John Hubbard MBE


John Hubbard MM Lodge Scotia No.178

John was Initiated into Lodge Scotia on 24th March 1963

Passed on the 28th April 1963

Raised on the 22nd December 1963


John Gaulton Hubbard, MBE was born in Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa on the 16th December 1930. John swapped the sunshine of South Africa for the rainy dark nights of Glasgow in 1948 aged 18.

Signed by Bill Struth, John left Berea Park F.C. in late 1948 signing for Rangers in early 1949. He spent the majority of his career in Glasgow winning 3 league titles and the Scottish Cup. He was the 1st African Player in October 1956 to compete in the European Cup playing for Rangers against French club Nice and was the 1st African player to score in the same competition on November 14th 1956.

Nicknamed the Penalty King John would go on to play 238 times for Rangers scoring 104 goals. A tricky winger, standing at just 5’4” tall, the man who would later be crowned the “Penalty King” quickly become a fans favourite.

Famously, Johnny would convert a staggering 60 penalties in all with just 3 being saved.

John left Rangers in 1959 joining Bury F.C. he made 120 appearances and scored 32 goals in 3 years for the club. "In my last year I scored 19 goals in 15 games, but I fell out with the manager Scott Symon. I met Dave Russell at Inverclyde, and we got on well, and when he knew I was available he signed me, for between seven and nine thousand I think"

John helped Bury win the English Third tier championship in season 1960/61

John moved back to Scotland in 1962 signing for Ayr United,

Spending time at Butlins in Ayr John was asked if he could do some work with the local kids. So for the next 40 years he was a sports officer for Prestwick town council coaching the kids Cricket, Golf and Tennis amongst others, and in 1998 he was given an Honorary MBE which was presented to him by the Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire. He received the Technical Award from the SFA in 1986 in recognition of his coaching, he was also named an honorary member of the Rangers Supporters Trust and Inducted into the Rangers Hall of Fame in 2008.

Following a short illness John Passed away on 21st June 2018 aged 87.

A group of Locals in Ayrshire are hoping to Raise £5000 to put towards a statue in Prestwick in his memory.

Compiled by Alan Duthie.


Youth career

1943–1947       Berea Park

Senior career*

Years                 Team                            Apps         (Gls)
1947–                Berea Park
                           Arcadia Shepherds
1949                  Pretoria Municipals
1949–1959       Rangers                      172              (77)
1959–1962       Bury                             109             (29)
1962–1964       Ayr United                  52                (5)

National team

1955                  Scottish League XI    4                (2)
1956                  South Africa XI           1                 (1)

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