Charles Craig Player Profile

Personal

  • Full Name: Charles Thomson Craig
  • Born: July 11th, 1874 (Dundee)
  • Died: January 11th, 1933 (West Bridgford, England)
  • Height: 6' 1

Career



Dundee Career Summary


Competitive Friendlies Other (War)
1893-94 - -6 3 - -
1895-96 2-11 1 - -
1898-99 7 4 - - - -
TOTAL 9 4 17 4 - -

NOTES:
Other Cups may include: Anglo-Scottish Cup, Challenge Cup, Cup Winners' Cup, Drybrough Cup, International Soccer League, League Cup, Summer Cup, Texaco Cup.


Biography


Charlie Craig, finished as Dundee’s top scorer with just four goals during season 1898/99. He did however do that in just seven games, only three of which he played up front and he did it in a season in which Dundee were in severe financial trouble, were officially liquidated mid season, had to form a new company to continue and lost the majority of their players, using an unheard of 37 players in their nineteen competitive games.

Towards the end of their first season in 1894, Dundee moved from their initial home at West Craigie Park to a new ground at the city docks at Carolina Port where a smoking slag heap on the adjacent Gas works on the Broughty Ferry Road side, nicknamed the ‘Burning Mountain’ often gave hundreds of fans, a free view of the game.

Despite having a superb playing surface, ‘The Port’ gave the Dundee Football and Athletic Club committee plenty of problems as they inherited £600 of debts from the Athletic Grounds Company they bought it from and had extensive refurbishment costs. Another problem was that the rent for the ground was payable six months in advance and although the home club retained two-thirds of the gate money, Dundee were only attracting an average of 5,000 fans to Carolina Port, not helped by the fact it had no public transport links.

After four years of swimming against the financial tide therefore, on the eve of the 1898/99 season, in a bid to raise some much needed income, a number of players were sold or released, including the legendary ‘Plum’ Longair, Dundee’s first ever captain, who was sold to Sunderland. This, however, did little to alleviate the problem as Dundee’s financial situation continued to deteriorate and after the previous season where it often struggled to pay the players’ wages, it was little surprise when most of the top men walked out following an acrimonious dispute.

The departure of so many players left the Carolina Port side fatally weakened and the side slumped to the bottom of the league, taking only three points out of a possible twenty-six by December. The side was chosen by the Committee prior to 1899 and they struggled to get a consistent side with so many players coming and going and they were unable to field the same side two games in a row at any point in the season.

Charlie Craig was one of those players who came in mid season to try and help plug the gaps and he made his debut at left back on October 29th in a 5-1 defeat away to St Mirren after joining from recently defunct local side Dundee Harp

That heavy loss meant Dundee had conceded twenty goals in their last four games and the following week, on Craig’s home debut, the disaster continued with a 7-1 reverse in the return fixture with St Mirren.

In the next five games, Dundee conceded a further twenty-five goals and amongst those games was a 4-1 home defeat to Celtic where Craig scored his first goal for the Club, playing as a forward for the first time on the left wing. The following week, still on the left wing, Charlie scored a double at Tynecastle but it still wasn’t enough to prevent Dundee going down 6-3 to Hearts.

As a consequence of this shocking run of results, the average home gate slumped to 3,500 and with the club heading for bankruptcy, the players were called to a crisis meeting on Thursday 8th December. At this meeting, the directors offered to pay all the expenses for Saturday’s away match at Celtic out of their own pockets if the team would take the chance of sufficient gate money for the wages. However, the players refused and the match secretary had no option but to send a note to the Parkhead side saying that they couldn’t fulfil the fixture.

The Dundee Football and Athletic Club appeared doomed but the Scottish League were determined, unlike 112 years later, to help the club in any way they could and called them to an emergency meeting at the Horse Shoe Bar in Glasgow on December 14th. There, the League offered to guarantee Dundee’s wages and travelling expenses for the remainder of the season and would make good any deficit not covered by gate receipts up to a limit of £25.

Secretary Mr W. G. Andrew however confessed himself to be ‘sick of the whole affair’ and rejected the League’s offer and so the local press reported that Dundee were to be ‘wound up’, despite the overdraft being reduced by half.

It looked to be the end for Dundee but committee members John Cameron and William Anderson were prepared to try and save their club and approached the Scottish League to accept their offer and pledged the Club would continue. Despite some players having already left, Dundee fulfilled their next fixture at Ibrox and although they went down 7-0 to Rangers, their efforts would prove worthwhile.

On the same day a shareholders meeting was held in the Royal British Hotel in Dundee where they were told that the debts were £400 and the assets, apart from the stands, were virtually nil and it was decided to put the club into voluntary liquidation. However, this was not done until a deal had been struck between the new owners and the receivers where crucially it was agreed that the players and the stands would remain with the club.

The Scottish League were delighted that its northern-most club had survived and it waived their right to the players’ registrations and while it could be said that this was a new Dundee, this time called just plain Dundee Football Club, it was also agreed by the League that this new entity would be considered the same team and would fulfil Dundee’s fixtures.

Equally, the people of Dundee (for the first and not the last time), had no intention of allowing the club to die and three days later held a public meeting at a packed Gilfillan Hall where lively discussion ensued and a new Dundee FC committee was formed. Such was the turnout at the meeting that the services of two policemen was called upon to hold back the crowd at the door and those in attendance heard a stirring speech from new president Bailie John Robertson. According to him the Club required an annual income of £2,600 and immediately various fundraising activities were proposed. The first of these was a highly successful three-day Bazaar held in Kinnaird Hall on December 21st to 23rd where £600 was raised.

Craig didn’t play in that mauling at Ibrox as one of the players who had refused to play at Celtic Park the week before but when the Scottish League deemed that the new Dundee still held the player registrations, he returned for the rearranged game at Parkhead and scored his fourth goal of the season in a 4-1 defeat, this time playing on the right wing, to make him Dundee’s top scorer for the season.

Dundee were to finish bottom of the league that season with just four points thanks to a 5-1 home win over Partick in October and two draws with St Bernards. The Scottish League however made good their promise to support The Dee and were successfully re-elected Dundee for following campaign. The bottom three clubs had to apply for re-election with Kilmarnock, Leith Athletic and Port Glasgow of Division Two applying for election and it was Clyde and Dundee who were re-elected with Kilmarnock replacing Partick Thistle.

This allowed the new management some breathing space to re-organise the club and they proved to be the men of integrity and foresight and the saving of Dundee. They recognised that the club’s biggest problem was the ground at Carolina Port and they looked to locate the club to a new site at the north of the city and a ten year lease was secured on agricultural land between Provost Road and Dens Road.

The new committee also appointed their first ever manager, Secretary William Wallace for the 1899/1900 season, who overhauled the playing staff and retained only six of the players from the previous year’s disastrous campaign. Amongst those released was Charlie Craig and he spent the rest of his career drifting from one local club to another starting with Dundee Wanderers who played across the road from the new Dens Park at Clepington Park. He never again played in Scotland’s top tier, making his seven appearances and four goals, where he was Dundee’s top scorer, the ‘highlight’ of his career.

Debut

January 18th, 1896
Dundee 1 - 3 Hibernian

League (Division One)


Playing Statistics - First Team Competitive matches (All Seasons)



Competition NPS Win % Draw % Loss %
League 84- --
Scottish Cup 1-- --
Totals: 94- --

 Recent Starting Appearances (First Team Competitive matches)
 07/01/99 Division One vs. Celtic (A) 1 - 4
 02/12/98 Division One vs. Hearts (H) 2 - 5
 26/11/98 Division One vs. Hearts (A) 3 - 6
 19/11/98 Division One vs. Celtic (H) 1 - 4
 12/11/98 Division One vs. Clyde (H) 1 - 3

 Recent Goals Scored (First Team Competitive matches)
 07/01/99 Division One vs. Celtic (A) 1 - 4
 26/11/98 Division One vs. Hearts (A) 3 - 6
 26/11/98 Division One vs. Hearts (A) 3 - 6
 19/11/98 Division One vs. Celtic (H) 1 - 4

 List of First Team Competitive matches played (click to expand)
 07/01/99 Division One vs. Celtic (A)  1 - 4
 02/12/98 Division One vs. Hearts (H)  2 - 5
 26/11/98 Division One vs. Hearts (A)  3 - 6
 19/11/98 Division One vs. Celtic (H)  1 - 4
 12/11/98 Division One vs. Clyde (H)  1 - 3
 05/11/98 Division One vs. St Mirren (H)  1 - 7
 29/10/98 Division One vs. St Mirren (A)  1 - 5
 25/01/96 2nd Round vs. Third Lanark (A)  1 - 4
 18/01/96 Division One vs. Hibernian (H)  1 - 3

 List of First Team Competitive goals scored (click to expand)
 07/01/99 Division One vs. Celtic (A)  1 - 4
 26/11/98 Division One vs. Hearts (A)  3 - 6
 26/11/98 Division One vs. Hearts (A)  3 - 6
 19/11/98 Division One vs. Celtic (H)  1 - 4

  = Starting Appearances (Sub Appearances) | = Goals | NPS = Squad Appearances (as Non-Playing Sub) | GtGR = Goals to Games Ratio
 Yel = Yellow Cards/Cautions | Red = Red Cards/Dismissals | W/D/L - Games won, drawn or lost as percentage of games played in


Timeline


Timeline currently available.