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William McBeath honoured in Lincoln

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HAUNTING music and more than a few tears accompanied a ceremony dedicating a gravestone to a footballing legend.


Devoted Rangers FC fans travelled 300 miles to a Lincoln cemetery to see the culmination of months of work to get the grave of one of the club's founding fathers properly marked.


Last year it came to light William McBeath, one of the four founders of the club in 1872, was buried in an unmarked pauper's grave along with a woman called Catherine Brumby, at a cemetery in Washingborough Road.


Members of the Vanguard Bears, a website for Rangers supporters, raised money to lease the plot for 50 years and to mark it with a proper headstone after hearing one man from Glasgow, John Hamilton, had made the trip to attach a plaque to a tree near the unmarked grave.


Speaking at the ceremony, Vanguard Bears administrator John McCrae said: "Many wanted to come, but for one reason or another, they could not make the journey.


"We honoured few are here to represent them all. They may, we hope, choose to make the journey another day.


"We feel contrasting emotions today, sorrow and joy, pride and humility, but overall may I suggest we should feel a sense of having done right by one of God's creatures so shamefully ignored.


"It was done for William and because there was never anyone for her, for Catherine, and it was done for every Rangers fan throughout the world."


McBeath's final resting place was revealed in the book Rangers 1872: The Gallant Pioneers, which also said by the end of his life he was penniless and a "certified imbecile" ââ?¬â?? now known as an Alzheimer's sufferer.


John Hamilton, who put up the original plaque which is still on a nearby tree, said: "I was so moved by the story when I read it. But for the grace of God I could have ended up in a poorhouse at one point in my life.


"That thought moved me and I thought it was so wrong someone who gave so much to so many people wasn't getting the recognition he deserved.


"I travelled down with a plaque and a flag to pay tribute to him."


The group are also determined the ground ââ?¬â?? once overgrown and forgotten ââ?¬â?? will be maintained and stay in good condition for years to come.


Staff at the cemetery, as well as fans from the city, will tend the grave each month.


The gravestone itself bears two Rangers crests, used with permission of the club.


The first is the crest used now and the second shows what the crest would have been when McBeath founded and played for the club.



Superb work from VB... :)

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