Willie Smith
Willie Smith
Willie Smith
● Willie Smith, 1956 (HA)

probably born in Scotland

William Ross Smith was born on Sunday, 9th October, 1932, in Armadale, West Lothian.

The 5' 10 (12st 7lbs) goalkeeper signed for David Meiklejohn's Thistle on Thursday, 2nd April, 1953, having most recently been with Linlithgow Rose.

Aged 21, he made his debut appearance on Saturday, 28th November, 1953, in a 2-1 defeat away to Celtic in the SFL First Division.

Willie kept his first clean-sheet on Saturday, 10th April, 1954, in a 4-0 win at home to Hamilton Academical in the SFL First Division.

He registered the last of his 16 clean-sheets on Saturday, 19th January, 1957, in a 3-0 win away to Raith Rovers in the SFL First Division.

He played his last game for the club on Saturday, 9th March, 1957, in a 2-1 win at home to Airdrieonians in the SFL First Division, having appeared as a Jag on 71 occasions.

His club-list included Winchburgh Albion, Linlithgow Rose, Partick Thistle, Queen of the South, Berwick Rangers, Eyemouth United and Bathgate Thistle.

Willie died on Saturday, 29th October, 2011, aged 79.

Bio Extra

The young Willie attended Armadale Public School then Lindsay High in Bathgate. Both schools chose him for their first elevens at an early age, and his fine play earned him the honour of keeping goal for the West Lothian County Schools team. He played juvenile grade with Winchburgh Albion, before switching to the juniors with Linlithgow Rose. From there, the 20-year-old signed terms with Meiklejohn's Thistle in April, 1953.

Willie spent 4 full seasons at Thistle from 1953-54 onwards, although he was merely back-up to Tommy Ledgerwood during the first two years and featured only occasionally in the first-team. In his final two seasons it was more a case of 50/50 between the two, and it was Willie who got himself on the British Paramount movie reel for our 3-1 Scottish Cup win over Brechin City on 18th February 1956. Immortalized on film! He was disappointed not to play in the 1956 League Cup final against Celtic, having played in 7 of the games which got us to that point. It was a tough call from the manager. Celtic won 3-0 in the replay after a scoreless draw.

After being "rewarded" with a free transfer in April 1957, Willie played two seasons with Queen of the South in the top-flight, before moving down a Division with Berwick Rangers in 1959-60, although he was not first-choice at Shielfield. He finished his playing days with Eyemouth United of the Eastern Scotland League and did well in his first season there, finishing 3rd.

(WS)



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