Glasgow born James Crawford played as a outside right for Queen’s Park from 1923 to 1937 scoring 102 goals in 449 League appearances, as well as 28 goals in 60 Scottish Cup appearances and his career record is comparable to the finest servants of the club. Crawford was a speedy right winger (he was joint holder of the Scottish record for 100 yards with a time of 10 seconds recorded at Hampden in 1926) who could not easily be caught. Having twice been capped as a schoolboy against England, he joined Queen’s in 1921, making his debut in November 1922, and scored his first goal on his third appearance for the club, against East Stirling in a 2-1 victory at Hampden, and after his debut he was ever present for the rest of the season, scoring a total of three times in 25 appearances as Queen’s won the Second Division. His finest hour in a black and white jersey probably came in December 1928, when Aberdeen visited Hampden in a First Division match and were humbled by six goals to two, with three of the Queen’s goals coming from Crawford. Crawford ended the season with 16 goals as Queen’s netted 100 times in their 38 games, and finished fifth in the First Division, the club’s highest ever placing in the Scottish League.
Crawford was one of the last amateur players to earn selection for Scotland, appearing five times in the early 1930’s, making his debut in September 1931 against Ireland in a 3-1 victory at Ibrox. He won 2 further caps in 1932 and 2 more in the 1933 British Championship. He also played 3 times, scoring once, for The Scottish League between 1931 and 1935. As an amateur, he was also eligible for selection by Great Britain at the Olympic Games, and he was chosen for the squad sent to Berlin in 1936, one of four Queen’s Park players (Gardiner, Kyle and Dodds were the others) who took part in those infamous games.He also represented Scotland at amateur level winning 10 amateur caps. He is high on the all time list of record holders for both appearances and goalscoring for Queen’s Park. Ross Caven holds the record for the greatest number of appearances for Queen’s Park, having made 594 between 1982 and 2002. As of 2017, only two other players have made more than 500 total appearances for Queen’s Park – James Crawford and his colleague for many seasons James McAlpine. The club’s goalscoring record is held by James McAlpine, who scored 192 goals in 547 appearances for The Spiders between 1920 and 1934.
Bob Crampsey summed up Crawford’s career thus: “There were more subtle wingers than Crawford, who was not especially renowned for ball control or distribution. He was possessed of a truly blistering pace, without which success on the wing is scarcely possible and he had the other essential attributes of keenness and a fierce shot. By representing Britain in Berlin, he had taken the highest honour open to an amateur; he had known what it was to walk off Hampden with the roar of a crowd for the victorious full Scottish side against England ringing in his ears.”