We continued to share the good news today in Greenloaning and Braco, two villages just off the A9, near Dunblane.
We're always picking up interesting little bits of information about the villages we visit... did you know that the founder of the English football league (the oldest football league in the world!) was born and bred in Braco? No, we didn't either until today!
William McGregor was born in Braco in 1846 and served an apprenticeship as a draper in Perth, before moving to Birmingham in 1870 to set up business there. He became heavily involved in a recently formed football club called Aston Villa, eventually becoming the club's President. He was responsible for proposing and arranging the formation of the English Football League in 1888, involving 12 teams from across the country. He died in 1911 and a statue of him was erected outside Aston Villa's ground in 2009.
The other interesting thing about William McGregor is that he was a committed Christian, widely respected for his honesty and integrity. He had a 40 year association with local church where he lived. The pastor of the church, W.G. Percival said that the best thing about McGregor "was not so much the genial, kindly, honest sportsman, but the Christian behind it all". He described him as "a man of absolutely unblemished personal character". While William McGregor had a great enthusiasm for football, and became known as the father of the Football League, his passion for the beautiful game never came before his faith in Jesus Christ and his love for God.