Willie Hewitt
Willie Hewitt
Willie Hewitt
● Willie Hewitt, 1950 (BDV)

born in Scotland

William Hewitt was born on Wednesday, 29th September, 1920, in Springburn, Glasgow.

The 5' 8 (11st 10lbs) midfielder signed for Donald Turner's Thistle on Monday, 6th May, 1946, having most recently been with Cadder Juveniles.

Aged 26, he made his debut appearance on Saturday, 16th November, 1946, in a 4-1 win at home to Celtic in the SFL First Division.

Willie scored his first goal for Thistle on Saturday, 2nd April, 1949, in a 3-1 win away to Falkirk in the SFL First Division.

He scored his second and final goal for the club on Wednesday, 9th January, 1952, in a 1-1 draw at home to Raith Rovers in the SFL First Division.

He played his last game for Thistle on Saturday, 16th February, 1952, in a 4-1 defeat at home to Aberdeen in the SFL First Division, having clocked up 141 appearances as a Jag.

His club-list included Cadder Juveniles, Partick Thistle and Linfield.

Willie died on Tuesday, 22nd December, 1998, in Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire, aged 78.

Bio Extra

The son of William Hewitt (coal miner) and Ann-Jane Hewitt (née Larimer).

Like Jimmy McGowan, Willie was a late starter in senior grade terms, but more than did himself justice when he finally got there. He had been playing at Cadder in the (sometimes misleading) juveniles grade before finally being snapped up, aged 25, as a professional. From thereon, he spent one season under Donald Turner and 5 seasons under David Meiklejohn.

If you want any evidence that Willie was a true Jag then you need only examine his first two games, both in the top-flight, newly re-started after a 7 year gap due to World War II. On 16th November 1946, Celtic were soundly beaten by 4 goals to 1 at Firhill, but the Jags themselves suffered a 5-1 thrashing at Easter Road the very next week! Before his first professional season was through, Willie was selected by the Scottish League for the trip to Belfast where they would meet their Irish counterparts. The remarkable match, played at Windsor Park on 30th April 1947, finished 7-4 to Scotland! Future Jag Torry Gillick (then a Ranger) got on the scoresheet for Scotland.

Willie plied his trade at right-half for Thistle and had a rare auld time of it, playing in front of huge crowds in the post-war boom-period, and in some of the best Partick Thistle teams ever to be seen. The Jags finished Top 6 in 4 of Willie's 6 seasons, including a new club-record high finish of 3rd place in 1947-48. There was great joy in the springtime of 1949 as Clyde, Rangers and Celtic were all defeated, and the Glasgow Charity Cup came to Firhill. No mean feat in such a strong footballing city.

Some 3 years after his first, Willie got a second call-up for the Scottish League in the springtime of 1950. 39,352 were at Ayresome Park on 22nd March 1950 to see the English League defeat the Scottish League by 3 goals to 1. Again, a future-Jag (of sorts!) scored for Scotland, George Young demonstrating his trademark sure-shot from the penalty spot.

Just 10 days later, Thistle and Willie had a great chance to add the Scottish Cup to their honours list, and 42,000 turned out for the semi-final at Ibrox. East Fife were our hoodoo team of the day and won by 2 goals to 1, making it 7 games without a win against them. Still to this day, there are Jagsmen of a certain vintage who openly weep whenever the subject is brought up. After a replay, Thistle added the Glasgow Cup to their collection in March 1950, beating Celtic by 3 goals to 2, although Willie played only in the first game, a 1-1 draw six months earlier! Hopefully he still got a medal.

Manager David Meiklejohn was a big fan of youth development and, almost inevitably, game-time was on the slide for 31-year-old Willie as 1951-52 unravelled. In April 1952, he was granted a free transfer as a thank you for his excellent service and, within a matter of weeks, had got himself fixed up with the highly succesful Linfield club of the era. The Belfast side had won many cups recently and hadn't been out of the top two for the last 4 seasons, but they crashed and burned in 1951-52, finishing 10th in the Irish League.

In his personal life, Willie married Jean Storrie in 1946 and thereby became stepfather to the 6-year-old Jim Storrie who found fame with Airdrieonians, Leeds United, Aberdeen and others, before managing St Johnstone in the second half of the 1970s. Step-fatherly influence we think! We know that Willie & Jean had at least one son together as young Billy, somewhat heroically, made the local paper in 1954. Read all about it in our 'Scrapbook' tab above.

Sadly Willie became a widower in 1978. He himself died 20 years later, and was laid to rest with Jean at the Auld Aisle cemetery in Kirkintilloch.

(WS/JK/SD)



© The Thistle Archive 2015-2023. All rights reserved. Third-party trademarks and content are the property of their respective owners, and subject to their own copyright terms and conditions. See the website links provided in each case.