Larkhall, Lanarkshire born left back James Hickie began his football career with Larkhall Thistle, playing for Burnbank Athletic, from where he was signed by Scottish League club Clyde in 1937. Such was his progress that he was soon selected to represent The Scottish League, playing in a 3-1 defeat to The Football League at Molineux in November 1938.
That season proved an historic one for The Bully Wee, as the team conceded a solitary goal on the run to the 1939 Scottish Cup Final. Clean sheets were kept against St Johnstone (2-0), Dundee (0-0 at Dens Park, followed by 1-0 in a replay), Glasgow city rivals Third Lanark (1-0), and against Hibernian in their semi final match at Tynecastle (1-0). The single goal conceded came at Rangers in the Third Round, where prolific centre forward Willie Martin set a record for an opposing player at Ibrox by scoring all four goals in a 4-1 victory.
Clyde faced Motherwell, who had scored the most goals on route, in the Final in front of 94,000 at Hampden on 22nd April 1939. After losing the coin toss, Clyde goalkeeper Brown was under the most pressure early on. Assisted by a Robertson delivery, Wallace fired the opener in the roof of the net. Despite further opposition pressure before the interval, Martin doubled the lead for Clyde with an opportunistic strike after the break. Late goals from Noble (netting from a rebound) and Martin (assisted by Noble for his second) sealed an emphatic 4-0 win and a maiden Scottish Cup triumph for The Bully Wee.
However Hickie’s career was soon interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, although he remained a Clyde player until 1946 and played wartime league football for them, having made 63 appearances for them in peacetime play. During the War he turned out for Clyde, St Mirren 3 times between February and April 1941, and Dumbarton in wartime competitions, and at its end he accepted an invitation from William Reaside to play in Mexico for Asturias for a year, alongside Jackie Milne and Tom McKillop, before returning to Scotland where he played briefly for Dunfermline Athletic in 1947, making 5 appearances before his retirement
His Scottish Cup medal was stolen from his son’s home in a 1992 housebreaking but later appeared for sale at auction, and was subsequently returned to the family..