Friday, 1 March 2013
The only picture I have of Thomas Turnbull [after he had retired with the Grahamston Bowling Club football team]
A very young Thomas Turnbull turned out for the club to fill the gap at right-back which had been causing the club problems since the departure of Jock Drummond to Rangers in 1891/92, and seemed to fit the bill. A promising back with local juvenile side Whitefield Swifts it was always a risk but the club seems to have few other options. Apart from in temperament [he seemed to get sent off a number of times] Thomas was a very fortunate arrival for the club.
Coming from a farming family from East Plean, roughly halfway between Falkirk and Stirling, Thomas had two other brothers who played for the club. [Alex who kept goal in the 1880s, and striker James [later with Manchester United] in the 1900s] The family had Falkirk connections which explains why they played in the eastern district rather than the county town.
But Thomas was better than the level Falkirk were then playing at, and after a season with East Stirlingshire he found a suitable level with Celtic. It was while at Celtic that the perennial English Scouts came looking and he was soon lured south of the border to play for Sheffield United, which is where it went awry, he broke his leg whilst playing in a match for the Yorkshire side which all but ended his career at the highest level.
Later tentative comebacks with Stenhousemuir [he is still one of the few footballers to play for all three Falkirk district clubs] then Partick Thistle came to little, and he finally retired from the game.
After football he went into business with another brother, John, opening a cinema in Denny amongst other things. He was also the proprietor of the Star Inn, Grahams Road, Falkirk, himself living in Watson Street [which those of you old enough know was in the vicinity of Brockville Park].
b c1876, St Ninians, Stirlingshire
d 23rd February 1920, Falkirk, Stirlingshire
Debut – Wednesday August 23rd 1893 v Laurieston (A) Friendly
Positions – Right-Back, Left-Back
Club Honours – Midland League W 1894/95, RU 1895/96, Stirlingshire Cup W 1895/96, Falkirk District Charity Cup W 1893/94, RU 1894/95, Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1893/94, RU 1895/96, 1897/98
Scottish Cup Matches /Goals [5/-]
Scottish Qualifying Cup Matches /Goals [9/-]
Minor League Matches/Goals [57/1]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [24/1]
Known Career – Whitefield Swifts, Falkirk [1893/94-1897/98], East Stirlingshire [1898/99], Celtic [1899/00-1900/01], Partick Thistle [1900/01], Sheffield United [1900/01], Stenhousemuir [1902/03], Partick Thistle [1903/04]