James Caldwell
James Caldwell
A. Player

probably born in Scotland

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

The forward signed for Thistle on Saturday, 26th November, 1898, having most recently been with Johnstone.

He made his first known appearance on Saturday, 3rd December, 1898, in an 8-3 defeat at home to Celtic in the SFL First Division.

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

He played his last known game for the club on Saturday, 7th January, 1899, in a 1-0 defeat at home to Heart of Midlothian in the SFL First Division, having appeared for the Thistle on at least 6 occasions.

His club-list included Abercorn, Johnstone, Partick Thistle and Kilbarchan.

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 β†’

Bio Extra

Ahead of a difficult league trip to Celtic this centre-forward joined Thistle in November 1898 from Johnstone, in response to the criticism of the forwards. Unfortunately, James took ill on the eve of his debut and was unable to play. Robert Currie was asked to lead the forward line in his absence but refused to change from his preferred half back role. George Allan was pressed into playing the forward pivot role but the whole team struggled to a 0-4 defeat.

James had arrived in the middle of a stormy season, marred by hostility between supporters and the committee and poor results. He was ready for the next game, but the club were frustrated that the fixture list paired them with Celtic for a second week. After the defeat at Celtic Park getting a decent crowd at Meadowside would be difficult. However, around 5000 did watch the match; Partick Thistle 3 Celtic 8. Conceding 8 at home was a new club-record in competitive action.

A week before Christmas Thistle fell to yet another home defeat - the seventh in seven games – against Third Lanark. Again the loss was blamed on the inability to score – β€œnot an effective shot in the team, lack of skill aggravated by timidity and carelessness.” Willie Paul levelled the game at 1-1 but Thirds finished the game leading 3-1. James, playing in his third game, was one of the few positives in the forward line.

Thistle had been unable to field a consistent team through the season. Only Auchencloss, Duncan, Gray, Kirkland and Caldwell could regard themselves as regulars in the last few league games of the season, and that inconsistency, coupled with the inability to score, had been the team’s downfall. With only six points, Thistle - second bottom - were relegated for the very first time, the club's fate being decided by the vote at the league's AGM.

The shell-shocked James disappeared from all reports after his traumatic short spell which only seemed to last a few months according to the teamlines. His final few games were played in the reserves in the springtime of 1899. By the start of 1900-01 he had stepped back to play with Kilbarchan in the Scottish Combination.


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