Tommy Ledgerwood Scotland B Team Taken sometime in Toulouse, on 11 November, 1952. Tommy Ledgerwood
Tommy Ledgerwood, Coldstream, Partick Thistle and Greenock Morton
Tommy came from a Coldstream sporting family and signed for Partick Thistle in Willie Scott’s living room in Coldstream in 1946. He made his debut for the first eleven on 26 April 1947 against Motherwell at Fir Park. He became one of Thistle’s outstanding players, making no fewer that 338 appearances in goal. Famously, he even scored one goal on 4 November 1950 against Hearts at Tynecastle. There were no substitutes in those days and it was customary for an injured player, in this case Tommy, to remain on the field if at all possible and he limped up the left wing. Thistle were 3-1 down when the limping Tommy scored a goal and the ‘Jags’ went on to win 5-4. Tommy’s final game was on 18 April 1959 when he moved to Greenock Morton. He gained a Scotland ‘B’ cap in 1952 against France in Toulouse and kept a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw. He also represented the Scottish League in 1952 facing the Irish League.
Apart from Tommy’s remarkable ability, the other extraordinary thing was that before embarking on his football career, an injury sustained in the forces meant that in one arm he never had total freedom of movement, thus sparking the legend that Tommy invented a new way of catching a football. It had been in June 1944 that the news came from official sources to Mr and Mrs T. Ledgerwood, Home Place, that son Tommy (a Gunner) had received shrapnel wounds in his right shoulder in Burma. This did not prevent Tommy from becoming one of Scotland’s top goalkeepers yet he never obtained a full Scotland cap. At Tommy’s peak, Tommy Younger of Hibs and Liverpool, or Jimmy Cowan of Morton were preferred. Disappointingly, Tommy never won a major honour despite Partick Thistle frequently challenging for trophies. Although he played in the Partick side that won the Glasgow Cup in 1951, three League Cup finals brought defeats from East Fife, Celtic and Hearts. Tommy remembered excelling in the Partick goal against Hibs at Easter Road in October 1953, facing the ‘Famous Five’ of Smith, Johnstone, Reilly, Turnbull and Ormond. The prospect of facing this forward line gave goalkeepers sleepless nights, but not Tommy. He saved a powerful penalty kick from Eddie Turnbull with a miraculous save. Tommy latterly lived in Harthill and it was a great honour for Coldstream FC to have him attend as a top table guest at the club’s Centenary Dinner in 1995. Sadly, Tommy passed away in February 2006, but memories of the brave Partick goalkeeper live on.