James William Dickson
James William Dickson was born in Swansea on the 24th August 1869. He went to St. Albans Grammar School and entered Oxford University on 16th October 1889. He made his debut for St. Albans in 1885 as a half-back. However, he spent most of his career up front and scored on a regular basis. The photo comes from the St. Albans team photo of 1891/92. James lived in St. Albans with his parents as a graduate Law student and then as a practicing solicitor. He continued to play for St. Albans and made some appearances for Watford Rovers.
It appears that Sandford Moore took James along to Luton Town and he made his debut on the 8th November 1890 in the Kettering Charity Cup match against Wolverton L.& N.W. The match was played at the Bury, as the Dallow Lane ground was being upgraded, and ended in a 2 2 draw. James played poorly at centre forward and was moved to the right wing where he had more success.
His only other reported game was the replay which was was held up by a fixture problem and bad weather so it was not played until the 15th January 1891. James played well on the right wing but could not prevent a 2 1 defeat for the Straw Plaiters after extra time. He is mentioned in February 1891 as playing for the reserves.
James continued to played for St. Albans regularly. His last game was in December 1894. The Saints imported four ex Luton players at this time so it may be that he reverted to the reserves. Possibly work got in the way as he became a successful solicitor in the city. He continued to live with his parents and married when he was 57.
James worked as a solicitor in St. Albans until he was 78. He died on Christmas Day 1948 while residing at Marcom, Arle Drive, Cheltenham. The local newspaper described him as “a former solicitor who had lived in Cheltenham since his retirement last October.” The report continues; “Aged 79, Mr Dickson resided with his sister, Mrs E. Sargent, and had been in failing health since the death of his wife some months ago. He was educated at St. Alban’s School, London and at Exeter College, Oxford.”
David Tavener/St Albans City and St Albans Library.