Gracie Tom Image 1 Everton 1911

Gracie Tom Image 1 Everton 1911

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Description

Glasgow born centre forward or inside left Tom Gracie began his football career with Wellwood Star and played for Shawfield and Strathclyde in 1905, making his bow in Scottish League football with Airdrieonians in 1906. After two years with The Diamonds where he scored 3 times in 12 appearances he had loan spells with Hamilton Academical in 1908 where he scored once in 5 matches, and with Arthurlie in 1909, where he scored 11 goals in 16 appearances before a transfer to Greenock Morton in 1910. It was at Morton that he showed his great potential, scoring 22 goals in 28 appearances during 1910-11, and in April 1911, Gracie was selected as a reserve for Scotland’s game against England at Goodison Park. Although he wasn’t required to play, and would never gain an international cap, the journey proved profitable for him as he was signed by Everton at the game’s conclusion, and he made his Football League debut a few days later playing at centre forward in a 1-0 win at Blackburn Rovers, scoring his only goal for The Toffees a week later in his third match in a win over Nottingham Forest at Goodison Park, in 7 matches before the end of the season.

However he only featured in 6 more matches during the first half of the 1911-12 season, and in February 1912 Everton exchanged Gracie and Billy Lacey for Liverpool’s Harold Uren plus £300. Gracie made a scoring debut at Bury on 24th February 1912 but that was his only goal from six matches that season. When Gracie had only scored once in the first five games in the following season he was dropped from the first team and The Daily Express concluded that “it has been proved over and over again that the Scottish style of play is much slower than the English game, and a player who is regarded as a star artist over the border may not shine in England. A case in point is that of Tom Gracie, the present Liverpool forward. When he joined Everton there was a great flourish of trumpets, for Gracie was regarded as almost the best centre in Scotland at the time. He never rose to the same height with Everton, however, the pace being too fast, and he was transferred to Liverpool last season. The Anfield club have persevered with him in their first five matches, but it is evident that the English style does not suit him.” Gracie played 13 League matches a season in 1912-13 and 1913-14 but wasn’t involved in Liverpool’s FA Cup run that saw them reach the FA Cup Final for the first time in 1914.

After 5 goals in 33 appearances for Liverpool, Gracie returned to Scotland to join Heart of Midlothian in May 1914 and was the joint-leading scorer in the Scottish League in the 1914-15 season with 29 goals in 37 matches for The Jambos, including a hat-trick in a win over Dumbarton in March 1915. As well as playing with Hearts at the time he served as a Corporal with The 16th Royal Scots combining military training with his football duties. He was promoted to Sergeant in May 1915. Sadly, Gracie was diagnosed with leukemia in March 1915 but continued to play for Hearts showing great bravery. His coach at Hearts was apparently the only one who knew about the severity of his illness. Tom Gracie passed away at Stobhill Hospital in his hometown Glasgow only 26 years of age on 23rd October 1915. Tom’s brother had died three and a half weeks earlier in the great offensive at Loos in France.

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