Willie Newall
Willie Newall
Willie Newall
● Willie Newall, 1945 (SD)

born in Scotland

William Newall was born on Monday, 25th October, 1920, in Irvine, North Ayrshire.

The 5' 5 (12st 0lbs) forward signed for Donald Turner's Thistle on Friday, 29th April, 1938, having most recently been with Twechar United.

Aged 18, he made his debut appearance on Saturday, 16th September, 1939, in a 3-1 friendly defeat away to Clyde.

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

He scored the last of his 106 goals on Saturday, 3rd March, 1945, in a 2-0 win at home to Clyde in the Southern League Cup.

He played his last game for the club on Saturday, 17th March, 1945, in a 2-1 defeat at home to Falkirk in the Southern League Cup, having clocked up 149 appearances as a Jag.

His club-list included Twechar United, Partick Thistle, Arbroath, Morton and Stenhousemuir.

Willie died in December, 2002, in Dalmellington, East Ayrshire, aged 82. *

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

Bio Extra

With over 100 goals in less than 150 appearances, Willie is one of the most sensational strikers in Thistle's history, but flies under the radar somewhat, having registered all his great work entirely during the second world war.

Willie started out as a youngster in the Scottish Junior League Eastern Division with East Dunbartonshire outfit, Twechar United. A great deal of credit should go to Thistle's scouting system, for Donald Turner had him provisionally signed as early as April 1938. It wasn't long before his prolific scoring talents at Twechar made the senior step-up inevitable and professional papers were signed exactly one year later. Over the course of the next seven seasons, Willie banged them in for fun; humdingers, headers or tap-ins, he always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.

On Saturday 16th September, Thistle played their first game of the Second World Wartime. Rutherglen, deemed to be just within the “neutral zone”, was our destination, and Clyde were opponents at Shawfield. Some 3,000 attended and, just before half-time, the game burst into life when Jackie Husband sent Willie Peat away down the left wing. His cross to the centre was brought under control and WILLIE NEWALL “lashed home the leather” giving Brown in the Clyde goal no chance. Thistle threw it away by 3 to 1, but the Willie Newall era had begun with a great debut goal for the 18-year-old.

10 days later, Thistle played a fund raiser for the army at Firhill, the Glasgow Highlanders providing the opposition. “There were thrills, spills and lots of goals. The army team were often out-manoeuvred but their industry and altogether team work were commendable.” said the Record. Willie bagged a haul of four as Thistle ran riot in an 11-3 win. For the first time since 1894 (a 13-1 League win over Glasgow Thistle) three Jagsmen bagged a hat-trick in the same game, the others being Sammy Picken and one Willie Sharp, esquire, who was making his debut and setting his stall out early.

For some unexplained reason, Willie only played once in the next 10 weeks (a 1-0 defeat at home to Albion Rovers) but once he returned to action in the springtime, he picked up from where he left off, netting 7 goals in 9 Regional League West games, including his first competitive hat-trick in a 5-2 win at home to Killie in late April.

In total, Willie netted 9 hat-tricks as a Jag, a tally bettered only by 4 men; Sandy Hair (10), John Simpson (11), Willie Sharp (15) and Willie Paul (15). In 1941-42, he did the haul of four double over Dumbarton in the Southern League, the 7-2 away win in September being followed by a 4-3 home win in December. The 21-year-old was on fire that Christmas period, scoring another hat-trick in a 6-3 win at Hamilton the very next week! In January 1943, Wllie went one step further, netting FIVE in an 8-1 win at home to St Mirren. There were 3 further hat-tricks in 1943-44, all in the Southern League, delivering wins away to Hearts (3-2, 14th August), at home to Albion Rovers (4-0, 18th September) and at home to Third Lanark (6-1, 13th November).

From every angle, Willie was Thistle's top scorer in 3 consecutive seasons from 1941-42 onwards. His amazing tally of 36 competitive goals in season 1941-42 is second only to the club-record (49) set by Sandy Hair in season 1926-27. By his own prolific standards, the goals dried up somewhat by 1944-45 when he scored only 3 in 11 games. He was placed on the open to transfer list at this point, and had a short spell at Arbroath from April 1945, before Morton took him onboard in September, 1945. Willie had a loan spell at Stenhousemuir towards the end of that season, whereafter his playing career seems to have come to a sudden halt, despite him being only in his mid 20s at that point.


© 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.