John Rae, known as Spriggie, won the cup with Thirds and the first of two Scotland caps in 1889, and that fame no doubt helped him the following year to earn a bit of cash by signing for Sunderland Albion. At a time when Scottish football was nominally amateur, many high profile players went south, but unfortunately Albion was a short-lived rival to Sunderland FC. When the latter won the Football League title in 1892, Albion was wound up, and Rae was left without a club. Thankfully, Third Lanark took him back, but his playing career was over by 1894 at the age of 31. He reverted to his 'day job' as a colliery engine keeper, living on the Rutherglen Road at Shawfield Bank House, just across the road from Shawfield Stadium. He was still there in the 1911 census, by then a widower, but his death was only a few years away. He died at Hartwood Asylum in Shotts on 20 November 1917, from 'general paralysis of the insane' - medical term for the final stage of syphilis. In the days before antibiotics, it was a killer disease with no effective treatment.
Another to meet a gruesome end was David Stewart, Scottish Cup winner in 1893 with Queen's Park, and selected three times for Scotland; his brother Andrew was also a Scotland international and, as it happens, a teammate of John Rae at Third Lanark. The Stewarts had a prosperous upbringing in Partick, sons of the proprietor of Western Saw Mills. David, like many QP men, was a professional man - a consulting engineer - but he fell victim to mental illness. His death notice in the Glasgow Herald simply stated that he had died in Perth after a lengthy illness, but the death certificate, dated 3 August 1933, revealed rather more. The end came in Murray's Royal Asylum (now known as the Murray Royal Hospital but still a specialist centre for mental illness). His cause of death was recorded as 'suicidal strangulation', conjuring up horrible images of a man who was so deranged that he took his own life.