READ on as we continue our journey into the past as the famous Glasgow Rangers continue their trip of America in 1930.
Throughout the history of the club, the Light Blues have travelled to America on many different occasions and across the next couple of weeks, we are going to be remembering those trips across the pond in a series of articles.
We’ve already remembered the tour of the states from 1928 and from today we will remember yet another historic trip from 1930.
After a very successful tour so far, the Light Blues were still in top gear heading in to the last four games in Eastern America. The travelling party travelled for two days across the border in to the city of Chicago, over 2,500 km from Calgary in Alberta.
The Rangers were up against a very multi-national side from Chicago which was a unique occurrence in their 1928 or 1930 tour with the vast majority of the opposition being locals with Scottish or Irish roots. In the Chicago Sparta side, there were five with Eastern European connections.
McPhail and Morton started the match for Rangers and replaced Brown and Nicholson respectively. A regular feature in Struth’s team selections was the rotation in the attack with so much quality at his disposal.
Wing wizard Morton netted the opener after fourteen minutes and second soon followed through McPhail. Sparta pulled one back just after half-time after an uncharacteristic mix-up in the Rangers backline which was punished by Kratochvil. Two late goals from Fleming and Marshall ended Sparta’s hopes of a comeback after dominating for long spells of the second half which the local press put down to a clear fatigue in the Rangers ranks.
In the next match, on June 18, Rangers arrived in Detroit to play an All-star eleven at the Hamtramak Stadium. Perhaps, the most surprising aspect of the 3-1 win for the Light Blues was the Montreal Gazette’s report which sung the praises of W.G Nicholson, another dazzling winger on the books of the Ibrox club.
Nicholson was described as a fleety left-winger and “his individual play being a study in rhythm and poem in motion”. He struggled to hold down a regular jersey with such competition in attack and he made just 31 league appearances in four seasons with the club, but did feature in over 25 matches in 1933-34.
Rangers came from behind in the first-half with Detroit scoring first through Sutherland but a rampant second half performance saw McPhail, Nicholson and Brown on the scoresheet and the Light Blues securing a comfortable win in “undoubtedly the most colourful soccer exhibition ever to have been played in the area” – according to the Ottawa Citizen.
Struth’s side played their first match under floodlights in Ohio just two days later at Luna Park where the pitch was 20 yards shorter than the surface in Detroit.
The Scottish champions rung the changes in their second last fixture with Gray, Fleming and Morton all wrapped in cotton wool for the finale against Fall River Marksmen.
The eventual top goalscorer of the tour Jimmy Smith netted another double and W.G Nicholson scored to cap off an excellent performance from the former Queens Park winger.
A 15,000-strong crowd turned out at the Polo Grounds in New York to appreciate another highly successful tour of the Rangers in North America.
And Struth’s treble-winners produced a scincilating performance against the finest club from the United States with a stunning 6-1 victory over the side which held Rangers to a 1-1 draw in 1928. Jimmy Smith (left) scored four goals to bring his overall tally to 18 for the trip and he was quickly building a reputation which would be enhanced during the War Years with 70 goals between 1939-45. He would go on to score over 350 goals for the Light Blues.
Jimmy Fleming added a brace to round off a superb victory over one of the under-rated sides of Pre-Second World War football.
The squad was treated to a banquet after the match in a local Soccer club and they set sail for the United Kingdom on June 24 to kick off another championship-winning campaign in Scotland.
The full Rangers travelling party:
Sandy Archibald, George Brown, John Buchanan, Tommy Craig, Jimmy Fleming, Dougie Gray, Tommy Hamilton, Jimmy Marshall, Robert McDonald, Bob McPhail, Davie Meiklejohn, Alan Morton, Tommy Muirhead, W.G Nicholson, Jimmy Simpson, Jimmy Smith.
Rangers record in North America 1930:
Goals Scored: 68
Goals Against: 20
Top Scorer: Jimmy Smith (18)
Gers In America 1928