William "Willie" Paul

There were three William "Willie" Pauls, who played a prominent part in the football of the 1890s. One was in soccer, in New York and the wider American Cup. A second was as the one player to win a cap, whilst with the Paisley team, Dykebar. The year was 1891. And the third was Partick-born and, apart from that 1890-91 season when tempted away by Queen's Park, more less a Thistle stalwart. 

The Partick William Paul was born in the burgh in 1866, his father from Lesmahagow and a joiner, a trade Willie would also take up, and a mother from Lanark. 

And he would grow up entirely in the then independent town, at nineteen joining The Jags for five seasons, they just becoming the local team as Partick F.C. folded. And it was in that period that he became the club's first international, three times over, consecutively all against Wales, scoring five times, four of the goals in five to no reply in the 1890 fixture. Yet that was to be it as Scotland scrabbled to find a settled centre-forward, was for the first time regularly defeated by England until the emergence of Bob McColl in 1896 and Paul continued to feature for Thistle until 1899, including its election to the League's new Second Division when it was created in 1893 and promotion to the top-flight in 1896.

Meantime life outwith football continued for Willie. In 1895 he married Jane Thomson in Anderston. They were to have three children, two daughters and a son, with the family staying first in Anderston itself and then across the river in Govan, indeed just by Ibrox. And it was there in 1911 that he was to fall fatally ill, his passing somewhat curiously described as simply "natural causes". He was just forty-five years old, survived by Jeanie by twenty-three years, she dying in neighbouring Plantation in 1934 at the age of sixty-four. 

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