James Henderson: Rifle Volunteer, Champions medal, Arsenal, then…

James Henderson was born in Thornhill, Dumfries in 1867

He first played for 5th Kirkcudbright Rifle Volunteers whom I have founded recorded playing in the Scottish Cup in 1891 and who are generally thought to have played between 1879 and 1896.  Entries on the internet showing the club existing between 1881-3, can’t be right.

He played in Rangers 1890/91 side which came equal first in the First Division, and there is a record of him scoring in the league match on 17 January 1891 against Vale of Leven.  After that he moved to Woolwich Arsenal in 1892, playing in the final season outside the league.

With Woolwich Arsenal he then had two league seasons:

1893/94 he played 23 league games and scored 12 goals plus 4 FA Cup games in which he got 7 goals (including a hatrick against Ashford 2 against Clapton and 2 against 2nd Scots Guards)

In the 1894/5 season he played 15 games and got 7 goals – but put in no FA Cup appearances (we were knocked out in the first round).  After a solid run he was dropped in January, and then appeared for just one single game in the rest of the season.

He was seemingly released by Arsenal at the end of the season having played 47 League & Cup matches and scoring 31 goals.

After his time at Arsenal he is said to have returned to Scotland, but beyond that there is no record of him.

  • 1: CA Williams: went on to manage Denmark and in Brazil
  • 2: J Powell: Our first captain who died of injuries on the pitch
  • 3: WW Jeffrey: The right back who was a keeper
  • 4: D Devine: Lost to history
  • 5: R Buist: I thought he caused us to go pro, but I was wrong.
  • 6: D Howat: The mystery man
  • 7: D Gemmell: Even more of a mystery man
  • 8: J Henderson: Rifleman, champions medal, Arsenal, and then…
  • 9: W Shaw
  • 10: A Elliott
  • 11: C Rooth


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