Chic Charnley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"James Charnley" redirects here. For the national landmark in Chicago, see James Charnley House.
Chic Charnley
Personal information
Full name James Callaghan Charnley[1]
Date of birth (1963-06-11) 11 June 1963 (age 53)
Place of birth Glasgow, Scotland
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
Possil Villa
1981–1982 Rutherglen Glencairn
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982–1983 St Mirren 1 (0)
1983–1984 Ayr United 17 (3)
1984–1987 Pollok 8 (2)
1987–1988 Clydebank 31 (11)
1988 Hamilton Academical 14 (0)
1988–1991 Partick Thistle 73 (22)
1991–1992 St Mirren 42 (5)
1992 Bolton Wanderers (loan) 3 (0)
1992–1993 Djurgårdens IF 12 (3)
1993–1995 Partick Thistle 46 (2)
1995 Cork City 3 (0)
1995–1996 Dumbarton 18 (1)
1996–1997 Dundee 27 (6)
1997–1998 Hibernian 29 (4)
1998 Clydebank (trial) 1 (0)
1998 Partick Thistle 5 (0)
1998 Tarff Rovers 0 (0)
1998–1999 Portadown 13 (0)
1999–2002 Kirkintilloch Rob Roy 0 (0)
2002–2003 Partick Thistle 2 (0)
Teams managed
2003–2004 Partick Thistle (coach)
2011– Clyde (assistant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

James Callaghan "Chic" Charnley (born 11 June 1963 in Glasgow) is a former Scottish football player and coach. Charnley's playing career lasted nearly 20 years, with spells at Hamilton Academical, St Mirren, Hibernian and Dundee, however he is perhaps best known for his numerous spells at Partick Thistle. He also was a coach at Thistle for a short time and was briefly assistant manager of Clyde. Throughout his career, Charnley had a reputation as being a hot-head; he was sent off 17 times in a senior career which lasted for nearly 20 years.[2]

Club career[edit]

Charnley played for a number of clubs: Ayr United, Clydebank, Hamilton Accies, Partick Thistle St Mirren, Bolton (on loan), Djurgårdens IF, Dumbarton, Dundee, Hibs and Cork City F.C..

He also played for non-league clubs Pollok, Tarff Rovers and Kirkintilloch Rob Roy.

Charnley was raised in the North of Glasgow and, evidently gifted as a footballer, was tipped for greatness. However, the early part of his career was chequered by poor discipline which gave him the reputation as a hot head.[3] This scared many clubs away from his talent.

He was brought up a supporter of Celtic. In 1994, he had a trial for Celtic playing one game for them in a friendly against Manchester Utd at Old Trafford. Many rated him as the best player in the game and it was rumoured that he had done enough to win a contract. However, Celtic's manager Lou Macari was sacked not long after this friendly game and rumours of a move to Celtic came to nothing.

Partick Thistle[edit]

It is as a player with Partick Thistle that he will be best remembered. He played for the club on a few different occasions and is considered something of a cult hero at Firhill. He initially left Partick for St Mirren in June 1991 in a swap deal that saw he and David Elliot exchange for Mark McWalter and George Shaw.[4]

Charnley was an inconsistent performer with displays ranging from poor to outstanding. At many points in his career, it seemed that top-flight football was beyond him. He was freed by Partick Thistle when the Glasgow club was in the Premier Division.

During his time at Thistle, he and two other players were approached by two teenage boys during a training session in a Glasgow Park. Despite suffering a stab wound to his hand when one of the boys brandished a Samurai sword, Charnley was able to disable his attacker with a punch.[3]


Many consider his time at Hibernian to be the best period of his career. He made his debut in August 1997 against Celtic, where late on in the second half he latched on to a misplaced pass from Henrik Larsson and struck the winning goal for Hibs from 25 yards.[5] During his first few months at Hibs, many called for his inclusion in the Scotland squad, though this did not materialise. Despite a good start to the league campaign, Hibs form soon faltered and they ended up being relegated at the end of the season.[6][7] By this stage Alex McLeish had already replaced Jim Duffy as manager at Hibernian, and had dropped Charnley from the side.

Back to Thistle[edit]

His final season as a player was with Partick Thistle in the 2002–03 Scottish Premier League season. Chic was approaching the age of 40, and made just two more appearances for Thistle after their promotion. His final match was perhaps fittingly against Hibernian at Easter Road. He came on as a substitute in a 3–2 victory for Thistle.

Coaching career[edit]

The next season (2003–04) he was appointed coach at Thistle under manager Gerry Collins, but when Collins was sacked by the Thistle board he resigned in protest at their decision.

Chic returned to Firhill during the 2006/2007 pre-season for ex-teammate Kenny Arthur's testimonial match versus a Celtic XI. With the game in injury time and Thistle losing 2–1, Chic rifled home a 25-yard strike to draw level.

Charnley was appointed assistant manager of Clyde in February 2011 by Jim Duffy.[2]


Between February 2007 and January 2008, he co-owned a pub called 'The Thistle' in Maryhill Road, Glasgow. In 2009, Charnley published his autobiography: "Seeing Red: The Chic Charnley Story."

On 24 December 2016 Charnley saved a suicidal mum's life by talking her back from the brink. [8]


  1. ^ "Chic Charnley". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 4 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Pattullo, Alan (8 February 2011). "Jim Duffy steps in as Clyde seek to restore team spirit". The Scotsman. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  3. ^ a b MacKay, Ronnie (12 November 2009). "Blade Runner". The Sun. London: News International. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "George Elliot profile". Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  5. ^ McPherson, Archie (4 August 1997). "Celtic left standing by slick Charnley". The Independent. London. 
  6. ^[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Hibernian 1-2 Dundee United, May 2nd 1998, Easter Road". The Arab Archive. 1998-05-02. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  8. ^

External links[edit]