James Wilson
James Wilson
A. Player

probably born in Scotland

James Wilson was probably born in Scotland, although his place and date of birth remain unknown to us. *

The forward was a trialist for George Easton's Thistle in August, 1905, having most recently been with Irvine Meadow XI.

He made his only appearance on Wednesday, 30th August, 1905, in a 3-2 win at home to Queen's Park in a Benefit match.

There were no goals for Wilson in his one-off appearance for Thistle.

His club-list included Irvine Meadow XI, Liverpool, Partick Thistle, Renfrew Victoria and Irvine Victoria.

We don't know where or when James died. *

* If you can help us to improve any of these marked points on The Thistle Archive, then please do get in touch →

Bio Extra

This is James 'Culley' Wilson who is unrelated to the James Wilson who played with Irvine Meadow XI in 1899-00 and went on to play with St Mirren and Preston. Our James could play in midfield or as a forward, and was several seasons at Irvine Meadow XI in the early to mid 1900s. Often he seemed to be on the verge of bigger things, but it never quite turned out that way for him. Several local cups were won by the Medda in his timespan there, and James certainly earned a few winners medals for his collection. Without having his paperwork in order, he had a trial game with Liverpool in the sprigtime of 1903, but it came to nothing and, back in Ayrshire, he had to plead with the Junior FA not to be banned! A number of clubs were said to be showing an interest the following season, and James landed at Firhill in January 1904 for a try out. Playing for the Thistle reserves alongside his brother (and fellow trialist) Robert, he scored in a 2-2 draw with a Glasgow Junior Select on 5th January 1904.

Seemingly keen for a move in 1905-06, James played trial games in August for both Renfrew Victoria and, once again, Partick Thistle, making his one and only (legitimate) first-team appearance as a Jag in a midweek fundraiser against Queen's Park in aid of Rockbank FC. 1,000 were at Meadowside on 30th August 1905 to see Thistle win by 3 goals to 2. Later that season, James experienced one of the great highlights of his career when he turned out as centre forward for Junior Scotland against Junior Ireland. 10,000 were at Celtic Park on St Patricks Day 1906; Scotland 2 Ireland 0. Just 10 days later, James was back once again for a third 'one-off' game for Thistle. He played as centre-forward in a 1-3 Glasgow League defeat against Clyde on 27th March 1906, but the game was abandoned on 79 minutes due to bad light, and was struck from the official records. He was keeping some fine company that evening, playing in the same team as Scotland great Neilly Gibson and also future-internationalist George C. Robertson, who was playing on trial from Yoker Athletic. Also alongside was his old teammate from the Medda, John Lyon, and it may well be he who "opened the door" for James, so to speak.

James moved on to Irvine Victoria for season 1906-07 and won a second Junior Scotland cap, the Irish once again being the opponents, on 16th March in Belfast; Ireland 4 Scotland 0. Not such a happy day out this time. Having moved on to Irvine Victoria, James became the only player ever to be capped for both Irvine clubs! James returned once more to Renfrew Victoria for 1907-08, and it was thought that he was going to retire at the end of that season on the grounds of ill health, but he re-signed with Irvine Victoria in the summer of 1908, where he played a handful of games before hanging up the boots for good.


Historian's note: Bill Donnachie in his 'Who's Who of Kilmarnock FC' wrote about internationalist Hughie Wilson (b. 18 March 1869, Bilboa, Mauchline) and it throws up a very interesting lead that can be followed up. Could he be big brother to our James? "One of the all-time greats, his one-handed throw-ins led to the present rule being adopted. A well-built muscular player with a keen football brain. Hugh was in the twilight of his career when he arrived at Rugby Park. The elder brother of James Wilson, he had represented Ayrshire, Glasgow & Northumberland at inter-county level."

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