Charlie Lowry
Charlie Lowry
Charlie Lowry
● Charlie Lowry, 1914 (SR)

born in Northern Ireland

Charles Finlay Lowry was born on Monday, 23rd November, 1891, in Newtownards, County Down.

The 5' 11½ (15st 8lbs) forward signed for George Easton's Thistle on Friday, 25th March, 1910, having most recently been with Glasgow Perthshire.

Aged 18, he made his debut appearance on Saturday, 26th March, 1910, in a 3-1 defeat away to Celtic in the SFL First Division.

Charlie scored his first goal for Thistle on Monday, 28th March, 1910, in a 1-0 win at home to Dundee in the SFL First Division.

He scored the last of his 11 goals on Saturday, 15th March, 1913, in a 5-3 win at home to Morton in the SFL First Division.

He played his last game for the club on Saturday, 13th February, 1915, in a 2-0 defeat away to Kilmarnock in the SFL First Division, having appeared as a Jag on 27 occasions.

His club-list included Tweedhill, Glasgow Perthshire, Partick Thistle, Girvan Athletic and Abercorn.

Charlie died on Thursday, 13th February, 1969, in Townhead, Glasgow, aged 77.

Bio Extra

The first-born son of James Lowry (labourer/grocer/master joiner at various points) and Elizabeth Lowry (née Humphreys), who married on 24th October 1890 in Ballygilbert, County Down. Charlie's mother was actually born in Glasgow circa 1860. The couple moved to Glasgow in the mid 1890s and it was there they had a second son, Robert, who was born in 1895. By 1901, the family were living again in Northern Ireland, but again moved back to Scotland before that decade was through.

Young Charlie played at juvenile grade with Tweedhill, and signed for Glasgow Perthshire in the summer of 1909. Such was his impact there, George Easton, master surveyor of the junior scene, had him signed at Firhill before that season was through. Charlie was on the verge of junior international recognition when Thistle snapped him up in the springtime of 1910 and, ironically, future-Jag John King took his place for the April 1910 game against the auld enemy at Birmingham. With Fred Robertson being out of the picture for some reason, the young, well-built, centre-forward was handed his debut in a League match at Celtic Park in March 1910. Although he found it hard to find his bearings in the first half, he improved greatly in the second. The game was lost by 3 goals to 1, but 17-year-old Charlie showed enough to appear in several matches before season's end, and netted thrice in games against Dundee, Hibernian and Raith Rovers.

Despite all of this great early promise, a proper run in the first team never came to be. Manager Easton opted for experience at the start of 1910-11, and 30-year-old George Elmore, newly recruited from Blackpool, was the man who took control of the #9 jersey. Charlie had to be content with a place in the reserves for now, and he featured in the club's first-ever Reserve League match on the 17th September 1910, lost at home to Beith by 2 goals to nil. Charlie was a prolific scorer for the reserves, and obviously had something about him. It wasn't until the beginning of 1911, however, that he got another taste of first-team competitive action. Despite netting 4 goals in 4 games, he still couldn't find a place in what was shaping up as a terrific Thistle team at the time. The Jags would finish 4th, just 10 points behind the champions, Rangers.

1911-12 was much the same story. George Elmore and Jim Marshall were the main centres, and Charlie was mainly confined to the reserves. He made 4 League appearances for the first team that season, and nabbed a brace in a 2-0 win at Dens Park, a great personal highlight for the lad to date. Brilliantly, the reserves were crowned Scottish champions in 1911-12 and Charlie had played his part throughout the campaign. In late February 1913, Girvan Athletic came in for his services on a one-off basis for their derby clash with Hurlford. Charlie was placed on the 'Open To Transfer' list during this season, during which he scored just once in 7 League games. Second Division Abercorn came him in for him in the summer of 1913 and, immediately, his first-team game time greatly increased in Paisley, where he netted 8 times in 21 League & Cup games.

In what seemed to be some sort of strategic development plan all along, Charlie re-signed for a second spell at Firhill in June, 1914. It was the same old story though, there was to be no breakthrough as Willie Whittle and an emerging hot prospect by the name of Neil Harris were the men who were largely preferred in the centre role. By now, Charlie had re-set himself as a versatile centre half or centre forward, perhaps looking to boost his chances. Almost defiantly, Charlie put himself in the headlines when he netted a magnificent quintuple in a 5-2 Reserve League win at Queen's Park. His special feat was rewarded a couple of weeks later when he featured in back-to-back first team League games away to Dundee (a 2-1 win) and to Kilmarnock (a 0-2 loss). These would be his last two games for the first team.

By the following season (1915-16), Charlie was back with Abercorn, who must have been pleased to regain his services after his succesful first spell. Division Two went into abeyance for the war however, so the Paisley side were reduced to playing in the Western League for the duration of the war which, as it turned out, was the beginning of the end for them. Our man was conscripted in November 1915, and, in July 1916, news filtered through from the Daily Record that Charlie was “doing his bit” for the war effort in British East Africa, and that he recently been discharged from a hospital in Nairobi after a severe illness. Charlie was a private in the Army Service Corps, and we think that he was involved in logistics, specifically lorry driving.

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CHARLIE LOWRY IN AFRICA. Footballers, and more particularly those in the Glasgow North-Western district, will doubtless remember Charles Lowry, the big well-favoured centre-forward of Glasgow Perthshire, who was subsequently secured by Partick Thistle. “Charlie”, who is now “doing his bit” in British East Africa, has just been discharged from hospital in Nairobi, after a severe illness.

Charles was struck down by malaria and dysentry within two months of arriving in Africa, which explains a photo we've seen of a rather emaciated Charles in Pith Helmet, he was 15 stone 8lbs when enlisting and no doubt a whole let less after his misadventures! Incidentally, his Army Records show his theatre of war as GERMAN East Africa not British East Africa as stated in the Record. Charles was eventually sent back to Ireland and spent over a year in Princess Patricia Hospital, Bray, before being discharged from the Army on 4 March 1919, surplus to military requirements.

His convalescence complete, Charlie returned to his peactime occupation as a warehouseman, and next surfaced as a footballer late in 1919 when he rejoined Abercorn, who were challenging for the Western League title at the time. Before the month was out, Charlie found himself in goals when Campbell retired injured, and the Abbies went down by 3 goals to 1 at Renton. It was at the end of that season when Abercorn's lease on their New Ralston ground was ended at the behest of the local town council. This was ostensibly in order to build an Ice Rink, which did not happen for another four years. It was long accused that St Mirren had used their connections with Paisley Town Council to kill off their rival, but this rumour was never proven!

Unable to secure another ground within the town, this effectively signalled the end of Abercorn. Despite not being entered in any league competition, they played one game in season 1920–21 with, effectively, a scratch team for their Scottish Qualifying Cup tie away to Vale of Leven. On 4th September 1920, around 2,000 spectators witnessed the last game that Abercorn played; an 8–1 victory for Vale of Leven. Charlie was at centre-half for the historic game. Abercorn retained membership of the Scottish Football Association until 29 March 1922, when they were disbarred for failing to secure their own private home ground. Effectively though the club were defunct in 1920 when it played its last game, although an annual Abercorn Football Club dinner was still held in the town until 1939 just before the outbreak of World War II.

In his personal life, Charlie married Jean Torrance on the 15th July 1930 in Glasgow, a divorcée who had previously been married as Jean McLaughlin. Although he was born 'Charles Finlay Lowry' He signed himself as C. H. Lowry on the register, and was named Charles Humphreys Lowry, clearly in tribute to his late mother. He was described then as a commercial traveller. Jean was a dressmaker. By then, Charlie's father, James, was described as a retired carpenter. In February 1969, the 77-year-old Charlie passed away at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, chronic bronchitis being the root cause of his demise. His wife, Jean, signed the death register entry.

On account of his service during WWI, Charlie is included in our feature piece, The Partick Thistle Returned →.

(WS/JK/AFK/DMAC)



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