Man City Transfer Target!
Jul 23, 2008, 10:03 PM
Location: Ayrshire, Midlothian
Team(s): AFC Darwen, Troon, Ayr Utd, Burnley
Post #1 of 2
George Niven, Rangers' goalkeeper for much of the 1950s has died aged 79.
Niven left school at 14, worked at Blairhall Colliery in Fife and then joined Coupar Angus Juniors at age 16. He signed for Rangers 2 years later in 1951 and made his Rangers debut against Aberdeen in 1952.
Between ages 18 and 26 he combined three days training with Rangers with three days working in the pit and only at age 26 did he become a full-time professional.
In the 1953 Scottish Cup final against Aberdeen, he suffered a horrific head injury after diving at the feet of forward Paddy Buckley in the 27th minute.
He was carried off with blood streaming from his head. No substitutes were allowed in those days, so Rangers captain George Young went into goal for 18 minutes until Niven was able to return at the start of the second half.
He had to have six stitches to a cut in his ear, and came back onto the pitch with his head swathed in bandages.
Despite his injury, he produced a superb display which kept the scores level at full-time, and Rangers went on to win the replay, in which he sported a leather Biggles-type flying helmet for protection.
He was Rangers goalkeeper in their early European days.
He had to withdraw from the Scotland squad prior to the 1961 international with England ....a match which Scotland lost 9-3.
After 327 appearances for Rangers he joined Partick Thistle in 1961 and played a further 232 games for them.
He played in the Strathspey and Badenoch Welfare Football League well into his 50s.