Pat Gallacher
Pat Gallacher
Pat Gallacher
● Pat Gallacher, 1904 (IG)

probably born in Scotland

Patrick Joseph Gallacher was born on Friday, 17th March, 1881, in Parkhead, Glasgow.

The 6' 0 (12st 4lbs) defender signed for George Easton's Thistle on Tuesday, 28th May, 1907, having most recently been with Luton Town.

Aged 26, he made his debut appearance on Thursday, 15th August, 1907, in a 4-0 friendly defeat at home to Clyde.

Pat scored his first goal for Thistle on Saturday, 21st September, 1907, in a 3-1 defeat away to Third Lanark in the Glasgow Cup.

He scored his second and final goal for the club on Saturday, 2nd November, 1907, in a 1-1 draw at home to Heart of Midlothian in the SFL First Division.

He played his last game for Thistle on Saturday, 2nd May, 1908, in a 3-2 defeat away to Celtic in the Glasgow Charity Cup, having appeared as a Jag on 31 occasions.

His club-list included Parkhead, Ashfield, Rockvale, Duntocher Hibernian, Tottenham Hotspur, Luton Town, Partick Thistle, Workington, Barrow and Ton Pentre.

Pat died on Sunday, 8th April, 1951, in Edmonton, London, aged 70.

Bio Extra

Son of William Gallacher (Iron worker) and Margaret Gallacher (née Cosgrove). Being born on St Patrick's day, we can imagine that William & Margaret had a rather easy choice to make when naming their new arrival in the wee small hours of that morning in 1881!

The blessed Patrick blossomed into a talented footballer, and was noted for being a committed and versatile player. He started out as a half-back, but was just as comfortable playing as a full back. He represented the Glasgow Junior League as a left half, but when playing at Ashfield and Duntocher Hibs he was mainly on the right wing! He played with Parkhead, Ashfield and Rockvale in his early days, but the demands of his shipbuilding foundry compelled him to give up football for about a year. He came back to it in 1902-03, settling at Duntocher Hibs, with whom he won the County Cup and two League championships. By 1904, Pat's play had attracted more than local notice, and offers were on the table from Hibs, Sunderland and Tottenham, the latter winning his favour in the end. At Spurs, he was played in many different positions (mainly in the reserves) and never got much of a look-in for the first team, an anticlimactic outcome for all parties concerned.

He then joined Luton Town of the Southern League in the close season of 1905, before landing back in Glasgow, with Thistle, in May, 1907. Pat played at centre half for the Jags during what was a down period for the club. 1907-08 was the last season at Meadowside (he played in the last-ever game at the ground) and, with no new home secured, the future was uncertain. 8 wins out of 34 in the League saw Thistle finish 14th in the 18 team League. A personal highlight for Pat came in November 1907, when his goal from a corner equalised matters against Hearts, earning a 1-1 draw on the day. For most of the season, he played in the half-back line alongside former Rangers & Scotland great, Neilly Gibson, 9 years his senior, from whom he's bound to have learned a great deal.

Pat was on Thistle's 'Open to Transfer' list for 1908-09 and didn't play that term. While homeless Thistle were fretting over their future, Pat was off on his personal adventures again, and his next footballing port-of-call was in the North West of England, landing with Lancashire Combination football outfit, Workington. He was acting as player/manager there in 1909-10. They were a club in financial trouble at that time, and Pat moved over to League rivals Barrow, where he settled for a number of seasons, and was team captain. As an interesting aside, Pat's brother, Arthur, played alongside him at Barrow! Surprisingly, Pat's next move was to South Wales, having been tempted to join Ton Pentre in 1914-15, where, again, he was handed the captaincy. Brilliantly, they became Welsh champions that term, and Pat became something of a local hero. It's there he would eventually finish his professional career some 9 years later, in his early 40s!

Pat's grandson, Ian, got in touch with some photographs and modest tales:

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When the Great War started, Patrick was 33, still playing football as a centre half. He joined the Army and was accepted into the 17th (Footballer’s) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. He was a volunteer. He told the family that he had to wear a French steel helmet because a British helmet was too uncomfortable for his head! Between battles, he played football. Being fit and a sprinter, he was company runner to the C.O. Colonel Fenwick and a moving target who could run like hell. This was just as well because the company runner had one of the highest casualty rates among the front-line troops.

He did not get many games to begin with because the cream of British Football was in the Battalion, he was the trainer. It was only later, when many of the players had died, that he got into the team. However, he did get to prepare the pitches for play. When he retired from football he returned to Tottenham, to be the groundsman at St. Ignatius College - the pitch next to White Hart Lane. He lived in Tottenham, in Trulock Road, with a view of the Spurs ground until his death in 1951.

Pat lived through some hard times but his was a life well-lived!

(WS/IG)



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