Jimmy McMenemy
Jimmy McMenemy
Jimmy McMenemy
● Jimmy McMenemy (CW)

born in Scotland

James McMenamin (styled throughout his life as 'McMenemy' despite his official birth, death and marriage records) was born on Monday, 11th October, 1880, in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire.

The 5' 7 (11st 0lbs) forward signed for George Easton's Thistle on Monday, 21st June, 1920, having most recently been with Celtic.

Aged 39, he made his debut appearance on Thursday, 19th August, 1920, in a 1-0 win at home to Dumbarton in the Scottish Football League.

Jimmy scored his first goal for Thistle on Saturday, 4th September, 1920, in a 5-1 win at home to St Mirren in the Scottish Football League.

He scored the last of his 4 goals on Saturday, 29th April, 1922, in a 2-1 win away to St Mirren in the SFL First Division.

He played his last game for the club on Tuesday, 2nd May, 1922, in a 3-3 defeat (on corners aet) at home to Celtic in the Glasgow Charity Cup, having appeared as a Jag on 74 occasions.

His club-list included Cambuslang Hibernian, Rutherglen Glencairn, Celtic, Stenhousemuir and Partick Thistle.

Jimmy died on Wednesday, 23rd June, 1965, in Glasgow, aged 84.

Bio Extra

George Easton's pre-season coup was the talk of the press in the summer of '20, as 39-year-old Jimmy McMenemy of Celtic put pen to paper at Firhill. 11 Scottish titles, 6 Scottish Cup wins and 12 Scottish caps (the most recent just 3 months earlier) was his story so far. A true giant of the Scottish game, it was almost inconceivable in footballing circles that the inside-left-cum-midfield-general could ever be parted from Parkhead as a player. The matter was a simple one however; Celtic gaffer Willie Maley wasn't convinced he had the engine for another season, and Jimmy felt that he did. Ultimately, the split was amicable, and Thistle were the beneficiaries.

It was the colourful Maley who was first to label him 'Napoleon', in small part for his physical likeness to the French military leader of some 100 years earlier, but largely as a nod to his ability to read the game, dictate the play and inspire his troops to victory in the vast majority of his battles. Quite aside from his traits as field marshal, he was an exceptionally talented footballer; quick-footed and tricky on the dribble with a dead-eye for the killer pass. A war horse on the park he may have been, but there end the similarities with 'old boney', Jimmy being self-effacing and mild-mannered by nature, and very much able for getting his team mates onside, certain to be appreciated by the down-to-earth George Easton himself.

By and large, Jimmy was proved right in backing himself for first class football in 1920-21, although navigating a monster campaign of 55 competitive games pushed him to his physical limits. In the end, he played in 38 of those games, and consistently drew praise for the high level of his performances, well into his 41st year, forging a formidable partnership on the left side, in front of fellow internationalist, Jimmy McMullan. How incredible that, as fate would have it, Jimmy would return to his old Celtic Park stomping ground twice in this season's Scottish Cup campaign. And that, twice, he would lead the Jags to victory there. And that the second of these would earn the 40-year-old a winners medal against his auld enemy. It's an incredible story in the Thistle history books. Bravo Napoleon - vive la révolution!

(WS)



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