James "Jimmy" Howieson

James "Jimmy" Howieson was a late-starter, not so much a reluctant footballer but almost an unsuspecting one, almost unbelievable in our football-mad country. Born in 1900 in Rutherglen, the son of a mother from Busby and an Edinburgh-born publican he started to train as a marine engineer but, as an "apprentice-engineer" joined the Royal Navy, there beginning to play at a more serious level. 

Post-War on shore-leave home he is said then to have played a few games for Port Glasgow Juniors, bought his release from the military, possibly joining the Merchant Marine, ploughing the Atlantic, but also local Rutherglen Glencairn.

And it was as an inside forward from Glencairn that very rapidly by Aidrieonians, joining from 1921 for the best part of three seasons. However, his disciplinary record was not good and he was moved on to St. Johnstone mid-table in the Second Division or rather a combination of the Perth side for league games and First Division St. Mirren in the Cup plus a loan-period at Dundee Utd. as it was promoted to the top-flight. 

Meantime back in Glasgow he, recorded as a Professional Footballer, had married Mary Thom, the couple had moved to Perth and there they would have two daughters. He had also secured a permanent move to Paisley, playing an important part and scoring in the club's winning in April of the 1926 Scottish Cup. However, enjoyment would not last long. Her second pregnancy proved fatal for Mary. Just weeks later, in May 1926, she died of eclampsia at just twenty-two.

God knows what state Jimmy was in at that moment but football can be both up-lifting and harsh. In February 1927 Jimmy was selected for a first but ultimately only cap. Then at the end of the season in his prime at twenty-seven he was sold to Hull and went South, presumably with the girls cared for by family. But that was the start of what would be essentially a decade of wanderings. He stayed an initial season on the Humber, then in August 1928 took himself to America for another mostly at New Bedford Whalers, returned to Hull for a third and then left for Ireland and two more at Shelbourne, winning the league in 1931. 

However, with his father already dead and his mother passing away in February 1931, the two young Howieson girls must have meant a return to Scotland in 1932 and a what would a final two seasons at Clyde and, although there would be short periods at Alloa and then in Northern Ireland with Glenavon and Belfast Celtic, that would be it. Jimmy, aged thirty-five, following his father and with his brother into the drinks business, would return to Scotland permanently, running The Railway Tavern in The Gorbals.

He would also find a new life, meeting and in 1937 marrying his second wife, Elizabeth Waid, a hotel manageress from Strathaven. The weeding would be in the town, the couple would settle initially in Glasgow and then back in Rutherglen, having three children, a boy and two girls. And it would be from Rutherglen that Jimmy would make his last journey, dying in 1971 in the Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow, recorded finally as a Retired Tool setter, aged seventy. He would be survived by Elizabeth by almost a quarter of a century, she dying in Ruthetrglen in 1994.

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