Tom Crichton
Tom Crichton
Tom Crichton
● Tom Crichton, 1923 (DCT)

born in Scotland

Thomas Crichton was born on Wednesday, 28th June, 1893, in Sanquhar, Dumfries and Galloway.

The 5' 11 (12st 0lbs) defender signed for George Easton's Thistle on Saturday, 25th January, 1919, having most recently been with Nithsdale Wanderers.

Aged 25, he made his debut appearance on Saturday, 22nd February, 1919, in a 2-1 defeat away to Celtic in the Scottish Football League.

There were no goals for Tom during his time with Thistle.

He played his last game for the club on Saturday, 3rd October, 1925, in a 2-1 defeat away to Queen's Park in the SFL First Division, having clocked up an impressive 236 appearances as a Jag.

His club-list included Nithsdale Wanderers and Partick Thistle.

Tom died on Saturday, 15th August, 1936, in Sanquhar, Dumfries and Galloway, aged 43.

Bio Extra

A manager's dream, this big Sanquhar-born laddie, a model of consistency, was able to play with both feet, and could be relied upon anywhere across defensive or midfield lines. Tom started out with Nithsdale Wanderers and played Army football during the First World War, joining George Easton's Jags in the new year of 1919, as soon as he was clear of national duty. Making his debut alongside Kenny Campbell in goals in February, he was straight in at the deep end at Celtic Park, tasked with taming the super-prolific Jimmy McColl, who, as fate would have it, became a team-mate a few years later. In his first year, Tom was utilised at right half, centre half and left half, and, in April, 1920, he filled in for several games at right back to help the team out. Soon, a partnership developed alongside the team captain, Willie Bulloch, so much so that β€œCampbell, Bulloch, Crichton” became the backline of choice in the classic season of 1920-21.

Ever the team player, Tom stepped up to the half back line when required, and covered for Willie Hamilton in the first two games of the cup campaign against Hibs. He turned out at right back in 8 of the other games, missing only the Quarter Final decider against Motherwell. He came in for praise throughout: β€œthe defender stood out well in the more experienced Partick side” (vs. East Stirlingshire), β€œno one did better than Crichton in foiling the Motherwell attack at critical times” (the Motherwell replay), β€œIt was naturally expected that the Hearts would come up smiling when they got the wind behind them, but there was nothing doing, thanks to the very fine defensive work of the Thistle. Both Crichton and Bulloch were very safe” (the first Hearts game), β€œCrichton, played a wonderful game against the ubiquitous Morton” & β€œWillie Bulloch was a noble captain, Tom Crichton a worthy lieutenant” (both comments re the final).

As if acknowledging the fact that he'd been a late starter through no fault of his own, the 30-year-old Tom was afforded a benefit match in late April, 1924, 4,000 watching Thistle defeat Liverpool, the English champions of 1923. The Daily Record was somewhat critical of the turnout, opining that such a low turnout was not befitting for such a fine fellow. Tragedy struck in a League game against Queen's Park in October, 1925, as reported in the Sunday Post: β€œMidway through the first half Tom Crichton, the stalwart right back, collided with Barr, the Queen's centre, and sustained a compound fracture of his left leg. The game was delayed for a time while doctors and ambulance men applied splints and dressings. The sight was too much for some spectators of both sexes, and more ambulance men were requisitioned to deal with quite a number of fainting cases.” Everyone's very worst fears were realised and Tom never played again, 236 appearances on from his debut, 6 years earlier.

Later in the same season, Tom became one of the select few to have received a second benefit game. The noble Queen's Parkers sent five men (four of whom had played in the horror game), and together with six Jagsmen the hybrid eleven faced a Glasgow Select which included Andy Cunningham of Rangers from the '21 final. This time, the Thistle fans turned out in force, around 10,000 of them providing a tangible benefit of some Β£500 for the player. He was a south country lad, but Tom had become a firm Thistle supporter. Not only did he continue to attend the games as a fan, he also did his bit as a talent scout. Sadly, Tom died in 1936, aged 43, leaving a widow, Janet. He's laid to rest at the Sanquhar Churchyard.

On account of his service during WWI, Tom is included in our feature piece, The Partick Thistle returned β†’.


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