William "Willie" Summers

Willie Summers was a Hamilton-boy, although he never played for the town club, making his name with in Paisley with St. Mirren and in England with Bradford City, albeit in the lower divisions.

He was born in 1893 into a mining family, both parents from Wishaw, and before football was already down the pit, a reserved occupation during the Great War. It meant that from twenty-one in 1914 he had four seasons locally with Burnbank Athletic and did not start his senior career until the age of twenty-five, signed, a centre-half, a Scottish centre-half, for two seasons by Ardrieonians in the First Division.

However, with fifty-four starts he was clearly not commanding a regular First Team place and he spent 1920-21 at St. Bernard's outwith the League, transferred or on loan is not clear. That was before in 1921 St. Mirren from back in the League and Division One came in for him. At that point he was already almost twenty-eight and might not have been expected to have stayed long. He was also married with three children, two girls and a boy with another on the way, having in 1915, in Hamilton and still cutting coal wed Isabella Clelland. In fact he would stay at Love Street for six seasons, winning the Scottish Cup with them in 1926 and a cap in an away-victory over England, only moving on in 1927 because the club needed his transfer money. 

He went South to Bradford City. It was hardly a stellar move. He was already almost thirty-four, the club was then in the Third Division North but there may have been another motive. That year his and Isabella's youngest child, James, had died, aged six.  As it was Willie would spend only one season fewer at Bradford than he had at Paisley, making over one hundred and twenty league-starts at the former and seeing it into the Second Division to almost two hundred at the latter. And professionally on leaving the Yorkshire club just past his thirty-ninth birthday in late 1932 he still was able to play out the season at Newport County. Meanwhile, on a personal note Isabella had in 1929 and after a gap of eight years given birth to a further son, who they would also name James. 

On hanging up his boots Willie Summers went into the pub trade. He had the Barrack Tavern back in Bradford until the Second War before returning home, where he ran a bar in Hamilton. 

And it was in the home town that both he and Isabella would die within days of each other. Her passing would be on 17th February 1972 at the age of seventy-six in Clelland Hospital. His would be on 23rd in Hairmyles, aged seventy-eight, he listed as a Spirit Merchant (Retired). Both would be buried in Hamilton, at its West Cemetery alongside their James No. 1.

© Copyright. All rights reserved/Todos los derechos reservados.


Any use of material created by the SFHG for this web-site will be subject to an agreed donation or donations to an SFHG appeal/Cualquier uso del material creado por SFHG para este sitio web estará sujeto a una donación acordada o donaciones a una apelación de SFHG.

We need your consent to load the translations

We use a third-party service to translate the website content that may collect data about your activity. Please review the details in the privacy policy and accept the service to view the translations.