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History of the Queen's Park Football Club 1867 - 1917
Chapter LXI.—Obituary


It was the invariable custom of the Queen's Park, whenever a member died who had been an office-bearer, or had rendered valuable services to the club on the field, to pass a vote of condolence with his relatives, in some cases send wreaths, and where help was necessary, render it. Its thoughtfulness in this respect passes belief, even those who had served the club in the humblest capacity not being forgotten.

Mr. W. Dickson.—Mr. Dickson was an excellent defender at goal, and did capital duty in nearly all the important games played by the Queen's Park. He was also a well-known Clyde oarsman, having for many years been a prominent member of the Clydesdale A.R.C., and one of their champions. An authority on aquatics, and ready at all times to impart instruction to juniors, he had gained a great name in the West of Scotland. His death on 28th April, 1878, proved a sad blow to the club. A member of committee called specially at his house on learning that Mr. Dickson lay on his deathbed. A sub-committee—consisting of the president, Mr. A. Rae, Mr. Taylor, and Mr. Baillie—was appointed to see that Mr. Dickson lacked for nothing that it was in the power of the club to give him, and 20 was voted for the purpose. This committee and several members of the club attended his funeral. The club also gave substantial support to a concert for the benefit of his widow, organised by the Caledonian Railway Company's Musical Association, for which body Mr. Dickson acted as librarian.

Mr. Eadie Fraser.—Scotland never had a better forward than Eadie Fraser, known to everybody as the "Graceful Eadie." His movements were perfect. His popularity was extraordinary. On the field and off it he was a thorough gentleman, and never descended to those tricks which tend to bring the game into disrepute. When he was appointed to a lucrative situation in West Africa, his departure was a blow to his many friends, and hailed as a calamity to the Queen's Park. The whole of the members and office-bearers loved him as a brother, and not a few of those he left behind him on the platform in February, 1884, as the train steamed out of the station, turned away with a sad heart and streaming eye. They never saw him again. M. J. Eadie Fraser died at Sydney, Australia, in the early months of 1886. No more popular or able player had ever done duty on the football field for the Queen's Park than he. Falling into ill-health, he first went to the West Coast of Africa, and the climate there not suiting him, he travelled to the Antipodes. The seeds of mortality had been sown too deeply, and he succumbed after a short sojourn. The Queen's Park had placed him on "the hon. members' roll," and on learning of his death passed the following sympathetic resolution : " That the meeting received with profound sorrow the intelligence of the death of Mr. M. J. Eadie Fraser, a recently prominent and popular member of the club, and records its high appreciation of the valuable services rendered to the club by Mr. Fraser during his active connection with it, and its warm estimation of those qualities of mind and disposition which combined to make him deservedly popular among his fellow-members." An excerpt of this minute was sent to his father, the Rev. John Fraser, with the assurance of the committee's sympathy.

Mr. Joseph Taylor.—J. Taylor, the great Queen's Park back, died in October, 1888. He was one of the oldest members of the club, having joined in 1870, prior to the occupation of the original Hampden Park by the club. He played in the great cup tie match against the Wanderers in London in 1872, and also in the greater first International between Scotland and England at Hamilton Crescent, in the same year. He was capped also in 1873, 1874, 1875, and 1876. The sympathy of the club did not end with a vote of condolence, as a benefit match was played against 3rd Lanark on 5th January, 1889, the proceeds of which were handed to the widow, and the club, on the suggestion of Mr. A. Rowan, augmented this sum by a contribution of 50.

Mr. J. D. Graham.—Mr. J. D. Graham was a strong supporter of the Queen's Park, and frequently assisted the club on the playing field as goalkeeper. He played in several important matches for the Queen's Park. He was also a member of the Clyde F.C., and having been elected by that club as its representative to the Glasgow Association committee, Mr. Graham had in 1891 to resign his connection with the Queen's Park, but in March, 1892, he was readmitted to membership. He was a bulky man, and in his younger days amateur champion oarsman on the Clyde. A genial soul, he made friends everywhere, and the pity is he was not spared for greater usefulness. Mr. Graham died in August, 1895.

Mr. J. T. Richmond.--An old and highly-respected member of the club, Mr. James T. Richmond died early in February, 1898, while yet in the prime of life. Mr. James Lawrence, president, referred to the splendid services Mr. Richmond had rendered to the club, and stated, although he had not come much about Hampden Park recently, he nevertheless took a very keen interest in its welfare and in all its doings.

Mr. John M'Tavish.—Mr. John M'Tavish, who in the capacity of hon. match secretary for several years had proved himself a very energetic and faithful official, died towards the end of April, 1898. While it was generally known Mr. M'Tavish had been seriously ill, and had been confined to bed for several days, it was not expected his illness would prove fatal. The chairman intimated that Mr. Lawrence had instructed the secretary to forward a wreath in the club's name to the family.

Mr. George Gillespie.—At a committee meeting, 5th February, 1900, Mr. James Lawrence made reference to the sudden death of Mr. George Gillespie, which had taken place on Saturday morning. Mr. Gillespie, who came from Rangers to Queen's Park, was known as " the prince of goalkeepers." He had been a member of the club for a long period, was highly esteemed by all who knew him, and had in his time done excellent service for the club. He had been cut off in the prime of life, leaving a widow and family to mourn his loss. Mr. Gillespie was a marvellous goalkeeper. He had previously played in other positions, until he found his true vocation was the part of custodian.

The Ibrox Disaster.--Before commencing a committee meeting, 7th April, 1902, the chairman (Mr. Geake) made feeling reference to the extremely sad calamity which had occurred at Ibrox on Saturday last, on the occasion of the International match with England, when so many lives had been lost, and hundreds more or less severely injured, and moved: "That we record in the minutes an expression of our deep and heartfelt sympathy with the Scottish Football Association and Rangers Football Club at the present time."

Mr. Thomas Lawrie.—In December, 1904, Mr. Thomas Lawrie died, and the club did not allow the loss of one of the hardest workers and most prominent officials of the Queen's Park to pass without suitable notice. Mr. Arthur Geake, in committee, 5th December, 1904, made sympathetic reference to the recent death of Mr. Lawrie, who passed away in the very prime of life, one of the oldest, ablest, and most valued members of the club. Mr. Lawrie evinced the greatest interest in football, athletic, and volunteering matters generally. He was major in the 3rd Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers.

Mr. T. C. Highet.—Mr. Harriett, president, at a meeting in February, 1907, made sympathetic reference to the recent death of Mr. Thomas C. Highet, one of the oldest, ablest, and most valued players of the club, bore testimony to the great interest he had always evinced therein and in all athletic matters generally, and testified to the great loss which the club had sustained through his death.

Mr. William Harrower.—Sympathetic reference was also made on the death of Mr. William Harrower in October, 1910, an old and highly-esteemed member of the club, one who in the early 'eighties occupied a very high position in the game through his outstanding ability as a player, and had rendered distinguished services to the club, and in International matches to his country. Mr. Harrower evinced to the last the greatest interest in the welfare of the club, and the loss which the Queen's Park had sustained through his death was sincerely felt.

Mr. William Sellar.-Mr. William Sellar, one of the greatest centre forwards that had ever adorned Scottish football, died in June, 1914. He had been in failing health for a long period, and in consequence had not been able to follow the legal career which had opened so brightly for him. Originally a member—indeed one of the founders—of the Battlefield F.C., he, along with his two brothers, formed part of the Battlefield team which defeated the Queen's Park, 26th October, 1884, in a sensational Scottish Cup tie. At this time Battlefield was a force to be reckoned with. Mr. Sellar joined the Queen's Park, 13th June, 1882. His first appearance, however, in the Queen's Park team was not until 12th April, 1884, against Rangers, in a Glasgow Charity Cup tie, which Queen's Park won by 2-1, when he played with D. S. Allan on the left wing. He also helped Queen's Park to defeat 3rd Lanark in a final (8-0) on 3rd May. He played for Battlefield in cup ties in 1883-84 and 1884-85. Notwithstanding Battlefields triumph in October, 1884, Mr. Sellar came to the assistance of the Queen's Park in the English Cup ties, occupying the centre forward position with W. Harrower against Notts County at Nottingham, 21st February, 1885, and against the same club at Derby, 28th February, when at the second attempt Queen's Park passed on to meet Notts Forest twice, Mr. Sellar playing in both ties. He also was in the English final against Blackburn Rovers, at the Oval, that year. He made only one more appearance that season for Queen's Park, in the last match on the card, against Dumfries. In 1885-86 he again played in Scottish Cup ties for Battlefield, and was capped against England, 21st March, 1886, as a member of that club, playing on the right wing, and did not appear in the Queen's Park team that season. Mr. Sellar was capped against England, 19th March, 1887, as from Battlefield, playing only thrice for Queen's Park—against Kilmarnock, 19th February ; 3rd Lanark, 12th March; and Notts County, 26th March, 1887. He did not play regularly for Queen's Park until after Battlefield had fallen on evil days, receiving International honours as a member of that club in 1888. His other three honours against England were as a Queen's Park player, in 1891, 1892, and 1893—seven times in all. Mr. Thomas Robertson, president, a week after Mr. Sellar's sudden death, made sympathetic reference to the sad event. Mr. Sellar had rendered invaluable services to the club and to his country on the football field, and as president for three years, then a record.

Mr. D. C. Brown.—No more capable and no more popular member of the club can be found in the whole list of competent and active officials than Mr. Donald Campbell Brown, who died suddenly in America in the early part of 1915. At a committee meeting, 17th April, 1915, Mr. Thomas Robertson, the president, stated Mr. Brown had for many years been a most active and highly efficient office-bearer of the club, in which he had long taken deep and kindly interest. The chairman paid a very high tribute to the manner in which Mr. Brown had filled the presidential chair, and his unsparing efforts in the interest of amateur athletics in Scotland, and moved: "That we record in our minutes an expression of our great regret at Mr. Brown's sudden demise, and our most sincere sympathy with his widow and daughter in their deep and sad bereavement." An excerpt was forwarded to Mrs. Brown in America.

Mr. William C. Mitchell.—This gentleman, who was an early member of the club, and president in 1876-77, in which season he had the additional honour of being president of the Scottish Football Association, died at Ayr in December, 1919. He had done yeoman service for the Queen's Park, and he presented the club, in 1876, with the first flag in the black and white colours, which floated over the Queen's Park pavilion on the occasion of the first open amateur athletic meeting held by the club in September of that year.

Mr. Mungo Ritchie.—This gentleman, who was the first president of the Queen's Park Club, died at his residence, Moray Place, Strathbungo, in September, 1920, at the ripe age of eighty-three years. He had an active business career, being connected with the firm of Messrs. Mann, Byars & Co. for a long period. Indeed, he was an octogenarian at his retirement. When the idea of forming the athletic youths of the Queen's Park Recreation Ground into a club was consummated, 9th July, 1867, he was elected president, in absence. He occupied the chair for the one year, and resigned membership in 1868, on the occasion of his marriage.


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