948 and the summer of 1953 he missed a mere five league games out of the 150 that Rangers played.

But perhaps his greatest ability was to turn defence into attack with incredible speed. He could launch a ball 60 yards or more with minimum of effort and it invariably found the front men, and players like Willie Waddell and Willie Thornton thrived on the breakaway. Young and Rangers won six titles in ten years, including the treble in 1948/49, mostly battling with the great Hibernian team of the era. The Edinburgh club won three titles and finished runners-up to Rangers on three occasions.

Young also collected two Scottish League Cup and four Scottish Cup winner’s medals – none quite so fulfilling for him as the 4-1 victory over Clyde at Hampden on 23 April 1949 when he scored twice from the penalty spot.

Such a career is bound to earn admirers. Eric Caldow, a teammate initially and subsequently a great captain himself, was in no doubt about Young’s standing in the grand scheme of things, saying: ‘He had a fantastic presence at the back and was a natural leader. Every player looked up to him and had everything you could wish for in a defender. He was a big man who was good in the air, was a fierce tackler and also had a lot of skill. He was a truly great Rangers player.’ John Greig, a fantastic skipper in his own right in the 1960s and 1970s, added: ‘George epitomised what being a Rangers captain was all about. He was known as the “Gentle Giant” as well as “Corky” and although he was a very imposing player, he was a fair one.’

Young played 53 times for Scotland, appearing in 34 consecutive matches at a time when there were far fewer international matches than there are today. Indeed, it took nearly two decades for his caps record to be surpassed.

He led Scotland a record 48 times but his influence was far more substantial than any captain of the modern day. Basically, Young ran the Scottish side in the days when committees picked teams and there was no manager. Remarkably, he arranged training, theatre visits and even booked local transport for the team. He announced he would play his final game for Scotland against Spain in Madrid on 26 May 1957 – but, cruelly, the selectors did not pick him.

During his playing days and beyond he also ran a coffee shop with goalkeeper George Niven in Glasgow’s Hope Street which was a popular haunt. And when he left Rangers at the end of the 1956/57 season, and stopped playing the game, he began to concentrate on his hotel business. He returned to football for a few years in the early 1960s to manage Third Lanark.

George Young sadly passed on the 10th January 1997.

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1 Comment

Moira Young
Moira Young
Mar 28, 2022

George Young was my grandfathers uncle. I still live in Grangemouth. Sadly most of the Young's have Sadly passed away. There's only a few left.

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