Home Heritage Sport Rhu man was Wolves hero

Rhu man was Wolves hero

E-mail Print PDF

malcolm_finlaysonA RHU resident of 23 years was a football star in his day . . . and then became a millionaire businessman.

Malcolm Finlayson, who died on November 26 1914, is considered to be the best goalkeeper Scotland never capped in the 1950s, starring for many years for Wolverhampton Wanderers in front of 50,000 crowds and winning league championships in 1958 and 59, and the F.A. Cup in 1960.

Born in Alexandria, he showed ability at an early age, playing for his school and two different Boys Brigade teams every Saturday.

By the time he was a tall 11 year-old he was playing for under 17 teams. At 15 he played three times as a trialist for Dumbarton and three times in Celtic reserves.

He was spotted playing for Renfrew Juniors by Millwall's Scottish scout, and made his first team debut at 17, keeping his place for four years until National Service in the RAF Police. He played 251 games for the 'Lions'.

Always keen to make money, he used to supplement his meagre salary by selling Hartleys Jam. This did not please his manager, and he was transfer-listed. A move to Charlton seemed likely, but Wolves stepped in to sign the 6ft 1in custodian for £3,000.

“Joining a club with such great players was everything I could ever have dreamed of,” he says. “It was just wonderful. I struck up an immediate rapport with Stan Cullis, who was hard but very fair and an excellent manager.

“I asked him if I could carry on doing my work for Hartleys, and he was delighted. He encouraged players to think of the future.”

In his spare time Malcolm studied book-keeping, statistics and business studies, and he gave up selling jam to become a steel company rep.

Broken bones suffered in a match away to Liverpool at Anfield ended his football career in 1963, after 233 games for Wolves, and he concentrated on a career in the Midlands steel industry. By 1969 he was already a successful businessman, and he diversified into land and commercial buildings.

In 2005 he retired, although he still owned a small property company. He divided his time between his homes in Rhu and Stourbridge, where he kept his collection of priceless classic cars.

Last Updated ( Monday, 02 March 2015 17:01 )  

Trust Photo Gallery


View this photo and over 1,830 more at the Heritage Trust Photo Gallery. Visit the gallery.

Final 2017 Open Meeting

David-Bruce-wThe final 2017 Open Meeting will be held at Helensburgh Civic Centre at 7.30pm on November 29. David Bruce will talk about the forger and photographer Greatrex. All most welcome.

Winter Talks 2017-18

  • Wednesday September 27 2017 — AGM; then Professor John Hume: History of local churches
  • Wednesday October 25 — Cleland Sneddon: Childhood holidays in Rosneath
  • Wednesday November 29 — David Bruce: Greatrex, Forger and Photographer

  • Wednesday January 31 2018 — Mike Thornley: The Glenarn Garden
  • Wednesday February 28 — Bruce and Nicola Jamieson: Developing the Mackintosh Club
  • Wednesday March 28 — Richard Reeve: A Brief History of the Rosneath Peninsula

Meetings in Helensburgh Civic Centre at 7.30pm.

Follow us on Twitter

Charity Number

Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation