John Gilchrist
John Gilchrist
A. Player

probably born in Scotland

John Gilchrist was born on Sunday, 24th September, 1871, in Dundonald, South Ayrshire.

The forward joined Thistle in the summer of 1890, having most recently been with Minerva.

Aged 18, he made his first known appearance on Saturday, 16th August, 1890, in a 9-6 friendly win away to Port Glasgow Athletic.

John scored his first known goal for Thistle on Saturday, 23rd August, 1890, in a 4-2 friendly win at home to Methlan Park.

He scored the last of his 39 known goals on Saturday, 10th March, 1894, in a 13-1 win at home to Glasgow Thistle in the SFL Second Division.

He played his last known game for the club on Saturday, 2nd January, 1896, in a 3-0 friendly win away to Dundee, having clocked up at least 113 appearances for the Thistle.

His club-list included Minerva and Partick Thistle.

John died in 1944, in Partick, Glasgow, aged 72. *

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

Bio Extra

John was a left-sided forward who was “trained in the ranks” of Minerva, a club who were closely associated with Partick Thistle in the early 1890s. The teenager joined Thistle for the start of season 1890-91 and received complimentary press as a good prospect. “The Partick Thistle have a splendid set of forwards just now. They are all young players, and should yet be heard of. Of the lot, Gilchrist and McLeod are perhaps the best. Both men are smart, and know how to play the passing game.” (SR, 15-Sep-1890). He spent 5 seasons as a Thistle player, and was prominent in the first 4 of these. John played in Thistle's inaugural League campaign (the Scottish Alliance 1891-92) and in the first-ever Scottish Football League campaign of 1893-94. Before the annual New Year trip North that season, the Peterhead Sentinel wrote: “Gilchrist and Murray form the left wing, the former being more of a scientific than a forcible player, but a good shot at goal; while Murray is strong and resourceful and likewise dangerous when in the neighbourhood of goal.”

John's playing movements post-Thistle (if there were any) are unclear, but it seems he was a supporter of the club as his name re-appeared a few years later as a committee man - as did that of his brother, James, his junior by 2 years. In 1900, Thistle decided to apply for First Division membership and the club committee kept themselves occupied waiting for the league meeting by playing a match against their Clyde counterparts on 30th April 1900. It was a sad occasion – a benefit match for the widow of Clyde goalkeeper Dick Wilson who died on active service in Pietmaritzburg fighting the Boer War. It was an opportunity for some of the men who had served the club as players to relive their past. The Thistle team was: President Connell; J. Robertson, R. Robertson; D. Gow, J. Waddell, John Gilchrist; J. L. Bennett, James Gilchrist, George Easton, J. McColl, T. Robertson. Keen students of Thistle history will note that John, as well as playing alongside his brother James, played with the great George Easton at centre forward!

At the club’s AGM in the springtime of 1901, the following were elected for the season ahead: William Ward (President), Richie Robertson (Vice-President), George Easton (Treasurer), John Gilchrist (General Secretary), James Gilchrist (Match Secretary, 13 Crow Rd). Committee: Robert Little, A. M. Smith, John McColl, W. R. Mitchell, John L. Robertson.

12 months on, the Partick Thistle annual meeting was held on 8 April 1902. The following office bearers were elected: William Ward (President), Richie Robertson (Vice-President), George Easton (Hon. Treasurer), John Gilchrist (Hon. Secretary), Robert Little, 48 Hayburn St, Partick (Match Secretary). Committee: W. Reid, W. L. Kirkwood, A.M. Smith, James Gilchrist, John McColl.

The first statutory meeting of Partick Thistle as a limited company took place on 4 December 1903, when the shareholders were called on to elect directors for the first time. George Easton, who had acted as interim secretary during the transfer between the old club and the limited company announced William Hay as President and 10 directors, many of them names recognisable from the old committee: William Ward, W. Reid, George Easton, John Gilchrist, Willie Paul, W. McColl, R. Robertson, W. A. Kirkwood, A. M. Smith, J. Waddell.


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