Willie Thomson

William "Willie" Thomson, in fact "wee Willie Thomson" as he was small man even for those days, was something of a late developer, certainly by the standards of the time. Having joined the club at twenty he only really won a place in Dumbarton's First eleven at the age of twenty-four but from them things moved rapidly. In part that may have been because he was not born in Dumbarton but then he was there and another living in the tenements at the top end of the High St. from his early teens so his formation years in the game were in the town. However, once he found his place in the top flight his career developed rapidly.

Willie was born in Wester Ardoch, west of Dumbarton, his father a gardener from Fife working at a country house, possibly the gardens that were once there . His mother was from Lanarkshire. But the family was to move into the town by 1881, his father now a jobbing gardener, which was the same trade William Jnr. also went into at first. But, with him being a regular in the home-town team at inside-right that would take outright the 1892 Scottish League and also awarded a first cap, other teams began to take an interest and in the summer of 1893 he was persuaded to sign professionally by Aston Villa. In fact he floundered there, making, no impact, after three months left to join Newton Heath, the nascent Manchester United, made only three appearances there as it was relegated and returned North.  

Back at Dumbarton, however, on re-joining he switched to centre-half, Scottish, attacking centre-half, and found new impetus. Even after Dumbarton was relegated and dropped of the League he won two more caps as replacement for the great Neilly Gibson at wing-half. That brought him the late offer again of top-flight football with Clyde, where he spent three seasons, only retiring at thirty-three/four in 1901. Meantime he had and would never marry and live, even whilst at Clyde, at the family home on Dumbarton High St. eventually with just his mother and younger brother, James. However, he did after football change profession. He became a boilermakers' labourer at the Denny yard and perhaps elsewhere and seems to have remained in engineering as far as he can be tracked. In 1921 he is still at home. His mother died there in 1927, his brother to die from there in 1939, signed off not by William but a brother-in-law. Indeed  of William there is not a trace; no events, not even death in Scotland or England with only perhaps the merest hint that between football and engineering he might have crossed the Atlantic and do so again later on. But it is nothing substantive. From some point after 1921, so in his mid-fifties, for now William Thomson, former Scotland footballer, a man of whom we do not even have a picture seems simply to disappear.      

Birth Locator:

1868 - Wester Ardoch, Cardross, Dunbartonshire


Residence Locations:

1871 - Mardenbank Lodge, Cardross, Dunbartonshire

1881 - 168, High St., Dumbarton

1891 - 168, High St., Dumbarton

1901 - 168, High St., Dumbarton

1911 - 152, High St., Dumbarton

1921 - 168, High St., Dumbarton


Death Locator:



Grave Locator:



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