Willie (and Harry) Paul

The big not problem but difficulty with Willie Paul is that there are two of them, born a year apart, one in Partick, an early star of Partick Thistle, and the other in Paisley, a stalwart of the town's third club, Dykebar. This page is about the latter. 

William "Paisley" Paul was born in 1867 in Wester Crossflat on the east side of the town. And he would spend the whole of his life within a few hundred yards of his birth-place. His father , also William, was a well-to-do Nurseryman and Florist with market gardens there and at Greenlaw on the other side of the Glasgow Rd.. However, William Snr. would die in 1880 aged 54, leaving Agnes, his wife, with five children at home, Willie's elder brother, John, taking over the business and Willie himself, at thirteen, an apprentice in it and their two younger brothers, including Harry, aged eleven, still at school. 

However, a decade later, with the three youngest boys all still living with their mother, they were all clerks, Willie, aged twenty-three, at an Ironfounders and Harry, twenty-one, and Robert, eighteen, Commercial. By then Willie was also halfway through a ten year spell with Dykebar at full-back, whilst Harry was a centre-half. Indeed, with both having represented Renfrewshire, Willie had just or was about to win his first, indeed his only cap. And when Dykebar folded in 1895, as Harry married, the elder brother simply transferred allegiances - in football terms to Paisley Academicals for two more years, refereeing and on the SFA Committee as Secretary of the Renfrewshire FA, otherwise to bowls. He had won the Paisley Championship in 1895 and would be Secretary of the Renfrewshire Bowling Association for over thirty years, in that time also elected as President of the Scottish Bowling Association and becoming a member of the International Bowling Board. Furthermore he then combined bowls and his green-fingered, family origins also to become a published expert on turf and wider bowling-green up-keep.     

Meanwhile, he does not seem to have married. In 1911 and 1921, as in 1901, he was living with his elder sister, Annie, and a niece but as of 1911 had changed profession, now managing a laundry, in fact the Stonefield Laundry, which he did until his death, becoming, ever a man for committees, inter alia Chairman of the Scottish section of the National Federation of Launderers. His passing would be in 1932 in the local Alexandra Royal Infirmary and he is buried in Woodside Cemetery.

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