Jimmy Howieson joined the Tigers in March 1927 for a £3,200 fee, fresh from being awarded his first (and it transpired, only) Scotland international cap. Manager Bill McCracken put him straight into the City first team at inside left and in his sixth appearance he scored his first goal for the club, notching a brace in a 5-1 defeat of Barnsley. He added another goal in a mid-April 2-1 win over Darlington and thing looked well set, despite being sent off for kicking a Oldham opponent on the penultimate day of the season. Howieson was not selected for the first seven games of 1927/28 but by October McCracken had reintroduced the Scotsman at inside left and Jimmy retained that position for the majority of the season, save for an absence in January and February. However he scored only three times during the season and his reputation was perhaps a little faded when in August 1928 he headed for the USA on a ship called the Columbia. On his arrival stateside he signed for American Soccer League side New Bedford Whalers where he scored heavily and played alongside Jerry Best, a future Tiger who hailed from the North East of England.
He also had a short spell playing for New York Giants before returning to England in July 1929 and re-signing for Hull City. The 1929/30 season was a success for Howieson as he played regularly for much of the term and contributed to Hull City’s unlucky progress to the FA Cup Semi Final, scoring the winner in the Sixth Round replay against Newcastle United and the opening goal at Elland Road in the Semi Final against Arsenal, which ended a 2-2 draw. As City’s management focused on their Cup run, form in the league suffered and the club was relegated in May 1930 – Howieson was made available for transfer during the 1930 close season.
James Howieson was born in Rutherglen, within sight of the River Clyde in the eastern suburbs of Glasgow, and grew up the son of a tavern owner in Bridgeton, a mile away on the north bank of the river. He became a trainee marine engineer when he left school as a teenager then enlisted for the Royal Navy in 1917 and a hand injury halted his engineering career. After giving four years of service in the military he paid for his release in 1921 and commenced a football career in Scotland that encompassed Airdrieonians, St Johnstone, Dundee United and, from 1925, St Mirren. It was at Love Street that he made his reputation as a regular goalscorer, scoring the winning goal in the 1926 Scottish Cup Final and winning international recognition. He joined the Tigers a week after that international honour was bestowed upon him.
Between 1930 and 1935 Howieson continued to ply his trade in both the Scottish and Irish leagues, though he never again hit the heights of his time at St Mirren. After rejecting the chance to return to the USA in May 1930, between 1930 and 1932 Howieson played in Ireland for Shelbourne while still registered to Hull City, winning an Irish League winners’ medal in 1931. In March 1932 he finally severed ties with City and joined Scottish League side Clyde. When his playing days ended in 1935 after a failed trial with Belfast Celtic Jimmy became a football coach and also owned, with his brother, the Railway Tavern in the Gorbals area of East Glasgow. He owned the Railway Tavern for 35 years until his death in Glasgow in May 1971.
In February 1927, while impressing for St Mirren, Howieson won his only international cap for Scotland in a Home International tie against Ireland at Windsor Park in Belfast, which Scotland won 2-0.
Date/Place of Birth: 7 June 1900, Rutherglen
Hull City First Game: 5 March 1927, Grimsby Town H (Division Two), 26 years, 271 days old
Hull City Final Game: 1 May 1930, Bristol City H (Division Two), 29 years, 328 days old
Rutherglen Glencairn, Airdrieonians (1921-1924), St Johnstone (1924-1925), St Mirren (1925), Dundee United (1925), St Mirren (1925-1927), Hull City (1927-1928), New Bedford Whalers (1928-1929), New York Giants (1929), Hull City (1929-1930), Shelbourne (1930-1932), Clyde (1932-1934), Alloa Athletic (1934), Glenavon (1934-1935), Belfast Celtic (1935)
Hull City Record
Career: 74 apps, 14 goalsJimmy Howieson