Archie Rowan

Whilst being an eminent sportsman of his generation Archie Rowan remains a hard man to pin down. A cricketer, golfer and footballer he was born in 1855 in Parkhead to an Ayrshire father, a seemingly itinerant forgeman to trade, and a Dunbartonshire mother, notably a Gardner.

Growing up in the Glasgow East End and starting work as a clerk in a marine insurance brokerage to wield the willow he nevertheless as a teenager joined Caledonian C.C. in Burnbank in the city's north-west. He developed into a batsman of some note who in 1880 would represent Glasgow against the Australians.  

However, by that time, he aged twenty-five, the family had moved to southern Glasgow within sight of the Queen's Park and he already not only to the early association with Caledonian F.C. that in 1875 emerged from the cricket team of the same name,  but also from 1877 a longer term one with Queen's Park F.C. At Caledonian he had begun as a defender but developed into a useful goalkeeper. And it was such that he joined Scotland's doyen club, becoming first choice and a part of its renaissance. On the field he won his first cap in 1880, listed as a Caledonian player, and his second in 1882 with Queen's Park and was between the sticks for the latter for the two Scottish Cup Final victories of 1881 and 1882. And he continued to turn out for the latter club until the mid-decade despite losing his First team place. Off the field he served as its club President in the eventful seasons of 1883-4 and 1884-5 and 1890-91, after which he seems to have turned his attention away from the professionalising game to golf. At home Troon was a favourite. In England he was a founder member of Stoke Park on its opening in 1908. 

Archie Rowan never married. Only in 1891, when he appears temporarily not to have been in Scotland, did he not live with other members of his family, with his parents and then, after their deaths, with an also unmarried brother and two unmarried sisters. All four shared a house, indeed a villa called Delaware, in Mansewood, deeper into Glasgow's southern suburbs. And he also remained in marine insurance, as a broker and underwriter, until his retirement and death at Delaware in 1923 just past his sixty-eighth birthday. He is buried in Cathcart Cemetery. 

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