William Cringan

William Cringan (21 April 1890 – 12 May 1958) was a Scottish footballer who played for Sunderland, Ayr United, Celtic, Third Lanark and Motherwell, and for the Scotland national team.

Willie Cringan
Personal information
Full name William Cringan
Date of birth 21 April 1890
Place of birth Muirkirk, Scotland
Date of death 12 May 1958(1958-05-12) (aged 68)
Place of death Bathgate, Scotland
Position(s) Centre half
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Douglas Water Thistle
1910–1917 Sunderland 77 (2)
1916–1917Ayr United (loan) 53 (2)
1917 Ayr United 6 (0)
1917–1923 Celtic 203 (9)
1923–1924 Third Lanark 30 (0)
1924–1925 Motherwell 16 (1)
1925 Inverness Thistle 16 (1)
1925–1926 Bathgate
Total 399 (14)
National team
1919–1921 Scottish League XI 4 (0)
Scotland (wartime) 1 (0)
1920–1923 Scotland 5 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only



Cringan, a centre half, started his senior career when he joined Sunderland from Douglas Water Thistle in 1910.[1][2] After five and a half seasons on Wearside, and with English football suspended during World War I, he returned to Scotland with Ayr United on a temporary transfer in January 1916. In the summer of 1917 he left the Black Cats to join Ayr on a permanent basis,[3] signing for Celtic in a £600 transfer deal a few months after that.[1]

Cringan was appointed Celtic captain soon after his arrival, a position he held until his departure.[4] During this time the club won the 1918–19 and 1921–22 Scottish League titles[5] and the Scottish Cup in 1923. He eventually left the Parkhead club in October 1923 when he joined Third Lanark. A year later he moved to Motherwell, where he moved away from top level football following the 1924–25 season, with short spells outside the league with Inverness Thistle and Bathgate before retiring altogether.[3]


Cringan was first selected for the Scottish national side on 26 February 1920, captaining the side in a 1–1 draw against Wales. He was not selected again until 1923 but would eventually win a total of five international caps, three as captain.[6] Cringan also featured in four matches for a Scottish Football League select side.[7]

Personal life

Cringan's brother Jimmy was also a professional footballer, who played for twelve seasons with Birmingham between 1922 and 1934.[1] Another brother Robert played for Ayr United.[8]

Cringan married the sister of footballer Peter Nellies;[9] the brothers-in-law played together once for the Scottish League XI in 1919.[10]



See also


  1. Lamming, Douglas (1987). A Scottish Soccer Internationalists Who's Who, 1872–1986. Hutton Press. ISBN 0-907033-47-4.
  2. Billy Cringan, TheStatCat
  3. John Litster (October 2012). "A Record of pre-war Scottish League Players". Scottish Football Historian magazine. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. (Celtic player) Cringan, William, FitbaStats
  5. Brown, Alan. Scotland – Championship Winning Teams 1900–1920, Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 22 June 2007
  6. William Cringan at the Scottish Football Association
  7. "SFL player Willie Cringan". London Hearts Supporters' Club. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  8. Cringan, Robert (1918), Hamilton Academical Memory Bank
  9. Statutory registers - Marriages - Search results, ScotlandsPeople
  10. Association Football | The Inter-League Game, The Glasgow Herald, 24 February 1919