In May 1930 Rangers Football Club traveled to North America for a fourteen-game tour. The famous Scottish club arrived in Toronto on May 20 and on the same night a banquet was arranged by former Rangers players that were located in Canada. A silver loving trophy was handed over to Rangers from the ex-players at the social function. Rangers had won both the Scottish League and the Scottish Football Association Cup in the 1929-30 season.
A notable member of the Rangers touring party was Robert “Whitey” McDonald. Whitey had grown up in Hamilton, Ontario, and played for Hamilton Thistle. He moved on to Ulster United and Bethlehem Steel before Rangers spotted him on their 1928 North American tour and signed him.
On Wednesday night May 21, 1930, Glasgow Rangers clashed with Ulster United at Ulster Stadium in their first exhibition game of the tour. Nine thousand excited fans turned up for the match.
According to the Canadian Press Ulster United made three glaring mistakes that led to the Scottish double champions winning the game. Rangers scored their first goal on a free kick, the second on a penalty and their third goal when an Ulster player headed the ball into his own goal.
The match kicked off with Rangers showing polished style, but the Ulster United forward line kept giving the Scottish cup-winners plenty to work with. Rangers scored the first goal of the game when Ulster United goalkeeper Kirk handled the ball outside the penalty area and the Scotchmen were given a free kick. George Brown scored on a header. Only one minute later Ulster United equalized when former Northern Ireland international forward Allan Mathieson scored. The teams were tied 1-1 at half-time.
Straight after the second half started Ulster fullback Dave Eadie handled the ball in the penalty area. Alan Morton scored on the penalty despite Kirk nearly saving the ball. Two minutes later Ulster scored through George Graham’s hard shot. Then Jimmy Moir, playing his first game of the season, scored on a pass from Graham. With seven minutes left of the game Ulster United had a lead of 3-2 and were pressing. Then the Rangers forward started their work and scored two quick goals.
The third Rangers’ goal came when Eadie headed past his own goalkeeper. Jimmy Fleming scored Rangers’s fourth goal to give the Scottish club a 4-3 victory.
The match was filmed and the highlights can be found on YouTube:
Ulster United: Bobby Kirk; Dave Eadie, Dick Pryor; Billy Stewart, Matt Wilson, Jimmy Hagan; John Paxton, Allan Mathieson, George Graham, Jimmy Galloway, Jimmy Moir.
Rangers: Tom Hamilton; Dougie Gray, Robert Hamilton; Whitey McDonald, Simpson, Tully Craig; Sandy Archibald, Brown, Jimmy Fleming, Tommy Muirhead, Alan Morton.
Rangers’ North American tour results in 1930:
May 21, 1930 Ulster Stadium, Toronto
Ulster United 3, Rangers 4
May 24, 1930 Hamilton, Ontario
Hamilton Thistles 0, Rangers 3
May 25, 1930 New York
New York Nationals 4, Rangers 5
May 30, 1930 New Bedford, Massachusetts
Fall River Marksmen 2, Rangers 3
May 31, 1930 Montreal, Quebec
Montreal Carsteel 2, Rangers 5
June 3, 1930 Winnipeg, Manitoba
Fort Rouge 2, Rangers 4
June 5, 1930 Edmonton, Alberta
Edmonton All-Stars 0, Rangers 5
June 7, 1930 Vancouver
Vancouver St. Andrews 1, Rangers 7
June 9, 1930 Victoria
Victoria West 1, Rangers 8
June 11, 1930 Calgary
Calgary United 1, Rangers 8
June 15, 1930 Chicago, Illinois
Chicago Sparta 1, Rangers 4
June 18, 1930 Detroit, Michigan
Detroit All-Stars 1, Rangers 3
June 20, 1930 Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland Bruells 1, Rangers 3
June 22, 1930 New York
Fall River Marksmen 1, Rangers 6
Rangers tour record: 14 games, 14 wins.