Alan Pattullo: Bespoke bench is fitting tribute to Rangers great Harold Davis

Rangers great Harold Davis, who died last year.
Rangers great Harold Davis, who died last year.
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On 10 May, on what would have been his 86th birthday, a beautiful bespoke bench was unveiled in memory of Rangers legend Harold Davis at Gairloch Golf Club.

It was placed near the spot where the Great Man – as he was known by locals – was laid to rest in July last year. The inscription on the bench identifies a man of parts. It reads: “Husband, father, soldier, Ranger, fisherman, hotelier, fundraiser, friend.” The bench is positioned at the fourth hole – the number of the Rangers jersey he graced for eight trophy-laden years.

A bench has been unveiled in memory of Harold Davis at Gairloch Golf Club.

A bench has been unveiled in memory of Harold Davis at Gairloch Golf Club.

It is a world away from the noise and fury of Ibrox, which hosted an Old Firm game a couple of days later. Some of those there that day could perhaps do with some silent retrospection. ‘Harry’ for one would certainly have prescribed it.

Davis moved to the north west in the mid-1970s shortly after leaving the assistant manager’s post at Dundee and stayed there for the rest of his life. He yearned to live there having fallen in love with the area on a fishing trip during his Rangers playing days. Of course, the fact he ever played for Rangers is miraculous in itself since he had his insides and foot shredded by a bullet while serving in the Black Watch in the Korean War.

A loud section of Rangers supporters faced deserved criticism for their songbook last weekend. But if there’s a more proactive, well-intentioned fans’ group than the Rangers Supporters’ Erskine Appeal (RSEA) operating in British football I’d like to hear about it. The money for the bench was raised by the RSEA, who organised a crowdfunding page which was designed to run for four weeks.

Summing up the regard in which Davis is held, the £1000 target was surpassed in eight hours and the excess money has been put towards buying a trophy bearing his name for a ladies’ competition at the golf club.

The inscription on the bench dedicated to former Rangers player Harold Davis at Gairloch Golf Club.

The inscription on the bench dedicated to former Rangers player Harold Davis at Gairloch Golf Club.

Of course, the RSEA have form for raising funds. With Davis as patron (his widow, Vi, is now carrying the torch), they have raised over £850,000 for war veterans and are on course to break the £1 million barrier next year. It’s a remarkable effort in just over a decade.