Gordon Smith: Youth Career

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spiderdrew
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Gordon Smith: Youth Career

Post by spiderdrew » Wed Nov 30, 2022 2:04 am

Hi, I'm trying my best to piece together the early footballing days of Gordon Smith (of Famous Five fame). I've consulted both newspaper archives, club websites and the "Gordon Smith: Prince of Wingers" book written by his son Tony but theres a lot of conflicting information. Here's what I have:

School teams
1932 - 1936: Southesk (primary school team)

1936 - 1939: Montrose (and Kincardine) Schools FA Select Side
Sometimes equated online with Montrose Academy team but instead was made up of schoolboys from across the local area. Team won the North of Scotland Schools Cup in 1939.

Juvenile
1935 - 1938: Bromford Boys Club (Arbroath juvenile team)
Played for school team on Saturday morning and played from Bromford in the afternoon.

1938 - 1940: Kirriemuir Harp - top scorer in 1938-39 season at aged 15 with 38 goals.
Tony Smith's book says he began playing there in Aug 1937 until 1939. Although, I have found newspaper articles from the Kirriemuir Free Press which show he was first signed in Aug 1938 and played until joining Dundee North End in Oct 1940. Like his spell at Bromford, he played for the school in the morning before playing for Harp in the afternoon, still typically scoring at least a three goals in each match.

Junior
1939: Kirriemuir Thistle
Turned out for Thistle a few times in 1939, whilst at Kirrie Harp, either due to injuries within the Thistle squad or because the Thistle management wanted to try secure wins in big cup matches. He signed provisional forms for Thistle in Aug 1939.

1939: Montrose Roselea
I've seen multiple accounts that state Smith started his junior career aged 15 at Roselea before moving to Dundee North End. Tony Smith's book stated that he signed for Roselea in the summer of '39 and continued playing there until North End signed him in 1940. However, due to the sheer volume of articles in the Kirriemuir papers and after struggling to find mention of his time at Roselea career in any other newspaper archives, I'm not sure if he ever played at Roselea long term. It appears that Smith played a trial for Roselea against Blairgowrie United on 20 May 1939, scoring a typical hat-trick, and played for them in a 10-2 thumping against Coupar Angus on 31 May 1939. Afterwards, Roselea were supposedly unable to secure his signature.

1940: Hillside United
Turned out for Hillside Utd in October 1940 whilst still at Kirrie Harp. One match was a Scottish Junior Cup tie against Dundee North End in which Smith scored and scored eight (or nine) goals. North End then quickly signed him a few days later.

1940 - 1941: Dundee North End
Played at North End until he was signed by Hibs after scoring a hat-trick in a win against a Hearts/Hibs select side in Apr 1941. Later scoring another hat-trick on his Hibs debut vs. Hearts later that month.

International/National Select Sides
1938: Scottish Schoolboys
2 caps (v. Ireland at Starks Park and v. England at Roker Park, Sunderland) and scored 2 goals against Ireland.

1941: SFJA XI
Not sure of exact date or match details but it was reported elsewhere in the forum that Smith played in a Junior select side (not an official junior international) whilst at Dundee North End.

What's definitely clear is that young Smith was a goal scoring machine, nearly every newspaper report records him scoring a hat-trick! Any more information about his early days would be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by spiderdrew on Wed Nov 30, 2022 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bluedragon
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Re: Gordon Smith: Youth Career

Post by bluedragon » Wed Nov 30, 2022 10:08 am

1940 - 1941: Dundee North End
Played at North End until he was signed by Hibs after scoring a hat-trick in a win against a Hearts/Hibs select side in Apr 1941. Later scoring another hat-trick on his Hibs debut vs. Hearts later that month.

1940(or 41?): SFJA XI
Not sure of exact date or match details but it was reported elsewhere in the forum that Smith played in a Junior select side (not an official junior international) whilst at Dundee North End.

_________________________________________________

I believe that these two references are to the same match.

Gordon played for a Junior Scotland team while at Dundee North End. The match was against a Hearts/Hibs Select and was to open Lochee Harp's new ground at Beechwood Park. The match was played on 14 April 1941 and watched by a crowd of 3,000. Junior Scotland won 3-2 with Gordon scoring all three of his team’s goals. Probably due to Wartime travel restrictions, the Junior Scotland team was drawn from players in the Aberdeen and Dundee areas. In the team was Scottish full international Jimmy Easson who played for Carnoustie Panmure as a guest during the War. He was also scouting for his club, Portsmouth. However, Hibs acted very quickly to sign Gordon and before Jimmy could have had chance to alert his club.

bluedragon
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Re: Gordon Smith: Youth Career

Post by bluedragon » Wed Nov 30, 2022 12:23 pm

spiderdrew wrote:
Wed Nov 30, 2022 2:04 am
1940: Hillside United
Turned out for Hillside Utd in October 1940 whilst still at Kirrie Harp. One match was a Scottish Junior Cup tie against Dundee North End in which Smith scored and scored eight (or nine) goals. North End then quickly signed him a few days later.
A little more on this part of his career.

Hillside United were drawn against Dundee North End in the 1st Round (Forfarshire section) of the Scottish Junior Cup that was due to be played on 7 September 1940. However, Hillside scratched from the competition along with a local cup competition leaving Dundee North End with a walk-over into the 2nd Round.

On 5 October 1940 Gordon played for Hillside United against the Royal Engineers in an Angus Junior League game and scored 8 goals.

Gordon was then signed by Dundee North End. As he had not yet played in that season’s Junior Cup for Hillside United he was not cup-tied and played for Dundee North End on 19 October 1940 in the 2nd Round (Forfarshire & Perthshire section) in a 9-2 win over Forfar East End. Gordon is credited with a hat-trick and laying on three other goals for teammates.

spiderdrew
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Re: Gordon Smith: Youth Career

Post by spiderdrew » Thu Dec 01, 2022 12:24 am

Thank you very much for the additional info and clearing up some confusion on my end!

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