Postcard published by T & G MacKenzie

commemorating the record number of Scottish caps
 awarded to Hearts football player

Bobby Walker

Bobby Walker

A postcard by R & G MacKenzieto commemorate the record number of Scottish Caps awarded to the Heart of Midlothian footballer, Bobby Walker

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Steven Oliver, Shropshire, England



Bobby Walker

Steven Oliver has been researching the football career of  the Heart of Midlothian football player in the early 1900s.

Steven writes:


"This postcard celebrated Hearts footballer Bobby Walker.  It shows the 38 Scottish Caps that he was awarded up to 1909.

The reverse of the card says that it was published by T&G Mackenzie, Athletic Outfitters, 6 Bank Street, Edinburgh and I believe that the portrait and caps were painted by an artist by the name of William McGhie."

Steven Oliver, Shropshire, England:  November 3, 2007



Bobby Walker

Steven Oliver e-mailed me again, giving further details of what his research into Bobby Walker has revealed.

Steven writes:


"David Speed, Hearts historian recently confirmed that the postcard was painted in late-1909 by William McGhie.

Please be aware that there are 1983 reproductions of this postcard in circulation and this is obvious from the inscription on the reverse.  The reproduction has no date or artist's name."

A postcard by R & G MacKenzieto commemorate the record number of Scottish Caps awarded to the Heart of Midlothian footballer, Bobby Walker

Oil Paintings

"Two oil painting of Bobby Walker and his caps, both by William McGhie, are known:

- One was found in 2006, hanging in a 'mock' English pub in Kansas, USA.  It is almost identical to the postcard, but has a 39th cap at the bottom.

- The other hangs in Hearts' Board Room.  It shows 45 caps awarded to Bobby Walker.  It was painted in 1913.

Both paintings include two caps that don't qualify as being 'Full International' caps.

Steven Oliver, Shropshire, England:  November 4, 2007



Steven Oliver is continuing his research and is looking for more information.

 In particular, he asks:

1.   What is known about the artist, William McGhie?

2.   Where did the 1911 painting hang initially?

3.  What is known of A & G MacKenzie, athletic outfitters?  Did they have any connections with Hearts between 1909 and 1913?

4.  What were Bobby Walker's International Caps, 1910?   There is some doubt as to his total number:  43 or 44?

5.  Did the Argyll Bar, Old Sneddon Street, Paisley display Bobby's caps or the paintings of them in late '60s / early '70s?

6.  Bobby's 'Rosebery' Scotland shirt and cap from the 1901 International  at Crystal Palace have turned up at Hearts.  Do you know where these were pre-1980?

7.  Do you know where I can have access to the book:
'The Bobby Walker Story'
[Publ. Thornton Sports, 1920]

Steven Oliver, Shropshire, England:  November 4, 2007

 Please e-mail me if you can help to answer any of the above questions.  Then, I'll pass on your message to Steve.

Thank you.

-  Peter Stubbs:  December 1, 2007


Answer 1

Thank you to Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh, for replying to Question 3 above.

Bob wrote

"There was a large very well stocked sports shop called McKenzies right next to the Empire Theatre."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh, December 5, 2007


Answer 2

Thank you to Bobby Waugh who replied.  Bobby's reply did not answer any of the 7 questions above, but it included a photograph of Bobby Walker.

Bobby wrote:


"Here is an old photo of the Hearts Scottish Cup Winning Team of 1901.  Unfortunately the quality is very poor.

The trainer, Bob Waugh,  is my great-grand father.

Bobby Walker is second from left, middle row."

Bob Waugh, December 6, 2007

The caption under the photo lists all the players and the trainer.

Unfortunately, the photo would not display well on the web site, and I'm not able to add it to the site it because it appears to be a reproduction and I don't know who holds the copyright.

Peter Stubbs, December 9, 2007

Answer 3

Thank you to Lionel Bird, Coventry, Warwickshire, England for telling me about a William Ironside McGhie who he thinks may be the same person as the William McGhie who painted the Bobby Walker paintings.

A postcard by R & G MacKenzieto commemorate the record number of Scottish Caps awarded to the Heart of Midlothian footballer, Bobby Walker

William Ironside McGhie

Lionel is writing a book to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the founding of Coventry City Football Club.  It was in the course of his research for this book that Lionel came across a William Ironside  McGhie.  Lionel believes that this may be the same man because of:

-  the unusual spelling of McGhie in both cases (usually McGhee).

-  William Ironside McGhie's interest, as a journalist, in football.

-  William Ironside McGhee having been educated in Edinburgh. 1

Other details about William Ironside McGhie provided by Lionel are:

-  He was known as Ian, rather than Ironside.

-  He was born on Oct 26 1878 at 4 Railway Villas, Rugby Warwickshire, England. 2

-  His parents were James, civil engineer and Edith Tate, both born in Scotland. 2

-  He married Elizabeth Ratcliffe at St Mark's Church, Wolverhampton on July 19, 1909. 3

-  He helped to start the Coventry Operatic Society in 1909. 1

-  He was a member of the Coventry Caledonian Society.

-  He was football correspondent for the Midland Daily Telegraph, the main newspaper in the area in the early 1900s.

-  He wrote his football reports under the pseudonym, 'Nemo'.

-  When he enlisted in the army in June 1916, he had served for 21 years for the Midland Daily Telegraph then for the Coventry Herald, for which he had become editor two years earlier. 1

-  He played the trombone in the band of the Royal Worcestershire Regiment. 1

-  He died in active service in the army, while serving as a Lance Corporal in France in February 1917.  1

1 = Obituary, Coventry Herald, February 16, 1917

2 = Birth Certificate

3 = Marriage Certificate

Lionel Bird, Coventry, Warwickshire, England:  August 3+7, 2009

Answer 4

Steven Oliver replied, sending his thanks for Answer 3 above.

Steven added:

"I always believed that McGhie enlisted with the Hearts players, shareholders and supporters and ultimately perished during WWI.

The latter part of that conclusion would appear to be spot on and now I can (hopefully) start to trace McGhie's bloodline and history in greater detail."

Steven Oliver, Shropshire, England:  August 7, 2009

Answer 5

Another William McGhie

Thank you to Muriel Inch, Canada, who wrote concerning artist, William McGhie.

Muriel wrote:

"I am interested in the artist, William McGhie, who lived in Glasgow.  Sadly, he is not the same artist as William Ironside McGhie mentioned in Answer 3 above.

William McGhie (Glasgow) presented three oil paintings to my grandfather, John Campbell, as a wedding present in 1907.  All were painted in 1906.

My grandfather was a tailor's cutter in Glasgow.  As far as I know, he never left Glasgow, except to go on annual holiday to Blackpool !"

Muriel Inch, Canada:  July 4 + 5, 2010

Reply to Muriel Inch

If you have any information about the Glasgow artist, William McGhie, please email me, then I'll pass it on to Muriel.    Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  July 6, 2010


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