James Bryce
James Bryce
James Bryce
● James Bryce, c1896 (HA)

probably born in Scotland

James Bryce was probably born in Scotland, although his place and date of birth remain unknown to us. *

The midfielder signed for Thistle in November, 1894, having most recently been with Third Lanark.

He made his first known appearance on Saturday, 10th November, 1894, in a 5-3 defeat at home to Rangers in the Glasgow Cup.

James scored his first known goal for Thistle on Saturday, 2nd January, 1896, in a 3-0 friendly win away to Dundee.

He scored his second (and final known) goal for us on Saturday, 21st January, 1899, in a 4-3 win away to Clyde in the Glasgow League.

He played his last known game for the club on Saturday, 1st September, 1900, in a 4-0 friendly win away to King's Park, having appeared for the Thistle on at least 84 occasions.

His club-list included Third Lanark, Partick Thistle, St Bernard's and Abercorn.

We don't know where or when James died. *

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

Bio Extra

Bryce, then a Third Lanark reserve, answered the call when Thistle were in need of a right half in November 1894. Reporting after the 4-2 League win over Cowlairs (5th January 1895) the Scottish Referee noted that he continued to fill the position with credit to both himself and Cathkin. The Firhill executive were clearly in agreement and his stay was extended. There were 20 appearances before the season was over, a figure which more than quadrupled by the end of the century. After a two season gap, James, who had played at Inchview, returned to Thistle for a second spell in 1898-99. The club were now in the top-flight and had a new home ground, Meadowside.

His first goal on his return was a memorable one. It came on 21st January 1899 in a Glasgow League game at Shawfield. Although the pitch was poor the fans were entertained. Clyde had a 3-0 lead at half time, but the second half was all Thistle. The score was tied at 3-3 when a penalty was awarded to Thistle in the 90th minute. With their record on penalty kicks it seemed likely that the game would end tied, but James Bryce converted the kick to give Thistle a 4-3 win. “The collapse of the Clyde in the second half was as complete as it was sensational” reported the Athletic News.

James suffered the pain of relegation in 1898-99 and the joy of promotion in 1899-00 as the Second Division title was clinched. In this respect, it might be said he was a true Jag! After Thistle, he had relatively short spells at Third Lanark (again), St Bernard's and Abercorn. Not to be confused with the James Bryce (also a half-back) who played with Queen's Park from 1907 onwards.

(WS/JK/EY)



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