James McBlane Watt
President 1876 – 1877
James Watt was a good club man. Goalkeeper
in the 1877 Scottish Cup Final side, he was a fine last line of
defence. He lost his position to the hugely talented George
Gillespie when Gillespie decided playing outfield was too
rough! In the 1879/80 SFA Annual James was described as “a
goalkeeper of considerable promise”. A year later he was in the
list of those “now retired”! On at least two occasions he had
President in 1876 – 1877, he also served the
Club as Honorary Treasurer in 1878 – 1879 and 1879 - 1880. It
was in this capacity he joined club captain Tom Vallance in
leading Rangers’ protest to the SFA after the 1879 Scottish Cup
Final. (In the drawn match with Vale of Leven, a Willie
Struthers goal was disallowed by the referee. Rangers argued it
should have stood.)
James was a machinery merchant, a partner in
Dimmack and Watt, iron and steel merchants. Sadly, like three
of his colleagues, Peter Campbell, Sandy Marshall and William
Dunlop, he did not live to be present at the 1877 Cup Final
anniversary dinner of 1898. James had died a few weeks earlier
on 22 March. He had suffered from heart disease.
James Watt lies, like so many other Rangers,
at Craigton Cemetery. His grave was recently located.
Unfortunately, the gravestone has fallen and lies face down. It
will be interesting to see what name appears on the stone. We
have been unable to trace the registration of his birth but it
is almost certain he was born in Ayrshire, in the Mauchline
area, in 1860. His death proved hard to trace as well. For
reasons unknown, he adopted his mother’s maiden name. Her
married name was McBlane. James’ death was registered as James
McBlane (known as James McBlane Watt).
gravestone at Craigton Cemetery.