John Wilkie
John Wilkie
John Wilkie
• John Wilkie, 1899 (GLP)

born in Scotland

John Wilkie was born on Tuesday, 15th August, 1876, in Govan, Glasgow.

The 5' 7 (11st 2lbs) forward signed for Thistle on Friday, 10th August, 1894, having most recently been with Summerton Athletic.

Aged 17, he made his first known appearance on Saturday, 11th August, 1894, in a 5-2 win at home to Dundee Wanderers in the SFL Second Division.

John scored his first known goal for Thistle on Saturday, 1st September, 1894, in a 6-1 win at home to Royal Albert in the Scottish Cup.

He scored the last of his 32 known goals on Saturday, 22nd April, 1905, netting twice in a 4-3 win away to Rangers in the Glasgow League.

He played his last known game for the club on Saturday, 6th May, 1905, in a 2-2 friendly draw away to Royal Albert, having appeared for the Thistle on at least 96 occasions.

His club-list included Summerton Athletic, Partick Thistle, Blackburn Rovers, Bedminster, Rangers, Middlesbrough, Hibernian and Ayr Parkhouse.

John died on Monday, 3rd April, 1922, in Possilpark, Glasgow, aged 45.

Bio Extra

The son of James Wilkie (iron planer journeyman) and Isabella Wilkie (née Robinson) who married in July, 1854, in Glasgow.

John came through as a young lad with Summerton Athletic and joined Thistle just days before turning 18, ready for the start of season 1894-95. Thistle were playing only their second season in the Scottish Football League, and it was in a Second Division game that John made his winning debut at Inchview, Dundee Wanderers being defeated by 5 goals to 2. The youngster didn't have to wait too long for his first goal, it came 3 weeks later in a 6-1 win at home to Royal Albert in the Scottish Cup. John made a great impression in his first season, forming a strong partnership with John Campbell on the left side of the forward line. He was a near ever-present, appearing in 20 of the 23 competitive games, scoring 7 times.

Unfortunately for Thistle, he didn't stay too long. By September 1895 he was off to find fame and fortune with Blackburn Rovers, where he would be joined later by John Campbell and John Proudfoot, much to the annoyance of the Partick Thistle faithful. Plus ça change. Wilkie was selected for the Home Scots v Anglo-Scots international trial match in 1898 whilst at Blackburn, but no cap was forthcoming. After his (personally) successful seasons at Blackburn, he returned to Scotland for season 1898-99, and landed a prestigious deal with Rangers, as did his wingman, John Campbell. These two had made their professional debuts together with Thistle, and it seemed they were coming with a repuation as a pair. It didn't quite work out like that at first though, as John played only 3 League games for the Ibrox club that season, but they returned an immaculate 100% win record in the campaign, 18 wins out of 18. It was Rangers first outright championship. John grew into his role at Rangers, becoming much more of a prominent first-team player, and won further Scottish titles in 1900 and 1902, as well as two Glasgow Cup medals, with a loan spell at Middlesbrough amidst his medal collecting. Whilst at Second Division Middlesbrough, John wrote himself into their history books when, on 2nd March 1901, he scored the club's first ever league hat-trick, bagging 5 goals in a 9-2 win over Gainsborough Trinity.

John re-signed for a second spell with Thistle in 1903-04, where he enjoyed two very succesful seasons, the Jags finishing joint-6th then joint-5th in the top-flight. As a sign of his good form, he was selected once again in the international trial match in March 1904, the Home Scots drawing with the Anglo Scots 2 goals apiece. Playing alongside him that day was his Thistle teammate Tom Harvey and both men were quite at home - the game was played at Meadowside! He made his final big transfer to Hibs in readiness for season 1905-06 and played,once again, with John Campbell! It was an unhappy move for Wilkie though, he played in only 7 of the League games that season and eventually left the club acrimoniously, having been suspended and transfer listed for indiscipline at training. He left to join Ayr Parkhouse before drifting out the game.

John married twice, the second time in 1918 when the marriage certificate gave his occupation as a shipyard labourer. He was still working in that occupation 4 years later when, sadly, he passed away from a heart condition, aged only 45.


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