THE RANGERS F.C.
by "True Blue"
William “Daddy” Dunlop gave great service to the Rangers, both on the field and off. He scored two goals in the first replay of the 1877 Scottish Cup Final against Vale of Leven. That second goal was, of course, not given. The reason for that is covered in the report of the 1877 Scottish Cup Final.* He was a regular in the “Ancients” team which played many matches throughout the 1880’s. He was clearly an accomplished player but it was suggested that but for poor eyesight, he would have been even better!
It was with the pen, though, Daddy made his greatest contribution. Willie wrote the most important history of Rangers Football Club. Although a relatively short article, his record of the early days of the Club provides us with the first hand evidence of his friends, the McNeils, Vallance, etc of the games at Flesher’s Haugh, the wearing of the light blue for the first time, etc. Under the sobriquet "True Blue", this vital record of the founding of the Club appeared in the SFA Annual of 1881/82.
Willie married Annie Cardwell in Manchester on 17 September, 1891. The following year, the Dunlops’ first child was born. Tragically, William Clive Dunlop lived for only ten weeks. In 1893, Annie gave birth to a second son, Colin Buchanan Dunlop. Sadly, Colin was only eighteen months old when his father died at the family home at Kelvinside Terrace South, just off Queen Margaret Drive. Willie succumbed to influenza after battling spinal meningitis. He was forty-two. The obituaries that appeared in the newspapers were united in acknowledging the sad loss of a man who was popular and highly respected throughout his life.
A few months after Willie’s death, Annie gave birth to her and Willie’s third son. He, too, was called William. Almost unbelievably, having lost her first child and then her husband, Annie, too, succumbed to illness. She died of scarlet fever in 1899. She was only thirty-one. Willie’s brother Thomas was married to Annie’s sister, Kate. They brought up their two nephews, Colin and William, Jnr.
His contemporaries owed a lot to “Daddy” Dunlop. Present day historians of the Club owe a great debt to him, too.