John Stewart
John Stewart
John Stewart
● John Stewart, 1889 (EBY)

born in Scotland

John Stewart was born on Sunday, 17th June, 1866, in Partick, Glasgow.

The midfielder joined Thistle in 1886, having most recently been with Westburn.

Aged 20, he made his first known appearance on Saturday, 28th August, 1886, in a 1-0 friendly win at home to Vale of Leven.

John scored his first known goal for Thistle on Saturday, 15th October, 1887, in a 4-3 friendly win at home to Dumbarton.

He scored the last of his 3 known goals on Saturday, 26th April, 1890, in a 6-2 friendly defeat away to Everton.

He played his last known game for the club on Saturday, 9th May, 1891, in a 7-1 friendly defeat away to Airdrieonians, having appeared for the Thistle on at least 41 occasions.

His club-list included Westburn, Partick Thistle, West Hartlepool NER, Sunderland Albion and Linfield Athletic.

John died on Friday, 14th April, 1939, in Durban, aged 72.

Bio Extra

The son of William Stewart (blacksmith/enginesmith) and Margaret Stewart (née Brow) who originally hailed from Angus and Perthshire. John was yet another Jag born on Merkland Street, Partick, which re-appears time and time again in Thistle history, and we really should log them all somewhere. Off the top of the head, Peter Ewing and Willie Paul were born on Merkland Street, and Jerry Suter and Hugh Beaton lived there!

Partick Thistle had a good relationship with the local Westburn club, and a number of players made the switch to the Thistle. Young John Stewart was one of the first to do so, and the half-back moved to Inchview in the summer of 1886. His first season was patchy in first team terms, but he really came through in 1887-88, clocking up well over 30 appearances, the undoubted highlight being a sensational 2-1 win at home to Rangers in October, in the Scottish Cup. That season, Thistle's excellent run to the 5th Round was only ended by the mighty Queen's Park. John and Thistle toured the North East of England in the New Year of 1888 and perhaps a seed was sown there.

After his fine season, John was keen to try his luck at the professional game in England, and Newcastle were the tip for his next club. John appeared for Thistle against Cowlairs in August 1888, and then finally made his rumoured move, joining West Hartlepool NER, although he lasted only 4 or 5 weeks before pledging allegiance to Sunderland Albion. Albion beat Shankhouse Black Watch 8-2 in the FA Cup Qualifying competition, and Shankhouse immediately protested that Stewart had become a professional when he left Inchview. The protest was thrown out and Sunderland continued in the tournament. John did well at Albion and captained the side. He played in the inaugural Football Alliance with Albion in 1889-90, where they finished just 4 points behind the champion club, Wednesday, of Sheffield.

The SFA rules disallowed players who had moved to England to turn professional to return to play again in Scotland, even at amateur level. However, they announced an amnesty to all players who had left for England, and this allowed John the ability to return as a guest for Thistle on a few occasions in 1890 and 1891, presumably when he was back on a visit. Although Sunderland remained his base - he was landlord of a pub there - he had a spell with Linfield Athletic in 1891, where he played with his old Sunderland Albion teammate and namesake, Sam Stewart.

In his life documentation, John assumed Brow as his middle name, obviously in tribute to his mother. He married a Glasgow lass, Agnes McCulloch, in November 1888. They raised a family of four; William (b. 1889), Agnes (b. 1891), John (b. 1892) and Margaret (b. 1896). The family emigrated to Durban, South Africa, in October 1904, under the assisted passage scheme. John, who had earlier worked as a joiner in the Partick shipyards, would work as a carpenter in South Africa. Alas, the 43-year-old Agnes died only five years after arriving in the country. John remarried Annie Agnes Haggar in Durban on 7th August 1914. Our thanks to Great, Great Grandson Martin Stewart who, in February 2024, assisted with some of these finer details. John would remain in Durban all of his days, and died of a hernia in Addington Hospital in the springtime of 1939.


© The Thistle Archive 2015-2024. All rights reserved. Third-party trademarks and content are the property of their respective owners, and subject to their own copyright terms and conditions. See the website links provided in each case.