David Pearson
David Pearson
David Pearson
● David Pearson, 1900 (VIF)

born in Scotland

David Pearson was born on Monday, 9th October, 1876, in Partick, Glasgow.

The 5' 5½ forward signed for Thistle on Thursday, 8th July, 1897, having most recently been with Linthouse.

Aged 20, he made his first known appearance on Wednesday, 1st September, 1897, in a 5-1 friendly defeat at home to Rangers.

There were no known goals for David during his spell with Thistle.

He played his last known game for the club on Wednesday, 8th September, 1897, in a 1-0 friendly defeat at home to Celtic, having appeared for the Thistle on at least 3 occasions.

His club-list included Jordanhill Juniors, Linthouse, Partick Thistle, Morton, Vancouver Callies and Vancouver Celtic.

David died on Saturday, 6th July, 1912, in Vancouver, British Columbia, aged 35.

Bio Extra

The son of David Pearson (engine fitter) and Annabella Pearson (née Armstrong). At the time of the 1881 census he was living in Renfrew with his siblings Mary (9), James (6) and William (1). By 14, he had left school and was jobbing in a saw mill.

David, a right-sided forward, was a near ever-present for Linthouse in their Second Division campaign of 1896-97 in which Thistle (who finished champions) were rivals. Amazingly, he appeared SIX times against Thistle that season, so the committee at Inchview had plenty of knowledge of his capabilities; one of David's goals helped to knock the Jags out of the Glasgow Cup that October. Looking ahead to their first-ever top-flight campaign, the executive signed David to terms in the summer of 1897. David's first-team story at Thistle is quite extra-ordinary for a couple of main reasons. He only featured three times, but all three appearances were the inaugural three fixtures at the brand new Meadowside ground, where over 20,000 paid to see the action against Rangers, Hearts and Celtic, a huge rise on the season before, and one which encouraged the committee to press on with plans for a new grandstand at the south side of the ground.

Thistle found the going tough – but not impossibly so – in their first ever Top-Flight season. Since the advent of professionalism in 1893-94, Scotland’s top clubs had gone from strength to strength. Money went to money, and the gap between the likes of Rangers, Celtic, Hibs and Hearts and the rest was now really evident. Thistle would have no joy at all from any of these sides this season – with the exception of match day one, which was surely, one of thee most momentous occasions in all of Partick Thistle’s history. What a League starter we had been given; Heart of Midlothian were the visitors – and they were the current Scottish Champions! The Second Division flag (unveiled in the friendly match with Rangers the week before) was flying high above the new main stand, and Meadowside hosted a huge crowd for the second week in a row. These big gate receipts were very welcome – there was a new ground to pay for after all.

On 4th September 1897, in front of 7,000, Thistle prevailed in a famous battle of the Champions; Partick Thistle 3, Heart of Midlothian 2. A goal from Robert Gray and a brace from Willie Paul had the whole burgh ecstatic. Top-Flight Victory # 1 was secured on day one of our entry into the arena. With no goal-average system in place, Thistle fast-forwarded straight to the joint-top place in Scottish Football. The club held its own just fine in the first few months of the season, but David had soon fallen out of favour. A dispute over terms and bonuses was at the heart of the matter, something which would soon spread throughout a number of the players, affecting form and results. By the middle of November, David was back in the Second Division with Linthouse, where he would settle as an almost wholly ever-present for the next two and a half seasons.

David did get a taste of top-flight football again though, signing for Morton in May, 1900. He played at Cappielow for two seasons, featuring over 30 times in competitive action with a highly consistent goals tally of 2 in every 3 games. Morton held his registration papers for another 4 seasons, but his footballing activity from there isn't entirely clear. He was working as an engineer away from the football and living in Govan. The 31-year-old David, with his brother William (who was a carpenter) set sail for North America, original destination Tacoma, Washington, before crossing over to Canada. He would feature in the first-ever professional soccer match in Canada in 1910!

David played as a right winger for the Vancouver Callies, a team predominantly consisting of Scottish ex-pats, and named after their local businessman supporter, John Callister, who'd settled in the area after arriving from the Isle of Man in 1885. He and Con Jones, an Australian immigrant who'd arrived in 1903, were the two main men responsible for driving the early game forward in the region. Organised soccer was played in British Columbia as early as 1908, when the Pacific Coast Association Football League was formed. That league featured teams from Vancouver, Nanaimo, Victoria, Ladysmith, and Seattle, Washington. Two years later, Con Jones presided over a new (short-lived) professional League in 1910. The first-ever professional game in Canada was played between two Vancouver clubs, the Rovers and the Callies. It took place on the 25th March, 1910, at Recreation Park in Vancouver, beneath the awe-inspiring North Shore Mountains. However, the age old conflict of amateurism vs. professionalism delivered a still birth; these were the only two clubs to compete in the League, playing a 'series' of 4 games against each other!

David played in his usual right wing role in the aforementioned match, and was joined in that historic game by another former Jag, John Lyon, who played in the full back line of the Callies. Final score; Callies 3 Rovers 0 (see 'Scrapbook' tab for the match report). With the structure being unpredictable, it's likely that David played with a number of differently named teams in the area, with many of the same players crossing over fluidly. We know (see 'Gallery' tab above) that he did play with Vancouver Celtic (sometimes styled 'Celtics') and, intriguingly, there was also a Vancouver Thistle kicking about!

Shockingly, David died as a result of an accident on 6 July 1912, aged just 35. He is buried at Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver. There is something in the Vancouver Sun newspaper but we don't have access to it at the time of writing.

(WS/JK)



© 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.