Lawrence Gemson (1915 – 1918)

Lawrence Gemson was a born in Preston, Lancashire in 1873 and it isnt difficult to work out that ‘The Invincibles’ of Preston North End winning the inaugeral Football League championship in 1888/89 which they retained the following season and the first ever League and Cup double winners may have been his major influence.

He moved to Glasgow in 1891 and after training became a teacher at St Mary’s Catholic School in Glasgow where he got to know Tom and Willie Maley, Celtic legends. He moved to Ayr and became headmaster of Ayr’s St.Margaret’s School from 1899 until retirement in 1933Â

He went onto the Ayr United Board in 1911 and with Herbert Daintys departure in 1915 he took up the position of Secretary-manager although he had not previously played nor coached at senior level prior to this.

Although his duties were largely secretarial, he guided Ayr United to what remains the club’s best ever league season, 1915-16 with a fourth-placed finish in the top flight. This was achieved by utilising his good connections with Celtic and the Maleys.

He resigned from Ayr United due to ill health prompted by work pressure but he rejoined the board in 1922.

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