James Tierney (footballer)

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James Tierney
Personal information
Full name James Michael Tierney
Nickname(s) Sorry / Dad
Date of birth 1878
Place of birth Gawler, South Australia
Date of death 1959 (aged 80)
Place of death Melbourne, Victoria
Original team(s) Gawler
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1901–02, 1904, 1906–10
West Adelaide
West Torrens
South Adelaide
North Adelaide
81 (18)
8 (1)
10 (1)
15 (4)
114 (24)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1911.
Career highlights

James Michael "Sorry" Tierney (born 1878 in Gawler, South Australia - died 1959 in Melbourne, Victoria) was an Australian rules footballer who played in the South Australian Football Association (SAFA) and the South Australian Football League (SAFL), mainly with the West Adelaide Football Club.

Tierney, a Sand carter from Gawler, had three stints at West Adelaide. He made his debut on 10 August 1901 and stayed with the club in 1902. He played 18 games and kicked seven goals during this time.

He then moved to the West Torrens Football Club in 1903 where he earned selection for the South Australian state team. Tierney however refused to play protesting over the non-selection of Sturt ruckman "Taffy" Wayne. As a result, the SAFA suspended Tierney from interstate games for three years, though he was still able to play league football. As a result of this Tierney left West Torrens with only four games left in the season and finished the year playing for the Alma Football Club in Broken Hill.

1904 saw Tierney return to West Adelaide for one season before moving to play with South Adelaide in 1905. He was to stay at South for 1906 but after only four games of the season he transferred back to West Adelaide where he would continue until the end of the 1910 season. Tierney was named co-captain of the club in 1907 and was vice-captain of West Adelaide's 1908 and 1909 premiership sides. In 1908 West Adelaide also were crowned 'Champions of Australia' after defeating the Victorian Football League (VFL) premiership winning team Carlton 12 9 (81) to 7 10 (52) in a match played at the Adelaide Oval.

During his third and last stint at West Adelaide Tierney partnered Tom Leahy in the ruck with great success, winning the Magarey Medal in 1908 to become the first player from the club to win the award. He also formed a winning combination with West's brilliant centreman and 1909 Magarey Medalist Richard "Dick" Head.

After West finished a disappointing fifth in 1910, Tierney (along with Leahy) joined North Adelaide for the 1911 season. It was reported that while still having the stamina, Tierney's reflexes had slowed down by this time and after a lackluster 1911 season he decided to retire from league football.

Despite his three-year ban from interstate football, Tierney played in nine games for South Australia.

Tierney later moved to Melbourne where he died in 1959 at the age of 80.

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