It was a special day for lifelong Morton fan and Morton Hall of Fame member George Anderson at Cappielow on Saturday, when Club Director and MCT Founder Graham McLennan presented the former Morton star with the Match Programme from his first starting appearance at Cappielow, some 52 years ago! Graham had been given the programme by his late uncle Jim Wilson, from Gourock, who was a regular at Cappielow.
Signed by Morton in early 1970 as a 16-year old schoolboy, George chalked up a few appearances towards the end of that season, but his first starting appearance at Cappielow came on October 3rd 1970 in a home league match against Cup-holders Aberdeen who finished close runners-up to Jock Stein’s Celtic that season. George went on to make 360 starts, and 374 appearances in total for Morton over two spells, placing him 9th in the Club’s all-time list of appearances. He was also a member of the Scotland squad that toured South America in 1972.
Morton went into the Aberdeen match off the back of an excellent 1-0 midweek win against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns in the Texaco Cup, George’s close friend Billy Osborne, another present day Cappielow regular, scoring the only goal. Centre back Stan Rankin dislocated his shoulder during the match and was replaced by Morton’s substitute, one Joe Jordan, who impressed the watching Leeds boss Don Revie that night. Jordan returned to bench for the Aberdeen match, with George, wearing the No. 11 shirt, replacing the injured Rankin.
The Aberdeen game attracted 7,000 fans, who witnessed an excellent 2-0 win for the home side, both goals coming from Joe Mason. Joe Harper, who had left Morton for the Dons for a £40,000 fee a year earlier, was sent off near the end of the game for protesting too strongly to the referee.
The Morton line-up that day was Nielsen; Murray, McDerment; Sweeney, Gray, O’Neill; Hannigan, Collins, Osborne, Mason, Anderson. Substitute : Jordan.
By Niall McGilp