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Club Receives 1914-15 Medal

Tue, 27th Aug 2019 2:16pm

The club would like to put on record its gratitude and sincere thanks to Bill Gibson, a resident of Ontario, Canada.

Somewhere along the line, Bill came into possession of a medal awarded to JJ Commins of Clyde when The Bully Wee won the Second XI Cup in season 1914-15. He recently got in touch with a view to passing it over to the club and, following discussions with Club Historian Gordon Sydney, the club is delighted to now be in possession of this medal.

Bill was born in Nova Scotia during the Second World War because his father, a shipwright, had been transferred overseas to work in the Canadian shipyards to assist the war effort from there. In 1947 the family came back to Pollok, in Glasgow, but in 1966 Bill took the decision to return to Canada, where he is resident to this day. He still, though, retains family ties in both Scotland and England, and his son earned his post-graduate degrees in Edinburgh and Dundee.

Bill believes the medal was given to him by a friend called Peter Dickie who along with his father were Clyde supporters - so if anyone knows Peter or his family please get in touch.

Regarding JJ Commins, or John James Commins to give his full name, he was manager at Mossend Hibs for six years before becoming Secretary / Manager at Clyde in May 1912, where he remained until November 1922, when he resigned for business reasons. Clyde's best performance in the Scottish Cup came in his first season, 1912-13, when The Bully Wee reached the Semi-Final, whilst in the league a couple of successive 9th places in his first two seasons were only beaten by a 7th place in 1920-21. It would seem the lure of being involved in football proved too much, and from 1926 onwards he was back in football management with Barnsley. Various management posts followed in both England and Ireland until, in October 1948, he left his last club, Cork United.

The Second XI Cup was won with a two-legged victory over Falkirk. Clyde lost the first leg 1-2 but overturned that deficit with a 3-1 win in the second leg. Obviously, Mr Commins wasn’t playing in either of these games, but back in the day it was quite common for the likes of Managers and Directors to be awarded medals to recognise club success.

The club again extends its gratitude to Bill for this superb piece of Clyde history.