Tom Atherton
Tom Atherton
Tom Atherton
● Tom Atherton, 1903 (BIC)

born in England

Thomas Henry Atherton was born on Wednesday, 8th January, 1879, in West Derby, Merseyside.

The forward signed for Thistle on Monday, 30th July, 1900, having most recently been with St Bernard's.

Aged 21, he made his debut appearance on Thursday, 16th August, 1900, in a 2-2 friendly draw away to Rangers.

Tom scored his first goal for Thistle on Saturday, 25th August, 1900, in a 5-2 defeat away to St Mirren in the SFL First Division.

He scored the last of his 8 goals on Saturday, 2nd March, 1901, in a 3-2 defeat at home to Clyde in the Western League.

He played his last game for the club on Tuesday, 14th May, 1901, in a 2-0 friendly defeat at home to Rangers, having appeared as a Jag on 41 occasions.

His club-list included Dundee Wanderers, Edinburgh Benburb, Hibernian, Dunfermline Athletic Juniors, Tottenham Hotspur, St Bernard's, Raith Rovers, Partick Thistle, Dundee, Grimsby Town, Brentford and Motherwell.

Tom died in 1954, in Exeter, Devon, aged 74 or 75. *

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Bio Extra

Tom was the son of Samuel Atherton and Ann Williams and was the older brother of famous Welsh internationalist Bobby Atherton (Hibs, Middlesbrough). He married Rachel Steedman Scott in Morningside in 1903 and they had three children together.

Tom was a talented winger who could play on either flank and in the summer of 1900 was brought to Meadowside from St Bernard's in readiness for the club's return to the top flight. It proved to be a very difficult season for Thistle who finished bottom of the eleven club league and were not re-elected come season's end. The club had spent good money on some players and were disappointed with the return, although Tom was one of the few to escape criticism. He did well personally, and put in quite a few 'man-of-the-match' performances registering 8 goals in 41 games all told.

There was a very positive note for Thistle early in mid February 1901. As one of the few good performers throughout the season, Tom was selected for the Scottish League’s match against the Irish League at Grosvenor Park, Belfast. Although the selectors’ choices were limited because the game was to be played on the same day as the Scottish Cup third round it was still an honour for the club to have a player represent his country. Scotland won 2-1 and, although he didn’t score, Tom was a favourite with the Belfast crowd with his tricks and speed. As a teenager, he had lived in Belfast for 5 years before moving to Edinburgh. Tom moved on to Dundee in the close season of 1901 and later returned down south.

(WS/NK/JK)



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