George Niven

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George Niven
Personal information
Date of birth (1929-06-11)11 June 1929
Place of birth Blairhall, Scotland
Date of death 17 July 2008(2008-07-17) (aged 79)
Place of death Kingussie, Scotland
Playing position(s) Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1951–1962 Rangers 221 (0)
1962–1969 Partick Thistle 182 (0)
National team
1953–1960 Scottish League XI 7 (0)
1955[1] Scotland B vs A trial 1 (0)
1960[2] SFL trial v SFA 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

George Niven (11 June 1929 – 17 July 2008) was a Scottish footballer who played during the 1950s and 1960s for Rangers and Partick Thistle.



Niven was signed to Rangers from junior side Coupar Angus in 1951 by manager Bill Struth. He made his debut against Aberdeen on 19 April 1952 in the final league match of the season, the match ended 1–1. He spent over ten years at Ibrox and won five league championships, two Scottish Cups, one League Cup, four Glasgow Cups and three Charity Cups. He made 327 appearances in total for the club.

In February 1962 he joined Partick Thistle. Whilst in Maryhill he would make a total of 232 first class appearances and become an ever present in the Jags goal. He never missed a league match in three separate seasons — 1962–63, 1963–64 and 1967–68.

He lost his place as number one when old rival from Rangers, Billy Ritchie, joined Thistle. After not featuring in the first team all season (his last game coming in a 0-0 draw at Airdrie in April 1968), he left in the summer of 1969. Niven retired from playing shortly after this.


Niven never played for the Scotland national football team.[3] It is understood that he has played the most games for Rangers of any Scottish player who has not been capped by Scotland.[3] Niven was selected twice for Scotland, but had to withdraw each time due to injury and was replaced by Frank Haffey.[3] He did, however, represent the Scottish League XI seven times.[3][4]


Niven died on 17 July 2008, aged 79.[5]


  1. ^ Easter Road game should not have been played, Glasgow Herald (page 4), 22 February 1955
  2. ^ Ronnie McDevitt (2016). Scotland in the 60s: The Definitive Account of the Scottish National Football Side During the 1960s. Pitch Publishing. ISBN 9781785312458.
  3. ^ a b c d "Ibrox custodian was club's rock during transition from 50s side to 60s". The Scotsman. Johnston Press. 19 July 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  4. ^ "SFL player George Niven". London Hearts Supporters' Club. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  5. ^ Obituary, The Scotsman, 24 July 2008

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