Willie Maley of Celtic (and Partick Thistle and Third Lanark

Scottish Football Answers to Questions

Willie Maley of Celtic (and Partick Thistle and Third Lanark

Postby Cinneide » Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:37 am

Came across a profile of Willie Maley in Athletic News dated 24/10/1904. It references him playing for Third Lanark and Partick Thistle before Celtic were formed. I've never seen this suggested, although his brother Tom has previously been reported as playing for Thistle. Willie's name has never appeared in Thistle lineups I've seen.

Has anyone seen other references to this? I confess I don't really know his story even though its been documented.

"Before the Celtic Club was formed he played for 3rd Lanark and Partick Thistle, and it was as a member of the latter ..."

Thanks
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Re: Willie Maley of Celtic (and Partick Thistle and Third La

Postby Partick Thistle » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:53 pm

Another Thistle internationalist? Would love it to be true!

"Being English by birth" was a terrible start to the article in question, as decent as it was from thereon. It was Tom who was English-born, Willie was Irish.

First thing that springs to mind, could Tom or Willie have been mis-identified in our line-ups?

These are the appearances credited to Tom:

27.09.1884 Port Glasgow Athletic [a] D1-1 (Friendly) no. 11
18.10.1884 Renton [h] D2-2 (Friendly) no. 07
01.11.1884 Our Boys Dundee [a] W5-2 (Friendly) no. 11
22.11.1884 Heart of Midlothian [a] D3-3 (Friendly) no. 10
29.11.1884 Pilgrims [a] W2-0 (Friendly) no. 10
13.12.1884 Pollokshields Athletic [h] W4-2 (Friendly) no. 06
20.12.1884 Dundee Harp [a] D4-4 (Friendly) no. 07
27.12.1884 Kilmarnock Athletic [h] W2-1 (Friendly) no. 06
10.01.1885 Port Glasgow Athletic [h] W2-1 (Friendly) no. 06

Since Willie was born 25 April 1868 he'd have only been 16 during that period. The chances are extremely slim indeed that he played for Thistle at that stage, so I think we can rule out mis-identification with his brother.

The researchers at the Celtic Wiki tell us that Willie played a few games for Cathcart Hazelbank Juniors in 1886 and then played with Third Lanark from later that year.

With that in mind, it's not inconceivable that a game or two might have been slipped in for Thistle between late 1886 to mid 1888.

We may never know, but eyes peeled onyhow...
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Re: Willie Maley of Celtic (and Partick Thistle and Third La

Postby Alan Brown » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:27 pm

I can confirm that the Maley brothers played for Third Lanark in season 1887/88. William played both games against Cowlairs in the Scottish Cup and Tom and Willie played against Rangers in the Glasgow Cup in the same season.

Alan
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Re: Willie Maley of Celtic (and Partick Thistle and Third La

Postby Cinneide » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:38 am

Thanks Alan

Its been suggested that the Alphabet of Celtic from the 90s has a reference to Maley at Partick Thistle. Does any one have a copy and could confirm?

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Re: Willie Maley of Celtic (and Partick Thistle and Third La

Postby jeroen » Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:19 pm

I have a copy, you won't find it there.
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Re: Willie Maley of Celtic (and Partick Thistle and Third La

Postby Partick Thistle » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:24 pm

Speaking to the Weekly News in 1938, Willie himself said:
“I was at home when the deputation arrived. Tom was at Pollokshaws at the home of his wife-to-be. I had a long talk with the visitors. My father gave them his hearty support. I was asked to throw my lot in with Celtic. My reply was that, although I had played a few games with Third Lanark’s second string, I was still a junior. That didn’t matter and insistence on my joining was so strong I agreed. My brother Tom, too eventually agreed to become a Celt.”

So, no mention of Thistle from the man himself, and an almost surefire statement that he had no first-team experience with anyone at the point of joining Celtic in 1888. This seems to go against Alan’s report that he played in the Scottish Cup for Thirds. I suppose we must bear in mind that Willie was being interviewed 50 years after the event at that stage.

Niall, do you remember writing this?
“The season [1890-91] began in an unusually light-hearted way, with a charity fancy-dress match at Inchview, between Minerva and the Irving Dramatic Club. Willie Paul played in the game, along with Celtic stars Willie Groves and Willie Maley.”

It’s my hunch that this charity appearance at Inchview was somehow twisted Chinese whispers style, resulting in the Athletic News filing an inaccurate report. I had the humph with this AN guy from the start coz he got the country of birth wrong. My initial hope has now turned to scepticism, I reckon he was haverin'.
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Re: Willie Maley of Celtic (and Partick Thistle and Third La

Postby LEATHERSTOCKING » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:59 am

The Maley brothers definitely played together vs. Rangers in the Glasgow Cup 1st Round replay @ 1st Ibrox Park on 8th October 1887. Against Cowlairs in the Scottish Cup 1st Round @ 1st Cathkin Park on 3rd September 1887 & in the replay ordered by the SFA on 17th September also on 3rds` ground, the only Maley listed is @ outside right in the first game & @ centre forward in the second which seems more likely to have been Tom rather than Willie who is recognised as a defender. Defender Maley isn`t recorded in any other games for any team I`ve briefly looked at during this period & I wonder where he was; brother Tom is a regular.
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Re: Willie Maley of Celtic (and Partick Thistle and Third La

Postby LEATHERSTOCKING » Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:54 pm

In the Willie Paul thread on this website, I`ve mentioned that Clydesdale Harriers claim that the Maley brothers were members but I`ve only found Tom in the football side so, perhaps, Willie was in the runners`s section: reports of Harriers games, however, are scanty. Willie`s absent from any football team for great swathes of 1887-88 season and it could be he was cross country running on Saturdays while Tom kicked a ball about. Certainly the story is that Celtic came calling @ the Maley home in 1888 with a view to getting hold of Tom but, because he wasn`t in, they took Willie.

A Clydesdale side beat Parkview 3-2 @ Partick on 7/1/1888 & Kirkintilloch Athletic 5-1 @ Rutherglen a week later but I`m not sure if it`s the same side as the Harriers.

Another game where the two brothers definitely played is in the 3rd LRV side which beat Dumbarton Athletic 6-3 on 15th October 1887.
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