Jock Gilfillan

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Jock Gilfillan
Personal information
Full name John E Gilfillan[1]
Date of birth (1898-09-29)29 September 1898
Place of birth Townhill, Fife, Scotland
Date of death 1976 (aged 77–78)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
? Inverkeithing United ?
1922–1928 Hearts ?
1926–1927? East Fife (loan) ?
1928–1937 Portsmouth 331 (0)
1937–1938? Queens Park Rangers 21 (0)
1938? Clapton Orient (loan) 0 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

John "Jock" Gilfillan (29 September 1898 – 1976[1]) was a Scottish-born footballer who played as a goalkeeper in the 1920s and 1930s, notably with Portsmouth.

He joined Hearts from his local team Inverkeithing United,[1] and played for Hearts in a 1922–23 Scottish Cup tie against Bo'ness.[2] He was later loaned to East Fife,[1] and played for them in the 1926–27 Scottish Cup final against Celtic.[3]

Gilfillan moved to play in England with Portsmouth of the Football League in 1928. He was to go on to make 359 senior appearances with the south coast club, including playing for them in the 1929 and 1934 FA Cup Finals. In his nine seasons with the club he kept 107 clean sheets in 330 League matches.[4]

He eventually left Portsmouth to play for Queens Park Rangers, where he made 21 League appearances, and he then had a short loan spell with Clapton Orient, although he did not play a league game for them.[1]

Gilfillan played for Clapton Orient against his registered club Queens Park Rangers on Thursday 11 November 1937 in a First Round Division Three Southern section Cup game before 3 500 fans at Brisbane Road. Rangers winning 2-0. Orient had their two goalkeepers unavailable. Jacob Iceton on the injured list and Charlie Hillam feeling unwell and had to go home, so Gilfillan was given permission to play by Rangers management and the FA against his Rangers teammates. He went back to Rangers the next day. Source: Neilson N. Kaufman, honorary historian Leyton Orient FC.

In April 2009, he was included in a Times list of the Top 50 Portsmouth players of all time, and was described as being "one of the finest keepers in the club’s history with excellent positioning and agility the key to his success."[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e Joyce, Michael (2004). Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939. Soccerdata. ISBN 1-899468-67-6. 
  2. ^ David Speed and Alex Knight. "History 1914-1924 (Buying Success)". Heart of Midlothian Official Site. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2010. 
  3. ^ 1927 Scottish Cup Final Stats and Lineups at[dead link]
  4. ^ a b Shulman, Calvin (21 April 2009). "Top 50 greatest Portsmouth players". London: Times online. Retrieved 1 August 2010. 

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