Johnny Murray

John "Johnny" Murray, the Renton player for all his truncated footballing career apart from the briefest of stays at Dundee, where he never played, should not be confused with John Winning Murray, the Vale of Leven player of a decade earlier. Johnny was born in 1874 in Renton and stayed there all his days part from marriage up the road in Alexandria and a short time in Glasgow. He was the son of a locally-born mason and an English-born mother, worked as an engineer-fitter, first on sewing-machines, then in the ship-yards and latterly at Babcocks and Wilcox and was from 1891, aged seventeen, an inside-forward with the village team. In terms of age he was a contemporary of Jack Pryce, who went on to play for Hibernian and down South, but, growing up on Back St. he had the McLeans to one side and, as well as Pryce, Johnny Campbell and Jack McNee to the other. However, whilst these others went on to play until they were give-or-take thirty illness brought Murray's to an end at twenty-three. In spite of being a strict tea-totaller playing-fitness never recovered and at fifty-nine he was to die relatively young.

However, he had had time to make almost a century of appearances for Renton, to play in the losing side in the 1895 Scottish Cup Final alongside Pryce on a day that saw Bonhill's Dan Paton on the other side, and win a Scottish cap, after which he seems seamlessly to have settle back into life in the Vale. In 1900 he wed Catherine Prosser. She was born in Dumbarton, brought up in Renton, they were married in Alexandria, had three children, a daughter and two sons and settled on the now disappeared Carman St..

But later the Murrays had move to Hillfoot and it was from there that he was in 1933 taken into Glasgow Royal Infirmary, there passing away with lung cancer. He was, however, buried in Renton in Milburn Churchyard, survived by Catherine, whose own passing was in 1955, she having spent her last days in Alexandria but also dying in Glasgow at the Western General.    

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