Alf Gittins
Alf Gittins
Alf Gittins
● Alf Gittins, c1913 (LLF)

born in England

Alfred Gittins was born on Sunday, 22nd February, 1885, in Manchester.

The forward signed for George Easton's Thistle on Wednesday, 5th June, 1912, having most recently been with Portsmouth.

Aged 27, he made his debut appearance on Saturday, 12th October, 1912, in a 3-1 defeat away to Morton in the SFL First Division.

Alf scored his first goal for Thistle on Saturday, 19th October, 1912, in a 2-0 win at home to Dundee in the SFL First Division.

He scored the last of his 5 goals on Wednesday, 1st January, 1913, in a 3-1 win at home to Third Lanark in the SFL First Division.

He played his last game for the club on Saturday, 4th April, 1914, in a 1-1 draw away to Nithsdale Wanderers in a Benefit match, having appeared as a Jag on 39 occasions.

His club-list included Adlington, Bolton Wanderers, Blackpool, Atherton Church House, Luton Town, Queens Park Rangers, Aston Villa, Croydon Common, Brighton & Hove Albion, Fulham, Portsmouth, Accrington Stanley, Barrow, Partick Thistle, Dumbarton, Clydebank FC, Johnstone, Vale of Leven, King's Park, Clackmannan, Stenhousemuir and Dunkeld & Birnam.

Alf died on Sunday, 24th January, 1960, in Blackpool, Lancashire, aged 74.

Bio Extra

Alf was 27 when he became a Thistle player in June 1912. Predominantly at inside-left, he played 39 games for the Jags, scoring on 5 occasions. In 1912-13 he made 23 appearances, and in 1913-14 he played in 16 games. His final run out in a Thistle team was in a benefit game in April 1914. Included in Alf’s total are 2 games in the short lived Glasgow and District Mid-Week League, played during the 1912-13 season. The league had been mooted to allow shopkeepers to get to midweek games (usually on a Wednesday), as Saturday was a prime trading day. Thistle played 4 games in the 7 team league, with clubs from the Glasgow and Central Belt area taking part. The Old Firm weren’t part of this league. It was never completed, with Third Lanark being the only team to play all 6 games.

Alf also played for the International XI in Alex Raisbeck’s benefit game in January 1914. He wasn’t in the International team’s starting XI, but replaced Hamilton Accademicals’ Bobby McNeil in the first half.

Born in Manchester in 1885 Alf started his footballing career at Addlington in 1902, with his spells at Luton Town and Queens Park Rangers being the highlight of his early career. He played on 31 occasions for Luton Town, scoring 8 goals. In 1907-08 season he moved to QPR, and he won a Southern League Championship medal, with Alf being the club’s joint top scorer that season. He played in the very first Charity Shield, the competition having been inaugurated that season, when QPR played Manchester United, the Football League winners. The game at Stamford Bridge ended 1-1. At the suggestion of Arthur Kinnaird (11th Lord Kinnaird) the game was replayed at the same venue in August 1908, with Manchester United running out 4-0 winners.

Alf only played only 6 games the following season, scoring 1 goal, and moved on to Aston Villa. He made 30 appearances for London club Croydon Common in the 1909-10 season scoring 7 times. After games for other clubs in subsequent years, Alf came north to Thistle. Alf spent the years of the First World War with Dumbarton and other clubs, finally ending his career with Dunkeld and Birnam in 1923. He played in the Jags 11-1 Scottish cup win at Firhill when he turned out for Dunkeld and Birnam. The Jags won 11-1, with Sandy Hair scoring 6, and Bobby Grove scoring 2. The game was played in January 1924, so Alf was just short of his 39th birthday!


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