Allan McGraw in profile

Allan McGraw is a hugely respected and revered figure here at Cappielow Park. After dedicating so much of his footballing career – as a player, coach, and manager – to the club, he was given the moniker ‘Mr Morton’.

Allan was last night inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame and we felt it appropriate to take a closer look at the Ton icon’s playing career, paying particular attention to the lethal hitman’s goal-scoring exploits.


By Niall McGilp

Starting as a defender with Renfrew Juniors in 1957, Allan McGraw first made his name as a forward in army football during his national service in West Germany.

His signature was coveted by several top English sides, but he took the decision to sign for a club closer to home for personal reasons, reinforced by the persuasive powers of new Morton managing director, Hal Stewart.

Stewart arranged for McGraw to fly home every weekend, army commitments permitting, to play for Morton and visit his mother.

Allan was signed in September 1961, scoring on his debut in a 2-2 draw draw at Palmerston Park. It was to be the first of McGraw’s 146 Morton goals over the course of the following five seasons.

The Ton progressed quickly from their position as the worst team in Scotland in 1960/61 by finishing in third place in the old Second Division.

Although McGraw’s appearances that season were limited to 15 by injury and army commitments, he still managed to score 15 goals, including a five-goal haul in the final game of the season against Brechin City.

The following season’s total was 36 goals, in a side featuring ex-Scotland internationals Bobby Evans, Doug Cowie, Archie Robertson, Johnny Little, as well as goalkeeper Finnbar Flood, and inside forward Paddy Turner.

Morton missed out on promotion by a single point to East Stirlingshire but they scored 122 goals in all competitions. Season 1963/64 was the year when it all came good.

A new team was put together, comprising mainly free transfers from First Division clubs, with McGraw, left winger Jimmy Wilson, and defenders Jim Kiernan and John Boyd, the only survivors from 1962/63.

To say that Morton started well would be an understatement. An unbeaten run in the League Cup, including victories over First Division clubs Motherwell and Hibernian took them to the final for the one and only time.

Although well beaten by Rangers, losing 5-0 at Hampden, Morton were not disgraced in a game watched by a crowd of 105,907. Meanwhile, the first 23 league games were won with 100 goals scored and 23 conceded.

When added to wins in the final two games of the previous campaign, Ton’s record of 25 consecutive league victories still stands, although equalled by Celtic in 2004.

A 3-1 defeat to East Fife in February 1964 ended the unbeaten league run, but Morton did not lose another league game that season, scoring 171 goals in all competitions.

So what of McGraw? Fifty league goals and 11 in cup competitions brought his total to 61, making him the top scorer in Britain, as well as narrowly beating ex-Ton hitman Jock Calder’s record of 59 goals in the mid-1930s.

McGraw enjoyed two seasons in the top flight. The first was relatively successful ending in a 10th place finish; however, the second saw the side suffer relegation after a disastrous late collapse.

By that stage, McGraw’s knee problems had begun to affect his career; he underwent a cartilage operation early in 1964/65 season and played through the pain barrier courtesy of frequent cortisine injections.

But few people who were there will forget his four-goal performance in his comeback game against eventual champions Kilmarnock in December 1964, Ton’s 5-1 victory ended the Ayrshire club’s long unbeaten run.

Allan also played in the controversial 3-3 draw against Celtic – with the Greenock men denied a last-minute winner – and in a 1-0 victory at Ibrox, as Morton showed they could compete with the Old Firm.

He scored 34 goals in 69 games in these two seasons before moving to Hibs for £15,000 in 1966. Hibs didn’t see the best of him, as his mobility was now affected, but he still scored 21 goals in 83 games from midfield.

Northern Irish outfit Linfield were his final senior club, where, in 1969, he scored two goals against Red Star Belgrade in a European Cup match.

Allan McGraw’s full Morton career record is shown below.




League Goals

Scot Cup Goals

 Lge Cup Goals

Summer Cup Goals

Total Goals

Strike rate

Div 2


15 15



Div 2


29 7 36



Div 2


50 4 4 3 61



Div 1


12 3 7 22



Div 1


9 1 2 12




115 8 20 3 146 82%