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The Swedish family name “Hansson” had been converted to the Danish “Hansen” when they moved to Copenhagen.Young Carl was a talented footballer and signed for local club B1903 in 1915 at the age of 17.
He was Denmark’s first ever professional footballer and paved the way for hundreds of his fellow countrymen to seek fame and fortune overseas in the following decades.Hansen was the Brian Laudrup of his day – a skillful, pacy, forward with a habit of scoring spectacular goals.His career in Scotland may have been cut short by injury but in his three years at Ibrox, the “Great Little Dane” became a firm fans’ favourite.Born in Copenhagen in May 1898, Hansen was the oldest of 11 children.Both parents Anders Hansson and Anna Jönsson were Swedish and his father was a poor shoemaker.Combining his football career with a job as an office clerk at a local tobacco firm (“emptying wastebaskets and sharpening pencils”) he was an important part of the team that became Danish champions in 1920.
Hansen made the first of his seven international appearances against Sweden at the age of 19, scoring twice in a 3-0 victory.
He returned to action a few months later but never fully recovered and when he suffered another injury he reluctantly returned to Denmark.
Despite his injury problems, Hansen loved his time in Scotland, particularly the regular golfing trips he embarked on with his team-mates.
He instantly became one of the most popular characters in Danish football – where he was known by the nickname Carl But his international career came to an abrupt end in 1921 when Scottish champions Rangers came to town on one of their numerous close-season tours of Denmark.
Locals had alerted the Rangers manager Bill Struth to the abilities of the young forward in the Copenhagen Select team and he in turn told his centre-half Arthur Dixon: “Test that young Dane with everything you’ve got.
The turbulent North Sea crossing had left the Danish international weak and gaunt after three days of almost constant sea-sickness – hardly the ideal preparation for his new career at Ibrox.