Alan Morton

Alan Lauder Morton (24 April 1893 – 12 December 1971) was a Scottish international footballer and "Wembley Wizard". He was known for his stirring wing play as an outside-left and commitment to Rangers. He retired from active play in 1933.

Alan Morton
Personal information
Full name Alan Lauder Morton[1]
Date of birth 24 April 1893
Place of birth Glasgow, Scotland
Date of death 12 December 1971(1971-12-12) (aged 78)[2]
Place of death Airdrie, Scotland[1]
Position(s) Outside Left
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1913–1920 Queen's Park 218 (46)
1920–1933 Rangers 382 (83)
National team
1915–1917[3] Scottish League (wartime) 3 (0)
1918–1919 Scotland (wartime) 4 (1)
1919–1931 Scottish League XI 15 (1)
1920–1932 Scotland 31 (5)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Playing career


Morton was born in the Jordanhill district of Glasgow.[4] He grew up in Airdrie, where his family relocated due to his father's work.[4] After leaving Airdrie Academy he had an unsuccessful trial with Airdrieonians.[4] Consequently, he entered studies to become a mining engineer while playing with Queen's Park,[4] the famous amateur club.[1] Once fully qualified in 1920 he turned professional, becoming Bill Struth's first signing as manager of Rangers, but only on the proviso that he could maintain his position as a mining engineer.[4]

Morton only measured 5 ft 4 inches in height but his talent lay in his physical balance, speed and thought.[4] As a result of this association, Struth's intuitive training and the combination of an array of internationals (not least Bob McPhail and David Meiklejohn), Rangers enjoyed a sustained period of success. Highlights included the famous 1928 Scottish Cup triumph against Celtic in which Rangers ended a 25‑year wait to win the Cup 4–0.

In addition to this Morton went on to receive winner's medals as Scottish Football League champion in 1921, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930 and 1931, and as a Scottish Cup winner in 1930; he received runners-up medals in 1921, 1922, and 1929. He made his debut for Rangers against Airdrieonians on 17 August 1920, and played his last game against the same opposition on 7 January 1933 (in which he scored). "The Wee Blue Devil", as he was nicknamed, played 470 times for the Gers and scored 109 goals.[5]

Morton's dress was as precise as his play.[4] He was a familiar figure strolling down Paisley Road West towards training at Ibrox sporting a bowler hat and umbrella (as befitted a professional gentleman of the time), which caused locals to dub him "The Wee Society Man" (insurance salesman).


Morton had already been capped while an amateur before joining Rangers (making his debut for Scotland on 26 February 1920 against Wales) but would go on to play in every international against the Auld Enemy, England, from 1920 to 1932 bar the fixture at Old Trafford in 1926, eventually winning 31 caps.[6] In addition he made 15 appearances (scoring 1 goal) for the Scottish League XI[7] (making his debut on 22 February 1919 against the Football League at St. Andrews, Birmingham after playing in three wartime fundraising matches) and four Scotland wartime appearances (a charity match and three Victory Internationals).[8][9]

It was in the 1928 full international in London where Morton, as part of an under-rated Scottish side that beat England 5‑1 in driving rain to record a famous triumph, earned the moniker: "Wembley Wizard". Three of Morton's crosses were converted by Huddersfield Town's Alex Jackson. Ivan Sharpe, the ex‑player and writer, commented on the victory: "England were not merely beaten. They were bewildered – run to a standstill, made to appear utterly inferior by a team whose play was as cultured and beautiful as I ever expect to see."[10]


After retiring Morton's impact was felt as an administrator, becoming a powerful figure within Scottish sport. He was appointed to the Rangers board and he remained there until the year of his death.[4] Further afield, he demonstrated an inclination toward Unionist politics in reaction to the rise in post-War Scottish nationalism. He also had a coal business in Central Scotland. Today a portrait of Morton in his Scottish strip stands at the top of the marble staircase at Ibrox's Main Stand, such is his enduring stature at the club.[11]

Personal life

His elder brother Bob Morton also played for Queen's Park, where the siblings were teammates for six seasons.[12][13]


Scottish League: (9)

Scottish Cup: (3)

Glasgow Cup: (5)

  • 1922–23, 1923–24, 1924–25, 1929–30, 1931–32

See also


  1. "Morton, Alan Lauder". Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  2. Litster, John. Record of Pre-War Scottish League Players. Norwich: PM Publications.
  3. Association Football. Belgian Refugees' Fund, The Glasgow Herald, 17 May 1915
    Association Football. War Fund Games, The Glasgow Herald, 22 May 1916
    Notes on Sport. Football's Exit, The Glasgow Herald, 28 May 1917
  4. Cairney, John (12 November 1998). A Scottish Football Hall of Fame (illustrated ed.). Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. ISBN 9781840180442.
  5. "Rangers player Alan Morton". Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  6. Alan Morton at the Scottish Football Association
  7. "Alan Lauder Morton". London Hearts Supporters Club. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  8. 45,000 view the charity 'national match, Sunday Post, 9 June 1918 (via Partick Thistle History Archive)
  9. "Scotland player Alan Morton (including unofficial matches)". London Hearts Supporters Club. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  10. "Wembley Wizards report in the profile of Hughie Gallacher". Archived from the original on 17 September 2009.
  11. "Rangers legend Alan Morton's medals to go up for auction". Daily Record. 2 December 2009. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  12. Robert Muir Morton, Find A Grave
  13. The Restoration of Rangers Graves Project. Alan Morton., The Founders' Trail, 16 May 2017
  14. played in drawn Final in 1932 but not in Replay
  • Morton, Brian (8 January 2006). Blue Devil With A Briefcase: Alan Morton – Rangers And Scotland Legend. Trafalgar Square. ISBN 1-84018-472-8.
  • Cairney, John (2004). A Scottish Football Hall of Fame. Mainstream Sport. ISBN 1-84018-920-7.