Airdrie, Lanarkshire born outside left Torry Gillick was signed aged 18, for Glasgow Rangers by manager Bill Struth in 1933,, after playing for prominent Glasgow junior club Petershill since 1931, making his Scottish League debut in a 4-3 win at Partick Thistle in September 1933. He won a Scottish Cup winners medal in 1935 when Rangers beat Hamilton Academical 2-1 in the Final at Hampden Park, and that summer Gillick was sold to First Division Everton for a then record fee for the club, £8,000 after 28 goals in 53 appearances for The Gers.
He made his Football League debut for Everton against Leeds United in December 1935, soon becoming a regular scorer as well as provider for The Toffees, noted for his excellent ball control and vision. In 1936-37 he was an ever present, scoring 16 goals in Everton’s campaign. He stayed on Merseyside until the Second World War and won a League Championship medal in 1939, when he contributed 14 goals to Everton’s successful 1938-39 campaign, missing only two matches. In total he scored 44 goals in 136 appearances for Everton.
Gillick was capped five times by Scotland between May 1937, when he made his debut against Austria in a 1-1 draw in Vienna, scoring his first goal a week later against Czechoslovakia, and November 1938, when he scored his second goal in a 3-1 victory over Hungary, however his career was interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939.
During the War, Gillick “guested” for hometown club Airdrieonians and for Rangers. At the end of the War in 1945, Struth brought him back to Ibrox, Gillick becoming the only player Struth ever signed twice. He developed into a forward with excellent ball control and vision and became a feature in the famous post-war Rangers side, forming a partnership on the left with Willie Waddell. His delicate and instinctive passes would more often than not find Waddell who would overlap and use his lightning pace to terrorise defences. He also played 3 times for The Scottish League between April 1947 and March 1948, scoring once in a 7-4 demolition of The Irish League at Windsor Park Belfast on his debut.
He won one League Championship medal (1946-47), two Scottish Cup medals (1935 and 1948) and two League Cup medals (1947 and 1949) during a highly successful career at Ibrox. His star power is illustrated by the fact that he lent his name in 1948 to an issue of football cards featuring international players of the time. He played 140 times for Rangers in total, scoring 62 goals before leaving Rangers in 1950 before a comeback with Partick Thistle in August 1951, and he then played one further season with The Jags before retiring in 1952. He is a member of the Rangers Hall of Fame. His death in 1971 coincidentally occurred on the same day as that of another great Rangers winger of a slightly earlier generation, Alan Morton.
NB unusual to see, this image is from a newspaper archive and has clearly been used at some point in a newspaper article.