Bob Wallace - a Linfield Giant - Volume 1 of 3

Posted : 10th May 2020 at 12:56:35

A few days ago a copy of the programme reproduced below was sent to the NI Football Museum Facebook account by Gerry Cunningham who is involved with Dundalk FC.

It was then forwarded to seeking further clarification on the identities of the 2 Linfield players in the combined Scotland / Ireland team.

The winger recorded in the programme as Thomson we believe to be William Thompson who was the only Thompson registered with this club in December 1918 at the time of this game.

The Christmas timing of this game is quite significant falling as it did soon after the ending of hostilities in the First World War (November 11, 1918).

The Salonica, Greece location of the game was also quite poignant as another Former Linfield player Sergeant Richard Moore was killed in action there in October 1918 shortly before the end of the war.

The lead from Gerry Cunningham passed to us via the NI Football museum Facebook account suggested that the other Linfield player in the programme - Wallace - was a military player and so this led us to the treasure trove of the hand written archives of the former club chairman David Crawford.

David’s records were not very detailed with regard to Bob Wallace’s military connections.

All that was recorded was

Army player 38th company
Served in France 1915
And Egypt - Dec 1915

At this stage I was aware of the huge significance of Bob Wallace’s Linfield and football career but I turned for assistance with regard to his military career to Linfield’s very own military expert - the indefatigable Johnny Jamison.

It may have been VE Day as Europe recalled the 75th anniversary of liberation from the horrors of the Second World War but Johnny Jamison was unable to unearth a mountain of fascinating information and archive material on the military First World War career of Bob Wallace.

This military information will be brought shortly on in Volume 2 of this tribute to Bob Wallace.

In Volume 3 of this tribute to Bob Wallace I will tell the football story of the Captain of Linfield FC in our historic Seven Trophy Winning 1921/22 season, using as our trusted resource the treasure trove of the archive records of the former club chairman the late David Crawford.

Linfield FC acknowledges with thanks the forwarding of the document below which has enabled us to investigate further the military and playing careers of one of the All time Greats of this Club.

It is worth recording at this point that the Thomson recorded in the programme we believe to be William Thompson of 132 Roden St, Belfast whose details are as follows.

With Clydebank in 1916/17 and Distillery in 1917/18. He signed for Linfield on 27 October 1918 and played in the following 5 Linfield games .

Nov 16 - Belfast Celtic 0 Linfield 1- League
Nov 23 - Belfast United 1 Linfield 0 - City cup
Dec 7 - Linfield 1 Glentoran 0 - City cup
Dec 14 - Cliftonville 1 Linfield 2 - City cup

And then finally - after the match in Greece below

Jan 4 - Cliftonville 1 Linfield 0 - City cup

He made 6 appearances for Linfield Swifts in 1918/19 but the only other record we hold of him is that he was employed by Workman’s yard in 1917/18.

Audaces Fortuna Juvat


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