James "Jimmy" Douglas

James "Jimmy" Douglas was born in Renfrew, the second son of a Spirit Dealer from Paisley, beginning his football career with the town club as a seventeen year-old forward, a right-winger. And his talent was evident from early-on. At nineteen he had an international trial and represented the Scotch Counties and Renfrewshire. At twenty in 1880 he won his first and only cap and at twenty-one he had already gone South. However, the move was slightly strange in that, whilst ostensibly it was as employed at home, a ship-yard worker, it was to play football for the relatively minor Rangers club in otherwise rugby-playing Barrow-in-Furness. 

However, he did not stay more than a couple of months before, perhaps at the suggestion of fellow, wandering Scot and previously international team-mate, Hugh McIntyre, he joined Blackburn Rovers, where he was "found" a job at a local Iron Foundry, and boarded at a pub in the town. He did so with another of the Scots the club had recruited, Fergus Suter, from Partick and he clearly took a shine to, Jane Ellison, one of the girls working n the tavern. Certainly he was to marry her in 1881 and they were to have two surviving boys and a daughter, who died in infancy. Suter was one of the wedding witnesses. The other was the wife of the landlord.  

Around Douglas, McIntyre and Suter the very successful Blackburn team of the mid-1880s was built. In the 1882 FA Cup Final it lost to Old Etonians, then from 1883 won a trio in a row, twice over Queens Park. It then in 1888 became a founder of the Football League, Jimmy now dropped back to right-half, in what was the last season when he was a first-team regular, although he did not officially retire until thirty-two in 1892. 

In that time he ran a pub in his adopted town but he would not stay. Before 1901 he had taken himself and the family back to Renfrew, there into the shipyards once more. And it was there he would at the age of sixty pass away, Jane outliving him by fifteen years with both buried in Arkleston Cemetery with one of their sons, William, who had died in 1911 in Shang'hai, China. 

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