William Stirling
William Stirling
see also: William Stirling (match official) →
William Stirling
● William Stirling, 1889 (HA)

probably born in Scotland

William Stirling was born on Saturday, 19th March, 1859, in Partick, Glasgow.

The midfielder probably joined Thistle in 1882.

Aged 23, he made his first known appearance on Saturday, 14th October, 1882, in a 4-3 friendly defeat away to Beith.

There were no known goals for William during his spell with Thistle.

He played his last known game for the club on Saturday, 19th May, 1883, in a 2-0 friendly win at home to Partick, having appeared for the Thistle on at least 4 occasions.

His known club-list included only Partick Thistle.

William died on Thursday, 17th November, 1904, in Partick, Glasgow, aged 45.

Bio Extra

The son of William Ure Stirling (journeyman joiner) and Catherine Stirling (née Anderson).

William may only have been a fringe player in terms of the first eleven, but his leadership qualities were such that, in his day, he was captain of the Second Eleven, or the Partick Thistle Swifts as they were known. He notably made 4 appearances for the first team in season 1882-83 – and had some tales to tell. It wasn’t entirely uncommon for outfield players to take a turn in goals if required, and William did this on two occasions. His second such stint was actually in the Scottish Cup in a 3-3 draw at home to Cambuslang in October 1882. As a result of one of the SFA’s quirkier 19th Century rulings, both sides progressed since it was the second time the tie had been drawn!

The versatile William had two further successes in the springtime, playing at full back in a 2-0 home victory over Rangers in April, and then turning out at half-back in a 2-0 derby victory at home to Partick a month later. That was a momentous day as it was our last-ever game at Jordanvale. Our man went on to serve as a committee member throughout the latter half of the 1880s in various capacities including Vice-President and Honorary Secretary.

William followed in his father's footsteps as a joiner, his stated occupation in the census records until 1901. His Mum, Catherine, passed away in 1899 in Partick. Latterly, William, a bachelor, was employed as assistant registrar of births. It could be we've seen his signature in the entries of some of our Jagsmen. Somewhat ironically, William's death register entry was misfiled, but the staff at Scotland's People were good enough to retrieve it on our behalf. We'd like to think William would have found this tale rather hilarious more than a century later!

As we first learned from the Glasgow Herald, William died at 136 Byres Road, Partick on the 17th November, 1904, aged 45. The Scottish Referee marked the passing with a lovely tribute:


For the first time since New Hampden opened, the club's colours hang at half-mast. It was a singular co-incidence that both Queen's and Thistle should mourn the loss on the same day of able and popular officials.

Queen's paid respect to the memory of ex-President Tom Laurie, one of the ablest who ever filled the position, and Thistle to ex-Treasurer and ex-Vice-President, W. Stirling, a genuine "Thistleonian" and much respected.

Although Queen's Park's original colours were dark blue, and latterly black and white, they appeared in "all white" on Saturday, so as to distinguish themselves more clearly from the "black and gold" of the Thistle.


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