Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
Leeds United/City Captains
Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games
Leeds United/City Reserves and Other Teams

Gemmell: James (Jimmy)

1907-1910 (Leeds City Player Details)

Inside Forward

Born: Glasgow: 17-11-1880

Debut: v Oldham Athletic (a): 30-11-1907

59 12st 7lb (1907)

Gemmell started his career with Duntocher Hibernian before joining Clyde in August 1900. He had only played nine games in the Second Division of the Scottish League when he was spotted by The English First Division Sunderland and was signed by them in November 1900. He was a class act and soon made the Sunderland first team, making his debut for Sunderland on 8th December 1900 against Sheffield Wednesday in a 10 win at Roker Park. He was at Sunderland in two different spells. The first spell from 1900 to 1907 and the second from 1910 to 1912 respectively. the two spells were separated by one part season with Stoke in 1907 and longer one at Leeds United until 1910. During his first stay at Sunderland, he had just three games in his first season of 1900-01 as Sunderland finished runner-up. He soon became a firm crowd favourite and helped the Rokerites win the Football League Championship in 1902, topping the goal-scorers with ten goals in thirty-one games and made two appearances in the F.A Cup. 1902-03 saw the Mackems finish in third spot with Gemmell finding the net seven times in twenty-two League games and one in the F.A. Cup. He again scored ten goals, this time from twenty-nine League appearances as the Black Cats slipped to sixth on the ladder and played in one F.A. Cup tie in the 1903-04 season. There was a slight improvement as there was a fifth place in 1904-05 as Gemmell played thirty-two games in the League and one in the F.A. Cup but scored only five goals. 1905-06 saw Sunderland drop to fourteenth on the ladder even thought Gemmell contributed seven goals in twenty-nine League and four F.A. Cup games before finishing his first spell with just four goals from thirty League appearances and five more in the F.A. Cup with Sunderland slipping further to tenth. He had spent seven highly successful seasons at Roker Park, his first spell saw him play one hundred and seventy-six League games for forty-three goals and he also made fourteen F.A. Cup appearances, but without any success in scoring a goal. In May 1907 Gemmell signed for Second Division Stoke, but after making just eleven appearances and scoring twice he was sold to Leeds City due to Stoke having serious financial difficulties which caused the Potters resignation from the Football League. He used the excuse of family problems and joined Leeds City on 29th November 1907. He went straight into the first team and scored in his debut, all-be-it in a 2-4 defeat at Oldham Athletic on 30th November1907. Wanderer reported in the Leeds Mercury: "A good deal was expected of Gemmell, who was transferred from Stoke on Friday, but it must be said that he was rather disappointing. He was not quick enough and allowed himself to be robbed of the ball on several occasions. Of course, one cannot really judge a man on the form shown in one match - especially when playing in what might be described as a swampy mess - and he will perhaps give a better account of himself on future occasions." A couple of weeks later, the same Wanderer noted distinct improvements. "Gemmell has undoubtedly done a good deal towards strengthening the quintet. He is by no means a showy player, and a lot of his work might pass unnoticed to the casual observer. But, watching him closely, one is struck by his general utility and untiring exertions. Cool and level headed, he knows what to do at the right moment, and is not often at fault in his passing." He went on to score three times in sixteen league starts and one in the F.A. Cup and became a regular fixture in the City team, unless injured, until he left to rejoin Sunderland in May 1910. In his second season at Elland Road he netted eight goals in twenty-eight League games and played in four F.A. Cup ties without scoring. He made a good start to 1908-09 season, with the Yorkshire Post reporting that "Gemmell, for one, was again in fine form, particularly in the first half, and he has but to maintain the energy he has shown in these two opening matches to justify the good reputation which he had when he joined the Elland Road organisation." He scored a hat trick in the 5-2 defeat of Cup-holders Wolves on 12th December 1908. Gemmell, reminiscent of his Sunderland days, also got in another fierce shot leading to a fourth goal by Dickie Guy after Wanderers keeper Lunn failed to hold onto the effort. Gemmell earned particular praise for his contribution in the FA Cup reverse against West Ham in February. Wanderer: "The pick of the forwards, and, in fact, of the whole twenty-two players on the field, was Gemmell. I have never seen him play better football. Exceedingly tricky, and making good use of his weight, he was always a thorn in the side of the West Ham men, and if not going for goal he was back helping the half-backs to keep the Londoners at bay. A great feature of his work was his untiring energy. He never gave in, and if robbed of the ball he was after his man in a trice, and not infrequently succeeded in gaining possession again." Towards the end of the season, Gemmell had a brief spell as City captain, and he was once more a mainstay of the team in 1909-10, though he lost his place in the closing weeks and departed in May to rejoin Sunderland, after he had netted three goals in twenty-three League games and one F.A. Cup appearance. His time at Elland Road had seen him net fourteen goals in sixty-seven League games and play a further six F.A. ties. Gemmell was renowned as a quality finisher and his Leeds record included a hat-trick at Elland Road against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 12th December 1908 and a couple of braces. When he returned to Roker Park he netted once in twenty-one League games and one F.A. tie as Sunderland came third in the First Division. They were eighth in the 1911-12 season as Gemmell scored twice in sixteen League games. His second spell at Roker saw him score three goals in thirty-six League and one F.A. Cup tie.This took his totals to forty-six goals in two hundred and thirteen League games and fifteen F.A. Cup-ties. That record was good enough to place him at No. 34 in the list of all-time Sunderland greats. He left Roker and returned to Scotland with Third Lanark in April 1912. He scored on his only appearance in the 1911-12 season and then made fourteen futher appearances in the 1912-13 season before finishing his career as Player-Manager of West Stanley, who he joined in July 1913.

League 6714
F.A. Cup 60