John Christie
John Christie
John Christie
● John Christie, 1881 (JW)

born in Scotland

John Christie was born on Thursday, 4th August, 1859, in Linlithgow, West Lothian.

The forward guested for Thistle in 1884, whilst a Yoker player.

Aged 25, he made his only known appearance on Saturday, 20th December, 1884, in a 4-4 friendly draw away to Dundee Harp.

That day, John became a member of our scoring debutant's club.

His club-list included Rangers, Bolton Wanderers, Yoker and Partick Thistle.

John died on Monday, 21st February, 1927, in Pollokshields, Glasgow, aged 67.

Bio Extra

The son of John Christie (patternmaker) and Alison Christie (née Cumming). By 1871, John had one older brother (Alexander, 13) and one older sister (Alison, 15).

John, in his final months as a teenager, began playing in friendly fixtures with the Rangers in the springtime of 1879. He played as a forward at that time, and his first reported goals came on 18th October 1879 in a 10-0 friendly win at Arbroath! At least 7 first team friendlies are recorded for John that term, with 5 goals being registered to his name. His first known competitive game was noted on 18th December 1880 and he scored in a 3-0 win at Hurlford in the 5th Round of the Scottish Cup. John was featuring regularly again in 1881-82 and scored in the Scottish Cup for the second season in a row, namely in a 4-0 win over South Western at Kinning Park on Christmas Eve 1881. For the second season in a row there was disappointment as the club were eliminated by Dumbarton at the Quarter Final stage. However, John didn't stick around to see it - he was off to Bolton as the calendar turned into 1882. His Rangers teammates Hugh McIntyre, Peter Campbell and William Struthers had recently followed the same path, and it's likely that John was lured by one or the other, the promise of riches extolled.

John joined Bolton Wanderers at a time when the club and some of its Lancashire neighbours were involved in disputes with the Football Association over signing Scottish players as professionals. For this reason, it's possible that many of his early appearances for the club were played under a psuedonym. It was reported, however, that he had not been in Bolton long enough to qualify to play in a Lancashire Cup tie on 21st January 1882. 1882–83 was only the second season in which Bolton Wanderers were competing in senior competitive football action, and the club entered the FA Cup. By January 1883, they were knocked out in the third round by the Welsh club, Druids. John, fully out in the open, was a regular in the side, and featured in all of their 5 FA Cup matches that season, which included three strenuous battles with the aforementioned club. John may have seen friendly faces on Easter Monday (24 March 1883) when Third Lanark came visiting Bolton.

Several weeks later, John rejoined Rangers for a second spell and featured in two end-of-season Glasgow Charity Cup ties; a 3-2 win over Vale of Leven at First Hampden and a 4-1 defeat to Queen's Park in the final at the same ground. An excellent attendance of 7,500 was there to see it. The Bolton Evening News (Saturday 7 July 1883) reported that rumours that the footballer had drowned in the Clyde in a shipping accident were incorrect and that the fatality was actually a James Christie. The newspaper confirmed that the footballer was John Christie who lived at 227 Berkley Street, Dumbarton Road, Glasgow. The newspaper also referred to John Christie as “formerly one of the Wanderers’ forwards”.

Alive and well, John settled down for what was his 5th season at Rangers, and it began well on 31st July 1883 as he scored in a 4-2 friendly win over the old nemesis, Dumbarton FC, at Kinning Park. Surprisingly, this proved to be a false dawn as rebirths go, with John only making a handful of appearances during the season. His last game for Rangers on 19th January 1884 was a big one though. 7,500 were at Millburn Park for the Scottish Cup Semi Final; Vale of Leven 3 Rangers 0. Two months later, John was back again at Bolton; on 15th March 1884 he turned out to play for Wanderers against Rangers, some 5,000 enjoying the 1-1 draw at Pike's Lane. John played other matches until the end of the season, but does not appear to have stayed on for 1884-85.

Tayavalla were the first football club of the village of Camelon, and when they eliminated Stenhousemuir in the opening round of the 1884-85 Scottish Cup hopes were high they could give Yoker a good game in the second round. On the 4th October 1884 the club travelled down to Glasgow. Unbeknownst to Tayavalla, Yoker conscripted a 'crack player' for the occasion who apparently played for one of the leading Glasgow clubs. Reporting anecdotally in 1928, the Falkirk Herald wrote that the player in question netted ALL of the goals in the subsequent 17-0 annihilation! Thanks to our detective instinct, we've cracked this player's I.D. as John Christie. The third round draw was not kind to Yoker for their next tie, 3 weeks later. John featured again, but could not get anywhere near the heroic levels of round two; Vale of Leven 4 Yoker 1.

Now, and this is a big if, IF it was the case that he did indeed score all 17 of the goals, then John Christie would hold a much-coveted Guinness world record of 17 goals in one first class match! Jocky Petrie of Arbroath currently holds the verified record for the most goals ever scored in a senior British football, notching 13 in their infamous 36-0 Scottish Cup win over Bon Accord in September, 1885. On 11 April 2001, Jock's tally was matched internationally by Australia's Archie Thompson who scored 13 goals in a 31–0 win over American Samoa in a World Cup qualifier.

In May 2016, Pelileo SC Beat Indi Native 44-1 In Ecuadorian Third Division Match. According to national newspaper El Telegrafo, Pelileo striker Ronny Medina scored no fewer than 18 goals over the course of the game, watched by 200 spectators. A Guinness World Record spokeswoman said that while Pelileo's result was “an amazing achievement”, it would not be ratified. The spokeswoman said: “For records directly involving performance in sports, we must only accept those which occur at a top-level professional, international, or pre-eminent amateur (i.e. Olympics). So unfortunately we won't be able to ratify the result as a Guinness World Record.

In mid-December 1884, John accepted an invitation to travel with Partick Thistle for a friendly match against Harp in Dundee - and he scored in his one and only game for the club! 7,000 spectators turned out to watch a fine match, ending 4-4, with goals from Tom Maley, John Christie and Bob Robertson. Tom Maley’s excellent forward play was particularly remarked on by the local papers. The game ended in dispute, Thistle claiming a fifth goal, Harp countering that the effort had gone over the bar, and the referee unable to decide. The game was held up for more than five minutes as heated discussions went on until Thistle backed down.

If that was a trial game then it didn't work out, as John stayed on at Yoker. The Lennox Herald carries his name in their forward lines from January 1885 through to November 1886. The issue of 10 January 1885 carries a report of their New Years Day fixture at Airdrie: “Yoker v Airdrieonians. This New Year's Day fixture came off on the Airdrie Cricket Ground and resulted in a win for the Airdrieonians by six goals to two. For the Yoker, Christie (Bolton Wanderers, late of the Rangers) showed good play.

In his personal life, John began his working life as a patternmaker like his father and came to specialise in marine engines. He married a West Kilbride lass, Elizabeth McMillan, and by the time of the 1901 census they had three children together; John (9), Alexander (7) and Mary (5). John died at his home in Paisley Road West aged 67 and was laid to rest at Craigton Cemetery on Thursday, 24th February, 1927. He took to his grave a great secret, and we'd like to think that he is indeed the true holder of the Guinness World Record for most goals in a first class match!

(WS/JK/JW/NK/DG/AMC)



© 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.