Willie Gardiner
Willie Gardiner
Willie Gardiner
● Willie Gardiner, 1912 (AN)

born in Scotland

William Gardiner was born on Monday, 26th November, 1888, in Renton, West Dunbartonshire.

The forward signed for George Easton's Thistle on Friday, 30th April, 1909, having most recently been with Parkhead.

Aged 20, he made his debut appearance on Monday, 16th August, 1909, in a 2-1 defeat away to Morton in the SFL First Division.

That day, Willie became a member of our scoring debutant's club.

He scored the last of his 43 goals on Saturday, 20th December, 1913, in a 2-1 win at home to Raith Rovers in the SFL First Division.

He played his last game for the club on Monday, 5th April, 1915, in a 1-0 win away to Rangers in the SFL First Division, having clocked up 154 appearances as a Jag.

His club-list included Parkhead and Partick Thistle.

Willie died on Saturday, 20th August, 1977, in Largs, North Ayrshire, aged 88.

Bio Extra

Son of William Gardiner (master baker) and Annie Gardiner (née Wallace).

Played with Parkhead Juniors and represented his country at that grade. At senior level, Willie seems to have been a one-club man as far as I can tell, and he certainly gave great service to the Jags, knocking in 39 goals over his 6 playing seasons at first-team level. He started out firmly as an inside left specialist, but switched to the right in his later seasons, both at right half and on the right wing. His last run of first-team games, at the turn of 1915, included a League double over the Rangers; a 3-1 Firhill win in January, followed by a 1-0 win at Ibrox in April - Willie's curtain call in the spotlight. How about that then?

There was a wee Hogmanay article in the Evening Times in 1976 (see the 'Scrapbook' tab), in which the 87-year-old Willie proposed a toast to the Jags with a wee Thistle whisky. The article suggested that he'd scored the first goal at Firhill but, as all good students of Partick Thistle history know, that was a Dumbarton Harp player (or Alec Raisbeck if you only count Thistle goals through your red n yellow specs). Anyway, what of Willie's claim, was it perhaps a bit of clever word-play? He actually did the score the first Thistle goal of the 1909-10 season (on his debut too!) but unfortunately it came as a late consolation in a 2-1 loss at Cappielow. Either it was a bit of a wordplay or he's confused it down through the years with his many goals for the club. In any case, slàinte mhath to you and your goals Willie!

In just the following year from that article, Willie died suddenly at his Largs home, 14 Irvine Road, on 20th August, 1977. His funeral service was held at Linn Crematorium in Glasgow, 5 days later, on the 25th. From that, we learned that he was the beloved husband of the late Jenny Cruickshank.


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