T. Burns
T. Burns
A. Player

probably born in Scotland

T. Burns (forename unknown) was probably born in Scotland, although his place and date of birth remain unknown to us. *

The goalkeeper joined Thistle in 1885.

He made his first known appearance on Saturday, 28th November, 1885, in a 2-2 friendly draw away to Heart of Midlothian.

Burns kept his first known clean-sheet on Friday, 1st January, 1886, in a 3-0 friendly win away to Everton.

He registered the last of his 6 known clean-sheets on Saturday, 21st January, 1888, in a 1-0 friendly win away to 3rd L.R.V..

He played his last known game for the club on Saturday, 2nd January, 1892, in a 3-1 friendly defeat away to Rangers, having appeared for the Thistle on at least 32 occasions.

His club-list included St Peter's, Partick Thistle and Western Hibernians.

We don't know where or when Burns 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

Made his debut in somewhat frantic circumstances as Thistle director Andrew Smith recalled in a 1904 interview, (see ptearlyyears.net external-link.png) and it seems the 2-2 draw must have felt like a win:

I remember we once had a match on in Edinburgh. Bobbie Brown was captain at the time. At the last moment Andrew Duff, the goalkeeper, disappointed us, and we had to hurry off to secure a substitute. We managed to get a hold of Burns, of the St Peter’s FC, whom we had to take away from his work. As we were speeding along the streets, carrying a pair of football boots, we found that we must take a cab, otherwise we would lose the train. As we entered the vehicle, the cabbie, mistaking me for an officer of the law, remarked, ‘What’s he done?’ at the same time pointing at Burns. ‘Nothing yet,’ I replied, ‘but we hope he will do something good when he goes to Edinburgh.’ He did, for he won the match for us against the Hearts.

Burns played several times in the forthcoming weeks, but made way when Duff returned in January. He lent his services on and off as and when required from thereon, seemingly never too far from the club's orbit. On 15th August 1887, Burns appeared at Inchview for Western Hibernians in a benefit match against Thistle, although it's possible he was drafted in especially for the occasion. At this time, Andrew Duff, a shipyard worker, had just left the club to take up a year-long contract at Southampton, and Thistle were without a 'keeper. At this point, Burns finally got his chance as Thistle's #1, and appeared in 23 of the 24 games from 27th August onwards. He would be permanently dislodged towards the end of the season by future-internationalist John McCorkindale.

McCorkindale, lured by the promise of national league football, "threw his lot in with the Clyde" in January 1892 and it seems once again (curator's punt) that the S.O.S. call went out to Burns, the long-term stand-in option, for the New Years match at Old Ibrox, lost 3-1 on 2nd January. Although the official history lists a "Burness" for that game, "Burns" is quite clearly stated in both the Glasgow Herald and Glasgow Evening News. This proved to be his final appearance, with former Rangers 'keeper James Marshall getting the nod to take over for now.


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