Left back Willie Culbert began his football career with junior club Bridgeton Waverley from where he was signed by Clyde in July 1931. He joined Queen of the South from Clyde in August 1932, where he had been a first team player but where Matt Smith’s consistency eventually made him look for another club with greater first team opportunity. Culbert was one of the mainstays of the side that were promoted to the First Division for the first time when they ended their 1932-33 campaign with a victory over Divisional Champions Hibernian. As a player Willie Culbert was part of many landmark events in the history of Queen of the South:
- Queens highly successful first season in the top division finishing 4th – their highest finish to date. Queens also made it to the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup for the first time (a feat the club now counts into double figures).
- He was part of the 16 player squad for the 11 game 1936 overseas tour and the Algiers invitational tournament. Queens returned to Scotland with the trophy after beating Racing de Santander in the Final.
- Culbert was at the club for the 1937 giant killing of Rangers out of the Scottish Cup and when they finished 6th in the League in 1939.
Willie Culbert was slim built and full of craft, a fearless tackler and good with his head. He formed a great partnership with right back Willie Savage through the 1930’s, making more than 100 appearances for Queens (believed to be 111 in Scottish League and Cup). Culbert was rewarded with a testimonial against Carlisle United in April 1938 before retiring in June 1940 with the advent of the Second World War. After the promotion in Culbert’s first season all of Culbert’s time at Queens was spent in the top division (excluding war time interruption Queens spent every season except one in the top division following their promotion until 1959).
At the time he was described thus: “Culbert is one of the defensive stalwarts who have helped to give the Dumfries club a secure place in the First Division of the League. Although not a showy player, he is whole hearted in the extreme, and his keen tackling makes things very difficult for the opposing winger.”