William Hinshelwood (1933-2023)

Greenock Morton Football Club was extremely sorry to hear of the passing of former Club Captain Willie Hinshelwood on 10th October.

Willie turned 90 earlier this year and must have been one of a relatively small number of players to have been with the club in three different decades, having signed for Morton from junior outfit Stonehouse Violet as a 16-year old in November 1949 and played at Cappielow until January 1960, when he was transferred to Hamilton Academical.

By Niall McGilp 

A left half or left full back, he made his senior Morton debut in a Division A game against East Fife at  Bayview Park in April 1951, Morton drawing 3-3 thanks to goals from two future Scottish internationals, a double from Tommy Orr, who won 2 Scotland caps later that year, with Neil Mochan, who went on to play for Scotland in the 1954 World Cup Finals,  getting the other. 

Willie made a total of 217 appearances for the club over the subsequent decade, scoring six goals. He was voted Player of the Year by the Morton Supporters’ Club in 1957, before eventually moving on to Hamilton Accies in January 1960 for a £500 transfer fee. In the following season, Second Division Accies reached the League Cup semi-final at Ibrox against high flying Kilmarnock in October 1960, Willie’s performance in defence being described in the press as “at least the equal of his opposites”. He finished his playing career with Hamilton at the end of 1965/66 season.

Accompanied by his daughter Anne, Willie was welcomed back to Sinclair Street in May this year, as part of his 90th birthday celebrations, where he met director Sam Robinson and club historian Niall McGilp during a nostalgic visit to Cappielow. Willie recalled his Morton career with great affection, and spoke fondly of former colleagues and team-mates, such as Tommy Orr, Jimmy Cowan and Bert Gourlay, whose celebrated uncle Jimmy was also the Morton trainer at that time. He also brought a scrapbook of press cuttings and photos as well as a number of old programmes from his time at Cappielow.

Willie is pictured back row right in this Morton team group taken at Third Lanark’s Cathkin Park in August 1955, with Jimmy Gourlay seated in front of him.

Our thoughts are with Willie’s family and friends at this very sad time.

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