Bill McCrindle
Bill McCrindle
Bill McCrindle
● Bill McCrindle, c1937 (HA)

probably born in Scotland

William Davidson McCrindle was born on Thursday, 20th May, 1915, in Hurlford, East Ayrshire.

The forward signed for Donald Turner's Thistle on Tuesday, 3rd November, 1936, having most recently been with Clydebank Juniors.

Aged 21, he made his debut appearance on Saturday, 6th February, 1937, in a 6-1 win at home to Albion Rovers in the SFL First Division.

Bill scored his first two goals for Thistle on Saturday, 27th August, 1938, in a 3-1 win at home to Heart of Midlothian in the SFL First Division.

He scored the last of his 14 goals on Wednesday, 24th April, 1940, in a 5-2 win at home to Kilmarnock in the Regional League, Western Division.

That turned out to be his last game for the club, having appeared as a Jag on 34 occasions.

His club-list included Clydebank Juniors and Partick Thistle.

Bill died on Friday, 14th March, 1941, at Knightswood, Glasgow, aged 25.

Bio Extra

Inside forward Bill McCrindle joined Thistle from Clydebank Juniors in early November 1936. During seasons 1936-37 to 1939-40, Bill made many appearances in the Jags’ reserve side, and was a regular scorer. He didn’t make many senior appearances in 1938-39 and 1939-40, but did play more often the following season, when he had more than 20 outings at senior level. He interspersed his first team matches with reserve team appearances. His first senior outing was against Albion Rovers on 6 February 1937 at Firhill. Thistle won the Scottish Football League match 6-1. His next appearance was in a creditable 1-1 draw away to Celtic on 27 March 1937. He went on to make more than 30 first team starts during his Thistle career. In a Scottish Reserve League contest against Raith Rovers at Firhill on 20 August 1938 Bill scored a hat trick in a 6-1 victory. Bill appeared for the senior team a week later and scored twice in Thistle’s 3-1 victory over Hearts at Firhill. The crowd was 20,000. Peter McKennan and Alex McSpadyen were in the team, so he was in very good company. The headline in a contemporary Glasgow Herald press report read “McCrindle’s staggering blow to Hearts”. Bill had a run in the first team for 1938-39, making around a score of appearances during the season. 1939-40 saw the outbreak of war and, early in September 1939, the SFA suspended all football, with SFL league matches played declared void. Regional leagues were formed the following month, and cup ties (including reserve cup ties) were played. The Reserve League was suspended for the whole period of the war.

Bill lived in Livingstone Street, Clydebank, and was a part time fireman. On the night of 13 March 1941, the Heinkel HE111 bombers of the specialist pathfinder force Kampfgruppe 100 crossed the North Sea, then made their way to Loch Lomond. On what was a clear moonlight night, they followed the silver ribbon of the River Leven at the south of the Loch, past Alexandria down to the junction of the river with the Clyde at Dumbarton. Turning east, they made their way up the Clyde to Clydebank, where on this night the targets were the Singer factory (making munitions), the Royal Ordinance Factory at Dalmuir, and the John Brown shipyard. Rothesay Dock and the William Beardmore’s site were also targets. The KG100 bombers dropped incendiary bombs on the targets. The River Clyde and the Forth and Clyde Canal (close to where Bill lived) were known landmarks for the German bombers, with industrial sites nearby. The proximity of domestic housing close to the targets meant that when the main bomber force arrived, civilian casualties were high. The following night the bombers returned. This time the civilian houses and population were the targets. Although initial fatalities were given as over 500, the actual total for the raids was closer to 1,200, a significantly higher total. Bill’s house was destroyed, and he was injured. He was taken to Blawarthill hospital in Knightswood, where he succumbed to his injuries on 14 March 1941. The 500 total was always disputed by locals. In 2009 West Dunbartonshire Council commissioned research to identify those killed, and in March 2009 bronze panels with the names of the victims (including Bill) were added to the memorial in Old Dalnottar Cemetery.


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