Tom Wilkie
Tom Wilkie
Tom Wilkie
● Tom Wilkie, 1897 (SJJP)

born in Scotland

Thomas Wilkie was born on Friday, 30th March, 1877, in Bridgeton, Glasgow.

The 5' 10 (12st 0lbs) goalkeeper signed for Thistle on Wednesday, 8th August, 1900, having most recently been with St Bernard's.

Aged 23, he made his debut appearance on Wednesday, 15th August, 1900, in a 3-3 draw away to Celtic in the SFL First Division.

Tom kept his first clean-sheet on Saturday, 15th September, 1900, in a 2-0 win at home to Normal Athletic in the Glasgow Cup.

He registered the last of his 19 clean-sheets on Saturday, 5th November, 1904, in a 1-0 win at home to Motherwell in the SFL First Division.

He played his last game for the club on Saturday, 6th May, 1905, in a 2-2 friendly draw away to Royal Albert, having appeared as a Jag on 91 occasions.

His club-list included Crown Athletic, Glasgow Perthshire, Strathclyde, Clyde, St Bernard's, Partick Thistle, Preston North End, Rangers and East Fife.

Tom died on Monday, 7th April, 1913, in Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire, aged 36.

Bio Extra

Son of Gavin Wilkie (Carting Contractor) and Mary Wilkie (nÊe Auld) who married in 1864 at Shotts. At the 1881 census, the family was still based at Thomas's place of birth, 128 Boden Street in Bridgeton. At that time, Dad was 41, Mum 45. Thomas (4) was the youngest, and lived with his two elder brothers and one elder sister; Ebenezer (9), John (11) & Jane (13). Servant Maggie Ridell (16) also shared the house.

As a young teenager, he started in the juniors with Crown Athletic, before moving to Glasgow Perthshire for season 1895-96. The following season he had great success with the crack Strathclyde side of the day, winners of the Junior Cup and champions of the Glasgow League in Tom's only season. Per the excerpt below, a fascinating interview with Tom was published in the Weekly Record in 1903 which you can read over at PT Early Years external-link.png
mh-quote.png

Mr. Tom is the humorist of he Meadowside team, a right good-hearted fellow, and a favourite of the crowd. In early life his humour was revealed in the tricks he exhibited between the uprights, but League football taught him that what was applauded by the junior crowd was much too risky to continue in senior life, so he wisely settled to the more exacting etiquette of senior football.

His League & Cup double-winning season at Strathclyde got the attention of the senior scouts, and Tom played his first senior football with top-flight Clyde in 1897, before moving to League rivals St Bernard's at the turn of 1898. He represented the Scottish League against their Irish counterparts in February 1899 at Belfast. The victims of a 'homer' that day, Scotland got 5 goals chopped off, whilst 2 dodgy goals were awarded to Ireland, giving them a shallow 3-1 win! Tom hadn't played for several months when Thistle came calling in August 1900, and any thoughts of early retirement to concentrate on business were soon dispelled. He actually spent 5 seasons at Meadowside, broken with loan spells at Preston North End (April 1901) and Rangers (January 1902).

One of his most controversial games was played on 19th September, 1903, at Clune Park, a ground notorious for rowdy mobs in the home support when things were not going their way. Port Glasgow took the lead in the First Division encounter, but Thistle came from behind to win 2-1. Incensed at not being awarded a late penalty, the home support attacked several Thistle players, hitting Wilkie with a stone and kicking Gray. Again over at PT Early Years, the story has been quite brilliantly fictionalised in The Partick Thistle goalie and the Port Glasgow hooligans external-link.png

Tom did well to make over 90 appearances, competing as he was with our Scottish internationalist, Willie Howden for the keeper's jersey. After another break away from the game, he had one last hurrah with East Fife, joining the Methil men in 1907.

He lived at the aforementioned 128 Boden Street all of his days, and was married to Eliza Alston. He followed his father into the family business as a Carting Contractor, which was Victorianspeak for goods deliveries. Both of his parents were deceased when he himself died at the young age of 36. After a month-long struggle, 'Multiple Peripheral Neuritis Acute' was the official cause of his untimely demise. His brother, Ebenezeer (of 12 Limeside Avenue, Rutherglen), signed the death register entry.

(WS/JK)



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