The death of Tom Gracie


October 23, 1915
Tom Gracie, of the Hearts, is dead. He had been ill for some time, having caught a chill which he could not shake off.

Tom has died in the service of his country. He was a soldier. One of McCrae’s Battalion, one of the first of the Hearts to join – the Hearts who by their splendid example earned the gratitude of all lovers of the game.

Gracie, was a big fellow, and a fine fellow to meet on and off the field. He was not in the first flight of centre forwards, but he was a plodding player who always paid his way. He played for Strathclyde, Airdrieonians, Hamilton Academicals, Morton, Everton and Liverpool before joining the Hearts, who paid the Anfield Road club £400 for his transfer.

Last season Tom led the best attack the Tynecastle team had had for some years. Until the Hearts joined the army almost to a man they were a grand side, going straight for the championship. But they preferred to risk losing that honour rather than let the cry of the country pass unheeded. And they lost it, but they gained an honour far greater.
(Source: The Sunday Post: October 24, 1915)

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Keen regret will be felt in football circles at the death of Tom Gracie, the Hearts’ centre, which took place at Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow, on Saturday. One of the first of professional footballers to join the colours, he attained the rank of corporal in the 15th Battalion Royal Scots, to which he was attached. Unfortunately he caught a chill while training, and, internal troubles setting in, he was sent to Leeds Hospital, where he underwent an operation, and then was removed to Stobhill.

As a footballer Gracie ranked as one of the foremost centre forward of the day, his play always being above reproach. His performances with Hearts last season are still fresh, and need no recalling. As a junior he played with Strathclyde, and his first senior club was Airdrieonians. Later he joined the Hamilton Academicals, and then assisted Arthurlie, from whom Morton obtained him, and he did excellent service for the Greenock club. He then went over the Border, and prior to becoming a member of the Hearts, played for Everton and Liverpool.
(Source: Dundee Courier: October 25, 1915)

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