Tommy Vail

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Tommy Vail
Personal information
Full nameThomas Naismith Vail [1]
Date of birth 1873
Place of birth Auchterderran, Fife, Scotland
Date of death(1940-07-03)3 July 1940 ~67 years old
Place of death Buckhaven, Fife, Scotland
Position(s) Centre Forward
Senior career*
Lochgelly United
−1895 Dundee
1895−1896 Bolton Wanderers 4 (1)
1896−1898 Chatham United
1898−1899 Walsall 31 (16)
1899 Bristol Rovers 2 (0)
1899−1900 Gainsborough Trinity
1900–1901 Doncaster Rovers (20)
1901−1903 Lochgelly United
1903−1905 Dunfermline Athletic
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Tommy Vail (born 1873) [1] was a Scottish footballer who played as a centre forward with Lochgelly United, Dundee, Bolton Wanderers, Chatham United , Walsall, Bristol Rovers, Gainsborough Trinity, Doncaster Rovers and Dunfermline Athletic.


Playing career

Born in Auchterderran, Fife, he is first known to have played for his local club Lochgelly United, and then was signed by Dundee [2] [3] before moving to Division 1 team Bolton Wanderers after the start of the 1895–96 season where he scored once in 4 games. [4]

After a failed trial at Oldham Athletic, [2] in 1896 Vail moved south to Chatham United for two seasons in the Southern League. [5]

The next season he was with Walsall of Division 2. In March, Small Heath unsuccessfully tried to get him on a loan. [6] He ended the season as joint top scorer with 16 League goals as Walsall finished in 6th place. [7]

The following season he moved to fellow Division 2 club Gainsborough Trinity. [8]

For the 1900–01 season Vail went to play for Midland League side Doncaster Rovers, scoring 26 League and Cup goals, plus 5 in friendlies. He was also used as a trainer. [8]

He then moved back to Scotland and played for his old club Lochgelly United, [2] before a move in March 1903 to Dunfermline Athletic. [9] He retired in 1905. [2]

Personal life

Vail was born in 1873 in Auchterderran, Fife to Michael Vail and Ann Naysmith. He married Betsy Watson on 26 Oct 1898 in Auchterderran. Around 1901, whilst playing for Doncaster he also worked as a railway labourer. He died on 3 July 1940 in Buckhaven, Fife. [1]

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