Dr Adam Little, footballer


1940s Adam Little

1940s Adam Little

Thanks to the Daily Record for this article. I have added some detail to the report.

Dr Adam Little, a wing-half, was a key figure in the Rangers side of the 1940s. The son of a miner, Adam was born in Blantyre on September 1, 1919. His family moved to Glasgow following the General Strike of 1926, when his father was forced to re-train as a joiner in Cambuslang.

After attending school at Rutherglen Academy, where he played for the school team and for Lanarkshire Schools, Adam was honoured with a Scotland Schoolboy International cap. At the age of 17, he signed for Rangers after receiving a visit from their manager Bill Struth. He was farmed out to Blantyre Victoria before he made his debut for the Glasgow club in a benefit match against Stoke in October 1937. The game was for the victims of the Holditch Colliery Disaster Fund.

Adam’s talents were not just restricted to the beautiful game, however. He studied medicine at Glasgow University while playing for Rangers, a move that was encouraged by his mentor Struth. As Rangers dominated wartime football, he picked up 17 winner’s medals. Amongst his many memorable appearances for the club, Adam featured in the New Year’s Day game of 1943, when Rangers overwhelmed their great rivals Celtic 8-1 – a record score for a competitive fixture between the two clubs that stands to this day. Sadly, he is the last of the Rangers players who featured on that day.

Adam received a solitary Scotland cap during his career but it was in a game we would all rather forget – an 8-0 drubbing at the hands of England. After qualifying as a doctor in 1944, Adam joined the Royal Medical Corps and was stationed at Aldershot before being posted to the Middle East.

While in the army, he played football for the British Army and Arsenal. At the end of the Second World War, Adam’s increasing medical responsibilities restricted his opportunities at Ibrox and he joined Morton in 1951.

Adam then became a GP in Renfrewshire and enjoyed playing curling and golf.

He passed away on 12th June 2008, aged 88 at Erksine and was survived by his son David and grandchildren Jennifer, Alastair and Andrew.

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