Jimmy Davidson
Jimmy Davidson
Jimmy Davidson
● Jimmy Davidson (HA)

born in Scotland

James Anderson Davidson was born on Sunday, 8th November, 1925, in Douglas Water, South Lanarkshire.

The 5' 10 (11st 7lbs) midfielder signed for Donald Turner's Thistle on Friday, 7th December, 1945, having most recently been with Muirkirk.

Aged 20, he made his debut appearance on Saturday, 20th April, 1946, in a 2-2 draw away to Clachnacuddin in the Victory Cup.

Jimmy scored his first goal for Thistle on Saturday, 20th November, 1948, in a 4-2 defeat away to St Mirren in the SFL First Division.

He scored the last of his 45 goals on Monday, 28th September, 1959, in a 2-1 neutral-venue defeat against Rangers in the Glasgow Cup.

He played his last game for the club on Saturday, 19th March, 1960, in a 3-0 defeat away to Dundee in the SFL First Division, having clocked up a mighty 417 appearances as a Jag.

His club-list included Muirkirk, Partick Thistle and Caledonian.

Jimmy died on Wednesday, 24th January, 1996, in Ayr, South Ayrshire, aged 70.

Bio Extra

The son of a Lanarkshire miner, Jimmy himself was one of the 'Bevin Boys' who worked down the pits to aid the war effort. He was living in East Ayrshire by the end of the war, playing with his (then) local junior side, Muirkirk, when the chance arose to step up to the professional grade with Donald Turner's Partick Thistle. Initially a reserve, he got his chance in the first team in a Victory Cup tie at Inverness, due to the first team proper being engaged away in Germany, playing against a British Army team in Münster!

An outstanding servant to Thistle, Jimmy could play anywhere along the half-back line and came to make the centre half position his own. He was extremely loyal to the club, spending 15 years as a player, despite the modest salary from the Firhill executive. He said that his wages averaged around £10 per week, and it's a wonder that he didn't do more to encourage the offers he had from Celtic, Aberdeen, Newcastle United and doubtless there were others.

He played in Scotland's first World Cup finals, in Switzerland, in 1954, and won 8 full international caps in total. Only Johnny MacKenzie (9) & Alan Rough (51) earned more whilst a Jag. He scored for his country in November, 1954, in front of 46,200 at Hampden, typically firing home a beauty from a free kick in a 2-2 draw with Northern Ireland. As one commentator noted: “As an attacking half-back he has few equals and few can put more venom and direction into a free kick”. One month later he was back at Hampden, this time playing in front of 113,146 (the biggest crowd of his career) as the real Magyars (Puskás et al) defeated Scotland by 4 to 2.

With his lethal right foot, Jimmy was all about the power drive, and was our dead ball specialist throughout the 1950s. He was Thistle's go-to penalty-kick expert, and this allowed him to gather a much larger goals tally than might otherwise have been expected for a midfielder. Jimmy's early penalty against League leaders Aberdeen at Firhill on 30th October 1954 ensured a 1-0 victory for the (Maryhill) Magyars and, at that stage, he still had a 100% record from the spot. It was his 15th consecutive penalty conversion - a club-record which still stands today. Jimmy's mighty penalty total is unlikely ever to be matched - 29 succesful conversions and a success rate of 85%.

As part of David Meiklejohn's succesful side of the 1950s, Jimmy appeared in several cup finals with Thistle, winning golds in Glasgow Cups, but, heartbreakingly, all three League Cup final appearances ended with silvers. After his first-class era was over, he wound down his playing career with Caledonian in the Highland League, spending 4 seasons in Inverness all told, including his long-overdue testimonial game in which he played against Thistle! They couldn't keep him away from Firhill though, and he was groundsman there until well into the 1970s, by then having given well over 25 years of service to the club. He was later groundsman at Glasgow's Jordanhill College and worked in Glasgow District parks department until he retired at 65.

Jimmy, a father of five, lived with his wife Anna in Muirkirk, Ayrshire. In 1995, he was diagnosed as suffering from lung cancer, and passed away, peacefully, just six months later, at the Ayrshire Hospice in Ayr.

(WS)



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