James Brogan: “The old bloke in the gatehouse”


August 8, 1948
To many of his workmates in a Clyde shipyard 84-year-old Jimmy Brogan is just “the old bloke in the gatehouse.” Entirely unexpected is the fact that he used to crack in goals for Hearts, Hibs, and Bolton Wanderers before this century began, that he was one of the first Scots ever to be transferred to England.

In his heyday, of course, the transfer system as we know it was as yet unborn. A Bolton man “spotted” him playing at inside right for Hearts, wiled him into a nearby hostelry, slipped him £5 – and he became a Bolton player!

His wages were 30s. per week. Jimmy tells with relish the story of how he and his mates went on strike after discovering another player was getting 40s! They got their extra ten bob at that!

Very spry despite his years, Jimmy still finds time to take in a game. Most Saturdays he watches St. Mirren, whose ground is just round the corner from his home. Five days a week he’s up at the back of six, catches the seven o’clock tram, starts work at 7.45.

Surely here is the G.O.M. of Scottish football, the tradition being carried on by his son, Jimmy, today Scotland’s longest-serving senior linesman.
(Sunday Post: August 8, 1948)

James Brogan, the grand old man of Scottish football.
Jimmy Brogan

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James Brogan, Bolton Wanderers (Lloyd’s Weekly News: November 15, 1891):

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