Rangers penalty king Johnny Hubbard honored at new Prestwick housing development

A new housing development has unveiled a touching tribute to a sporting hero who called the town his home.

Johnny Hubbard – the revered ‘Penalty King’ of Rangers – was a far traveled South African who left a lasting legacy in Prestwick.

Now his name adorns the newest homes on the town’s Main Street.

The former police station will be known as ‘Johnny Hubbard Court’ after the £2.1 million rebuild led by Prestwick-based firm Ashleigh.

A total of 11 one and two bedroom flats were officially unveiled on Friday, with friends and family of Hubby taking center stage.

And even Sir Alex Ferguson got in on the act by sending a tribute to be read out at the ceremony.

The new look flats on the town’s Main Street

Prestwick residents led a fundraiser to ensure much-loved Hubby was remembered long after his passing in 2018.

Former South Ayrshire provost, Gordon McKenzie, revealed: “Hubby was best known for his football, but in actual fact played a huge role in many other sports.

“From tennis to athletics and cricket to badminton, he did it all.

“He was also a massive influence on so many youngsters in this region whom he helped inspire and coach.”

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The official unveiling of Johnny Hubbard Court
The official unveiling of Johnny Hubbard Court

Hubby fondly recalled how leading Prestwick Cricket Club to the Glasgow & District League title in 1972 – the first major honor in their history – was among his greatest ever sporting achievements.

And pals plan to use money left over from their fundraiser to erect a memorial bench at the Henry Thow Oval to mark the title winners’ 50th anniversary.

Hubby’s daughter, Linda, represented her dad at the official opening of the social housing which has replaced the historic former police office.

The base was also used as the council’s former social work offices but had been empty for a number of years.

The old Prestwick police station
The old Prestwick police station

South Ayrshire’s housing spokesman, Cllr Philip Saxton, said: “All flats are energy efficient and built to a very high standard by Ashliegh.

“They were purposely built as amenity housing and will allow the residents who are older or are infirm to walk out their front door to go shopping without having to travel in public transport or by car.”

He added: “A fundraising group approached me some time ago and requested if we could do some sort of dedication to Johnny.

“As well as his vast achievements, he was also employed by South Ayrshire Council and taught a number of youngsters sporting activities throughout his life.

“The group was established and run mainly by Bill Bailey, who managed to secure funding for a plaque which is now imbedded with the new building and is a very fitting tribute.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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