On Saturday 2nd April 1910, an International football match between Scotland and England took place at Hampden , Glasgow. This particular match however, raised significant interest around Blantyre in particular, for the Scottish Goalkeeper was none other than local man James Brownlie, then aged 24.
There was no shortage of football fans eager to set off from Blantyre to Hampden that day.
The game was fast and interesting from the start, and for nearly 20 minutes neither side could claim any marked advantage. Everything up to that point suggested a close and even fight, but then Scotland scored, and a great change came over the play. The Scottish side, encouraged by their success, played with fine dash and confidence, whereas the limitations of the English defence, suggested even in the early stages of the match, became more and more marked. A second goal for Scotland followed rather more than half an hour from the start, and afterwards there was never any doubt about the result…
Scotland 2 – England 0
Much credit went to the performance of James (Jimmy) Brownlie and the Blantyre crowds went home completely satisfied. The attendance was estimated at 100,000, and the gate receipts amounted to £4,417.
In the pubs later in the evening, it was commented by the returning fans that Jimmy was the greatest goalkeeper Scotland had for many a year and a common story was shared to those who didn’t know it. In case that includes you….the story went as follows.
In a Blantyre Schoolroom, a teacher asked his young pupils, “Which great man came from Blantyre and is studied far and wide?“, hoping that his young learners knew already about the great 19th Century Explorer, David Livingstone. To his surprise, the answer came jovially back, “Is it Jimmy Brownlie, the Third’s Goalkeeper?!”[Source: Hamilton Herald and Lanarkshire Weekly News – 06 April 1910]