Inside forward George Turner “Geordie” Livingstone was born in Dumbarton and started his career in Scottish junior football with Sinclair Swifts in 1892. He then moved to Artizan Thistle in 1893 and Parkhead Juniors in 1894, before moving to Scottish League clubs Dumbarton in 1895 and Heart of Midlothian in 1896. At Hearts he made his debut in a 2-2 draw with Dundee in September 1896, scoring both goals and registered 29 goals in 59 appearances for The Jambos.
In the 1900 close season he joined First Division Sunderland, making his Football League debut at Notts County that September, but he only played there for a season before a return to Scotland moving to Glasgow Celtic, having made 31 appearances and scored 12 goals in his time on Wearside. At Celtic he played in the 1902 Scottish Cup Final side in a 1-0 defeat to Hibernian and scored 4 goals against Rangers (he was apparently “Rangers daft”) in a 5-1 victory in an Inter-city League match.
Livingstone also made his Scotland debut in the ill-fated game against England at Ibrox on 5th April 1902. Twenty-six spectators lost their lives and 517 were injured when the back of the newly-built West Tribune stand collapsed due to heavy rainfall the previous night. Hundreds of supporters fell up to 40 feet to the ground below. Subsequently, this match was deemed unofficial and caps awarded do not show in official records. Although it was replayed at Villa Park, Livingstone wasn’t selected and had to wait 4 more years for his first Scotland cap.
In May 1902, after 7 goals in 23 League and Cup appearances for The Bhoys, he moved back to England, signing for Liverpool for £200, scoring 4 goals in 32 appearances during 1902-03, and he then joined Manchester City in the 1903 close season. He made 81 appearances for City, scoring 19 goals, and won the 1904 FA Cup with City as they beat Bolton Wanderers 1-0 in the Final at The Crystal Palace, in a season in which they were also runners up in the League Championship. His tremendous pass to Billy Meredith resulted in the winning goal for City.
He won his first cap for Scotland in April 1906 when he played in a 2-1 victory over England at Hampden Park. He returned to Scotland in 1906, playing for Glasgow Rangers for two years and featuring for The Scottish League in March 1907 in a 0-0 draw against The Football League at Ibrox, as well as winning a second Scotland cap against Wales at Wrexham in March 1907, scoring 26 goals in 62 appearances for Rangers before transferring to Manchester United in January 1909.
Although mainly a fringe player, he helped United win the 1910-11 League Championship, making 10 appearances during the campaign, before retiring in 1914 shortly before his 38th birthday after 4 goals in 47 appearances. He later worked for many years under Bill Struth at Glasgow Rangers as the first team trainer and was Bradford City’s trainer when they won the Third Division (North) Championship in 1928-29 with a strong ex Rangers influence, e.g. the likes of Tommy Cairns, at the club.
He is the only football player to date who has played (and in fact scored) for both sides of the Old Firm, and for both of Manchester’s finest.
Livingstone was the younger brother of Archie Livingstone, who played for amongst others Third Lanark, Burnley, Burton United and Norwich City.
NB The photo features “Geordie” Livingstone during his coaching career, here in his last job as trainer at Bradford City as they finished Champions of Division Three (North). This photograph could have been taken at several games where they played the line up in the team group, but it was certainly taken in the 1928 half of the season two players didn’t feature after the end of the year.