Davie Wilson

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Davie Wilson
Personal information
Full name David Wilson
Date of birth (1939-01-10) 10 January 1939 (age 78)
Place of birth Glasgow, Scotland
Playing position Outside left
Youth career
1954–1956 Baillieston Juniors
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1956–1967 Rangers 227 (99)
1967–1972 Dundee United 129 (20)
1972–1973 Dumbarton 48 (2)
Total 405 (121)
National team
1958 Scotland under-23 1 (0)
1960–1965 Scotland 22 (9)
1960–1964 Scottish League XI 7 (3)
Teams managed
1977–1980 Dumbarton
1980–1981 Kilmarnock (assistant)
1984–1986 Dumbarton
1987–1989 Queen of the South
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Davie Wilson (born 10 January 1939) is a Scottish former international footballer who played as an outside left.

Playing career[edit]

Wilson, a native of the mining village of Newton[1][2] just outside Glasgow, was a Rangers supporter in childhood. On a visit to Ibrox he received advice from Alan Morton who played left wing, the position in which Wilson became established.[2]

As a teenager he was rejected by local Junior club Cambuslang Rangers for being too small, and instead began his career at Baillieston.[3] He soon came to the attention of Rangers who signed him in 1956.


He made his first-team debut on 2 January 1957 just prior to his 18th birthday, was selected for European matches against AS Saint-Etienne and AC Milan, and played sufficient games for a League winner's medal in 1959, but it was not until the 1959–60 season that he became a regular in the team. He also began to score frequently, with 22 goals from 50 appearances in all competitions having only scored 8 in 51 in his first three seasons combined. Rangers reached the semi-finals of the European Cup and won the Scottish Cup.

The following season was even more successful, as Rangers won the Scottish Football League and the Scottish League Cup. Wilson played every minute of the season's 56 matches and scored over 20 goals, forming part of what would become known as one of the greatest Rangers forward lines, along with Ralph Brand, Jimmy Millar and Willie Henderson.[1][2] However, there was disappointment in the European Cup Winners' Cup as Fiorentina overcame Rangers in the final.

1961–62 ended with Scottish Cup and League Cup victories, and Wilson achieved a club record which has never been equalled when he scored six times against Falkirk (a 7-1 win) in March 1962.[3] The next year brought a League and Cup double and Wilson hit over 30 goals, including four in one match against Partick and one in the replayed cup final against Celtic.

In 1963–64 Wilson missed a large part of the winter through injury, including the League Cup Final, but returned to play in the Scottish Cup Final as Rangers completed the second treble in their history. However, in 1965 they only finished mid-table, and in the League Cup Wilson was injured in the semi-final and again could not take part in the final.

Rangers regained the Scottish Cup in 1966 against Celtic but lost out in the other competitions to the same opponents, who were beginning a period of dominance. Wilson played in both cup finals but made only 21 appearances overall, his fewest since 1958. Wilson's last campaign with Rangers was 1966–67. He made 29 appearances and scored 8 goals, but missed the League Cup final which on that occasion was lost to Celtic, and was introduced as a substitute in the infamous cup defeat to Berwick. He did not feature in Rangers' second Cup Winners' Cup Final although he played his part in the run including the winning goal in the semi-final, away to Slavia Sofia.[4]

Wilson departed from Ibrox aged 28, having scored a total of 159 goals in 382 matches in all competitions.[5] He was naturally right-footed, and became adept at dribbling with either foot, crossing from the byline on the left, and cutting inside to shoot powerfully with his stronger foot or connect with through balls - tactics which brought an impressive goal tally particularly for a player who was not a dedicated striker (he is ranked seventh of all post-WWII scorers for Rangers)[6] He has since been inducted to the Rangers Hall of Fame.[1]

Dundee United[edit]

In August 1967 Wilson transferred to Dundee United along with teammate Wilson Wood with Orjan Persson moving in the opposite direction. He spent four seasons at Tannadice, playing over 150 matches (129 in Division One). His time with the club coincided with that of future Rangers boss Walter Smith, who would later be signed by Wilson in his time as a manager.[2] In 2017 Wilson became a member of United's Hall of Fame.[7]


Wilson moved to Dumbarton in January 1972 and retired as a player at the end of the 1972–73 season, aged 34, becoming a coach at the club.


Having appeared for the Under-23 side,[8] Wilson made 22 full appearances for Scotland between 1960 and 1965, scoring nine goals; he was in the squad which won the 1961–62 and 1962–63 editions of the British Home Championship with perfect records. He was in the team for three wins over rivals England, but had also played and scored in Scotland's embarrassing 9-3 defeat in 1961.[2] In 2014, he was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame, which he described as his "greatest honour".[3]

Wilson also represented the Scottish League XI.[9]

Managerial career[edit]

He had two spells as manager of Dumbarton, taking them into the Premier Division in his second spell, widely regarded as a commendable achievement for a part-time club. Wilson also had a spell as manager of Dumfries club Queen of the South, taking over after the surprise resignation of promotion winning Nobby Clark.[10]

In retirement Wilson remained an enthusiastic supporter of Rangers, attending many matches and functions and commenting on the club's struggles.[11][3][1] He was also an after-dinner speaker.[12] In his spare time he kept racing pigeons.[2]


As player[edit]


As manager[edit]


International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Scotland's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 15 April 1961 Wembley Stadium, London  England 2-3 3-9[15] BHC
2 7 October 1961 Windsor Park, Belfast  Northern Ireland 1-0 6-1 BHC
3 14 April 1962 Hampden Park, Glasgow  England 1-0 2-0 BHC
4 8 May 1963 Hampden Park, Glasgow  Austria 1-0 4-1 Friendly
5 8 May 1963 Hampden Park, Glasgow  Austria 2-0 4-1 Friendly
6 13 June 1963 Bernabeu, Madrid  Spain 4-1 6-2 Friendly
7 25 November 1964 Hampden Park, Glasgow  Northern Ireland 1-1 3-2 BHC
8 25 November 1964 Hampden Park, Glasgow  Northern Ireland 3-2 3-2 BHC
9 27 May 1965 Olympia Stadion, Helsinki  Finland 1-1 2-1 WCQG8


  1. ^ a b c d "Tribute to one of Newton's favourite sons Davy Wilson". Daily Record/Rutherglen Reformer. 19 July 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Interview: Davie Wilson on golden era at Ibrox and Hampden". The Scotsman. 16 April 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Hall of Fame honour for former Rangers star Wilson". Evening Times. 28 October 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2017. 
  4. ^ "Drama and controversy on road to 1967 European Cup-Winners' Cup Final". Evening Times. 9 June 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2017. 
  5. ^ "Rangers player profile". Fitbastats.com. Retrieved 28 April 2017. 
  6. ^ "Rangers Postwar Player Records". Fitbastats.com. Retrieved 28 April 2017. 
  7. ^ "Davie Wilson - Hall of Fame inductee 2017". official website. Dundee United F.C. 17 March 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2017. 
  8. ^ "Scotland U23 profile". Fitbastats.com. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  9. ^ "Scotland FL Players by Appearances". Londonhearts.com. London Hearts Supporters' Club. Retrieved 27 November 2011. 
  10. ^ Nobby Clark career profile and interview Archived 17 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ "Rangers legend Davy Wilson recalls day he was pelted with beer bottles as he calls for football booze ban to stay". Daily Record. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2017. 
  12. ^ "Davie Wilson celebrity speaker profile". Scotbase entertainments. Retrieved 28 April 2017. 
  13. ^ Did not play in 1963–64, 1964–65 or 1966–67 finals
  14. ^ Did not play in 1967 final
  15. ^ The Scottish Football Association national team archive [http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/match_details.cfm?matchid=57676 also credits the 3rd goal to Wilson; Most sources credit this to Pat Quinn

External links[edit]