James "Jimmy" Bowie

James "Jimmy" Bowie was another product of Partick, who first came to prominence at Queen's Park once more before in his case playing for and then becoming a director, indeed, Chairman of Rangers. He was born in 1888, the son of a Chandler/Oil Merchant cum Dry-Salter father, originally from Beith, his mother from Thornliebank. He himself would begin as a Draughtsman, becoming a Structural Engineer, training for the former perhaps explaining his start in the game. It was with Rockbank, a junior side from Langside in Glasgow's Southern Suburbs, was followed by a brief stay back in the city's north with Maryhill Juniors but then two years at Hampden in the south again.

However, once qualified, work, which he continued outwith football and moved him him around somewhat, did not interrupt the dozen years he spent on field at Ibrox as a slight but tough inside-forward cum half-back, capable of playing on both flanks. It was a period, including the hiatus of the War, in which he personally was to make over three hundred starts and The Gers were to take the League title six times with the only blot being the Scottish Cup. It was won not at all, the nearest opportunity being in 1921, a 1-0 defeat, a little ironically to Patrick Thistle. Jimmy was playing at left-half that day but off the field receiving treatment for an injury when The Jags' goal was scored and somewhat cruelly down the right. 

Meantime, in 1915 Bowie had married. His wife, also from Partick, was Jeanie Irvine ,with whom he was to have three children. He, personally, would also in 1920 win two caps, both at right-half but recognition had come late. He was already thirty-one and would retire at thirty-three, with at thirty-five a new role in the game, at club and more widely, emerging.

In 1925 Jimmy Bowie was invited to become a director. Just less than a decade later in 1934 he became Chairman, was to stay in position for eighteen years, at the end of which he, having been a member of the Scottish Football Association international selection committee and from 1939 President of the Scottish Football League, had become one of the most powerful figures in the Scottish game. That is until he crossed Bill Struth. In 1947 the Rangers' manager was at seventy-one well past retirement age but when Bowie had the temerity to suggest that it might be time it was he, a dozen years the junior, who shown the door. In fact not only did Struth continue in place for another seven seasons but, as Bowie stepped away, he also joined the Board. 

After Rangers James Bowie presumably concentrated on engineering until retirement. Certainly on his death in 1972 in Thornwood back by Partick to be survived by Jeanie by a single year he was described as just such. He was eighty-four, she eighty-one.

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