James Main

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James Main
Personal information
Date of birth (1886-05-29)29 May 1886
Place of birth West Calder, Scotland[1]
Date of death 29 December 1909(1909-12-29) (aged 23)
Place of death Edinburgh, Scotland[1]
Playing position Defender
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1904–1909 Hibernian[2] 135 (4)
National team
1908 Scottish League XI[3] 1 (0)
1909 Scotland[4] 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

James Main (29 May 1886 – 29 December 1909) was a Scottish footballer, who played for Hibernian and the Scotland national football team as a right back.[4] Main suffered fatal internal injuries while playing in a match on Christmas Day 1909, and died four days later.[4]

Main signed for Hibs in 1904 from Motherwell.[2] He played regularly for Hibs over the course of the next few seasons, and won international recognition when he was selected to play for Scotland in the 1909 British Home Championship match against Ireland. Scotland won the match 5–0, and Main was expected to win further honours.[5] Main also played for the Scottish League once.[3]

Main's life and career was cut short, however, when he suffered a ruptured bowel after being kicked in the stomach by Partick Thistle outside-left Frank Branscombe during a match played at Firhill on Christmas Day 1909.[5] John Sharp, a teammate of Main, later said that the incident was an accident because the Thistle player had slipped on the icy surface before making contact.[1] Main had returned home on the night of the game, but he was rushed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary when the extent of his internal injuries were realised.[2] An emergency operation was initially successful, but further treatment was ineffective and Main died from his injuries.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Tragic tale of Hibs' James Main, who died of Christmas Day injury". The Scotsman. 24 December 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "James Main". Hibernian Historical Trust. 
  3. ^ a b "James Main". Londonhearts.com. London Hearts Supporters' Club. Retrieved 12 December 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c James Main at the Scottish Football Association
  5. ^ a b "Memorabilia mixes with poignant tales in new Easter Road exhibit". The Scotsman. Johnston Press. 30 May 2008.