Legends of Scottish Football

The Sporting Medals & Trophies Auction on 11 October features an array of interesting pieces of sporting history, from the worlds of football, golf, bowling and curling.  A number of impressive winners medals awarded to some of Scotland’s football sporting legends will go under the hammer this month, including medals awarded to players from Celtic, Rangers F.C. and more.



A Scottish Cup Medal awarded to Derek Johnstone of Rangers F.C. in 1981 is one such medal. Having signed with Rangers in 1970, Johnstone went on to spend an impressive 13 years with the club, making an impressive 546 appearances and scoring 210 goals with the Boys in Blue.

Johnstone didn’t in fact appear at the first leg of the 1981 Scottish Cup Final. That match saw the Gers face Dundee United on 9 May 1981, ending with a goalless draw. Johnstone did however take to the pitch for the replay days later, as the Gers won 4-1 to lift the Cup. The medal awarded to Johnstone for his win is offered at lot 1824, estimated at £1500-2500.



Awarded to a Rangers legend of an earlier generation, lot 1837 features a 1948 Scottish Cup Medal awarded to Billy Williamson of Rangers F.C. (1922-2006). Williamson, nicknamed ‘Sailor’ by his team-mates, signed for Rangers in 1941, and shortly afterwards, volunteered to join the war effort with the Royal Navy – reportedly guesting for Manchester City on trips home.

Williamson becoming a regular in the Rangers first team after the end of WWII, and secured his place in Rangers history with a number of impressive performances. Once such includes the 1948 Scottish Cup. Whilst Williamson didn’t play in the first leg of the final (which ended in a 1-1 draw) the player did go on to play in the replay four days later. In fact, Williamson went on to score the winning goal, to see Rangers defeat Morton 1-0.

Williamson went on to further his status as Rangers’ legend the following year, as he scored in the 1949 Scottish Cup final against Clyde. Williamson stayed with Rangers until 1951, later enjoying stints with St Mirren and Stirling Albion before retiring as a PE teacher. Williamson’s 1948 Scottish Cup Medal is offered for sale at McTear’s this month, with an auction estimate of £1000-2000.



Celtic F.C. was founded in 1888, and the sporting stars of those early decades may not be household names over a century later. One early Celtic player, recently coined ‘Scotland’s first bad-boy football superstar’ was Dan Doyle (1864-1918).

The Paisley born player signed for Celtic in 1891, and spent eight years with the Glasgow side. Known for his wicked temper, Doyle once in fact fatally injured an opponent in tackle. Research by Celtic F.C. guide Marie Rowan led to the publication of her book, Dan Doyle: The Life and Death of a Wild Rover, which includes a foreword by Celtic manager Neil Lennon who describes the player as 'one of the first and most inspirational captains our club has ever had'.

A gold medal awarded to that inspirational player is just one highlight of The Sporting Medals & Trophies Auction this month.  The fifteen carat gold medal (lot 1804) was awarded to the legendary player for the Scottish English League 1893, and comes estimated at £600-900.






If you’re a fan of Celtic F.C., you may be pleased to note that these are just a couple of the highlights of The Sporting Medals & Trophies Auction this October. Other impressive lots include a rare Jimmy Johnstone Faberge egg by Sarah Faberge (lot 1825), a signed Celtic F.C. jersey (lot 1810), the Celtic F.C. Opus (lot 1840) and various Celtic F.C. cheques.



William ‘Willie’ Parlane was a Scottish player of the 1930s who enjoyed a career with a number of Scottish clubs including St Mirren, Queens Park and Dumbarton F.C.. The player made his debut for the Sons in 1929, and scored 68 goals in 145 appearances for Dumbarton, famously playing a squad which also included his two brothers, Alex and John.


The Sporting Medals & Trophies Auction this month features a gold medal awarded to Parlane further to the Scotland v England (Amateur) match on Saturday 21 March 1931, held at the grounds of Chelsea F.C. in London. The medal comes together with his Scottish Football Association match selection card relating to the game, addressed to Parlane and dated 12 March 1931, which specifically requests that the player remember his stockings and white knickers!

The medal is accompanied by a small archive relating to the player, comprising team photograph photographs and newspaper clippings. This is offered at lot 1800, with an auction estimate of £500-800.


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Hannah Murphy



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