James Brydson
James Brydson
James Brydson
● James Brydson, 1898 (GLV)

born in Scotland

James Milroy Brydson was born on Wednesday, 20th September, 1876, in Dalbeattie, Kircudbrightshire.

The forward signed for Thistle on Friday, 6th May, 1898, having most recently played with 6th G.R.V.

Aged 21, he made his first known appearance (as a trialist) on Wednesday, 4th May, 1898, in a 6-1 win at home to Rugby Rovers in a Benefit match.

That day, James achieved the rare feat of scoring a hat-trick on his debut!

He scored the last of his 4 known goals on Wednesday, 9th May, 1900, in a 2-1 win at home to Morton in the Western League.

He played his last known game for the club on Tuesday, 15th May, 1900, in a 3-2 friendly win at home to Galston, having appeared for the Thistle on at least 7 occasions.

His club-list included 6th GRV, Partick Thistle, Preston North End and Hamilton Academical.

James died on Monday, 23rd December, 1935, in Dalbeattie, Kircudbrightshire, aged 59.

Bio Extra

The son of George Brydson (bread van driver) and Margaret Brydson (née Montgomery), who were married in 1860. His middle name came from his grandmother, Isabella Milroy, the wife of George's father, Robert Brydson.

We know much more detail about James thanks to John Halliday who also, in 2023, dug deep in Edinburgh Library for our excellent photo: “My great grandfather was also James Brydson, a grocer in Palnackie, and the Brydsons had been in Buittle parish for generations (farmers/labourers/weavers/hawkers). I can trace them back to 1711. He was a second cousin of the footballing James.

James was a feisty, but popular, player, and especially well known in Dalbeattie & Lanarkshire. Speaking retrospectively in the Gallovidian (Vol 1 No 1 1899), James, a right sided forward, was described as a favourite both at Maidenholm and on the different enclosures in the south for the sportsmanslike manner in which he accepted defeat and in the gentlemanly way in which he inflicted it. He was said to have captained 6th Galloway Rifle Volunteers to a treble in 1896-97, consisting of the Southern Counties Cup, the Law Galloway Cup and the Stewartry Cup.

In May 1898, James made his Partick Thistle debut in an unusual fixture played against Rugby Rovers (yes, a team made up of rugby players) in aid of the Partick Nurses Jubilee Fund. Five trialists played that evening: John Buchan (Alloa Seafield), Willie Ferguson (Ashton), George Drummond (Alloa Seafield), James Brydson (6th GRV) & Houston (Copeland). Scoring on your debut is always a bit special, but a hat-trick on day one is something else. That evening, James became only the second player known to have done such a thing and to this day only 6 others have joined the elite club. As the Scottish Referee tells it, Jags were keen on a few of them, but hat-trick hero James was the only one who subsequently signed to terms.

If his debut was spectacular, then his start to season 1898-99 was equally so, but for very different reasons:

15.08.1898 Linthouse [a] L0-8 (Friendly)
17.08.1898 Celtic [h] L0-4 (Friendly)
03.09.1898 Hibernian [h] L1-4 (SFL First Division - game 3)

Dear oh dear! The writing was on the wall and before the season was out James was allowed to turn out for his old club. He played on loan at Hamilton Academical in 1899-00, and a brief spell was also arranged at Preston North End. He re-appeared at Meadowside for a final few games in May 1900, after which his deal at Hamilton became a permanent one.

The 26-year-old James was married on New Years Day 1903 in the United Free Church, Dalbeattie, to Elizabeth Hannah, a dressmaker. James’ profession is listed as a Granite Hewer (journeyman), which is not surprising given Dalbeattie’s major industry at the time. He was living in Bellahouston, Glasgow, according to the marriage certificate. Soon afterwards, James returned to Dalbeattie as a married man and played for the 6th Galloway Rifle Volunteers again but, in June 1906, he took the decision to emigrate to the U.S. as the Scottish Referee (4th June 1906) reported: “This week Jas. Brydson, the popular forward of the 6th G.R.V., Dalbeattie, leaves for America, and his loss will be deeply felt by the granite burgh combination. Brydson has been a consistent member of the club for many years - a judicious and heady player, and invariably a goalscorer. He left Dalbeattie and appeared for some seasons with Partick Thistle and Hamilton Academical, and on returning to his former home his experience in League football proved invaluable. The best wishes of a large circle of friends go with him.

James sailed for Boston, arriving on 17th June 1906, but had returned to Dalbeattie within a couple of years, his daughter, Agnes Hannah, being born there in 1910. Late in 1935, the 59-year-old James passed away in his hometown, where he was laid to rest at Dalbeattie Cemetery (see 'Gallery' tab above).


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