William McCombie
William McCombie
A. Player

probably born in Scotland

William McCombie was born on Saturday, 26th September, 1868, in Anderston, Glasgow.

The forward joined Thistle in August 1891, having most recently been with Glasgow Wanderers.

Aged 22, he made his first known appearance on Saturday, 29th August, 1891, in a 6-5 friendly defeat away to Queen's Park.

That day, William became a member of our scoring debutant's club.

He scored his second (and final known) goal for us on Saturday, 3rd October, 1891, in a 5-0 win at home to Cathcart in the Glasgow Cup.

He played his last known game for the club on Saturday, 10th October, 1891, in a 3-0 defeat at home to Celtic in the Glasgow Cup, having appeared for the Thistle on at least 7 occasions.

His club-list included Shettleston, Elswick Rangers, Newcastle West End, Carlton, Glasgow Wanderers, Partick Thistle, Northwich Victoria and Stockport County.

We don't know where or when William 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

The son of William McCombie and Jane McCombie (née Paterson). Sadly, their first-born William had died in 1867, before his first birthday. At the time of the 1891 census William had four brothers in the household; James (20), George (18), Robert (15) and John (12).

William, an iron turner by day, was playing in the juniors with Shettleston in his late teens, and most probably on account of work, relocated to Newcastle (along with team mate John McCrimmond) in the autumn of 1888, where he played with Elswick Rangers for several months before joining Newcastle West End. William was back in Scotland at some stage during 1889-90, and played with Greenock outfit, Carlton, in their Greenock Charity Cup games that spring. William settled at Glasgow Wanderers for more than a season, before signing for Partick Thistle just as their first-ever League campaign (in the Scottish Alliance) was getting underway in August 1891. William mainly played at inside left for Thistle and, although his stay at Inchview was a brief one, he saw a lot of action in two months!

The 22-year-old made his debut in a friendly, and it turned out to be a rather special one. In the world of the ardent Partick Thistle supporter, the first penalty seen was on 29th August, 1891, at the second Hampden Park i.e. the ground which went on to be known as Cathkin Park and currently lies eerily in a semi-conscious state southside. The game in question was the much-anticipated season-opener for the Spiders, and the Jags, playing their 4th game already, caught them cold. Watty Keay gave Thistle the lead after just 7 minutes, but soon after that, the first penalty kick in a Partick Thistle match was awarded, referee R. H. Harrison (Ayrshire) ratifying the Queen's Park claims for hand ball. As the Scottish Referee obliquely put it, “Hamilton, through a violation of rule 13, had an easy chance of opening the scoring for the Queens”. In the first 12-yard battle of skill, wit and nerve, it was future internationalist (centre-forward) James Hamilton versus current internationalist (goalkeeper) John McCorkindale. Our boy prevailed, and he made history as the first Thistle 'keeper to save a penalty! It turned out to be a sensational match actually; Thistle raced into a mind-boggling 4-0 lead after just 30 minutes (3 scorers unknown), only to lose six without reply in the next 50 minutes of action. William gave Thistle hope by pulling one back on 85 minutes, but our first win against the mighty QP proper would have to wait a little longer yet. Final score:- Queen's Park 6, Partick Thistle, 5. This remains the joint club-record for most goals scored in a defeat!

As fate would have it, William's next game saw him return to Eglington Park, and Thistle narrowly defeated Glasgow Wanderers by 2 goals to 1 in the 1st preliminary round of the Scottish Cup. This joy was short-lived as Thistle fell by 3 goals to nil at home to Hurlford in the next round, just three weeks later. William scored again early in October as Cathcart were soundly beaten by 5 goals to nil in the first round of the Glasgow Cup. Controversy surrounded the second round match a week later, as Thistle hosted Celtic at Inchview for the first time, a huge 5,000 crowd in attendance. With the tie finely poised at 1-0 to Celtic, William scored what was considered by the Partick Thistle officials to be a perfectly good equaliser, but the referee, Mr. Miller, ruled otherwise on the account of the offside rule. Immediately after, Johnny Campbell put Celtic two nil up with a hotly disputed goal which was offside according to all sympathetic to the Thistle cause! 3-0 was the final scoreline and it was disappointment for William in his 7th and final game as a Jag.

Post-Thistle, William guested for his old mates at Glasgow Wanderers one last time before venturing south for English football once more, playing with Northwich Victoria in the inaugural Football League Division Two in 1892-93. From there, he spent two seasons with Stockport County in the Combination League (1893-94) and the Lancashire League (1894-95).

(WS/JK/PJO)



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