Charlie Pringle

Charlie Pringle came from mining stock - iron and coal - and from birth lived, until football took him South, in miners' accommodation that has long and been rightly demolished. In fact, Inkerman, the village where he must have begun to learn the game, no longer exists, except for the old school. 

His was an Ayrshire family, his father an Engine-Man from Dalry, his mother from Hurlford but Charlie was born in 1894 in Renfrewshire in the then village of Nitshill. That was before the family moved still within the county to just north of Paisley from where at twenty-two, a wing-half, he joined local St. Mirren. 

And it was from Love Street that, having won a single cap in 1921, he was signed a year later by Manchester City in the English First Division. By then he was already twenty-eight so something of a gamble but one which clearly paid off for both the club and him. He would spend six years at first Hyde and then Maine Roads, making two hundred appearances. He would see relegation and re-promotion. He would captain. In 1926 from the Second Division he was in the team that lost the FA Cup Final. And in 1927 he would marry. His wife was Lillian, the daughter of brief team-mate and one the great players of the era, the Welsh forward Billy Meredith. 

And even after Manchester City he continued to play, firstly for a season at the new, third Manchester club, Central, outwith the League but where Meredith was a coach. Then in 1929 he re-joined the League at Bradford Park Avenue for two seasons, a division down, captaining again, followed by two more at Lincoln City in the Third Division North. And even then he continued to both play and coach at lower grades still until in 1934, aged forty, he returned home as coach at the Saints and then Barrhead's Arthurlie. 

However, by 1938 Billy Meredith was sixty-three, had lost his wife five years earlier and needed help in caring for him and running his Stretford Road Hotel. Charlie and Lily moved south once more and in with Billy, Charlie joining the business until 1945, at which point the couple then returned north and now for good. They settled between Paisley and Johnstone in Linwood, he working as a Factory Boiler Attendant until retirement. And it was in Linwood at the age of seventy-two he died in 1966. He was survived by Lillian. She would die in 1995, still in Johnstone, but with her ashes interred with her parents in their grave in Manchester. He would be buried in Paisley's Woodside Nursery.

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