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

Speirs: James Hamilton (Jimmy)

1913-1915 (Leeds City Player Details)

Inside Left

Born: Govan, Glasgow: 22-03-1886

Debut: v Glossop North End (h): 06-09-1913

5’10 1/2” 12st 5lb (1913)

Speirs started with Glasgow Annandale and then moved to Maryhill in April 1905. He joined Rangers in August 1905 and stayed at Ibrox for three seasons. It was there on 7th March 1908 that he gain his only Scottish Cap in a 2-1 win over Wales at Dens Park, Dundee. Although he appeared in a ‘Home Scots’ v ‘Anglo Scots’ game in March 1910, and reportedly took part in international trials, he was not able to add to his one cap. While at Ibrox he scored twenty-four goals in fifty-three League games and another five in nine Scottish Cup games. He joined Clyde before the start of the 1908-09 season but only stayed there for one season, scoring seven times in fourteen League games and another three goals in six Scottish Cup games. He moved south of the border and signed for First Division Bradford City in July 1909. It was at Bradford where he experienced his finest hour on the football field, when he captained the Valley Paraders to victory in the F.A. Cup Final replay at Old Trafford in 1911 and scored the winning goal after just fifteen minutes. Newcastle United were the F.A. Cup-holders, having beaten Barnsley 2-0 the previous year, and were favourites to win. On 22nd April 1911 the two teams played a goalless draw at the Crystal Palace in front of a crowd of 69,068. They attracted 58,000 to Old Trafford on 26th April 1911 and Jimmy Spiers’ goal proved to be the difference between the two teams. He played eighty-six League games for Bradford City, and scored twenty-nine goals while in the F.A. Cup he played ten games and scored four times in his over three seasons there. Second Division Leeds City paid a club record £1,400 to bring Speirs to Elland Road in December 1912. Herbert Chapman had just taken over as Manager of the Second Division Leeds and it was his policy to invest in established International players of acknowledged quality to get the club into the top flight. At the start of his career, Speirs had been a centre-forward. However, in later years, he played in a position which in modern parlance would be described as "attacking midfielder", and his goals per games ratio on this basis was very impressive as he tended to hang back a little and provided his colleagues with telling passes. As at Valley Parade, Speirs captained the side, playing seventy-three League games, in which he scored thirty-two goals plus appearing in a further five F.A. Cup games. Jimmy Speirs played his last match in the final League game of the 1914-15 season, before, despite being married with two young children, he returned to Glasgow and volunteered to enlist in the Cameron Highlanders, being immediately posted to a reserve battalion at Inverness. In March 1916, the then Corporal Speirs was posted to France. He won the Military Medal for bravery in the field in May 1917, and was then promoted to Sergeant. Tragically, at the age of just thirty-one, he was reported wounded and missing on 20th August 1917 at Passchendaele, with his widow eventually being informed that he had died on, or shortly after, going missing. Sergeant J. H. Speirs MM is buried at Dochy Farm New British Cemetery, near Ypres in Belgium.

James Hamilton Speirs, MM, 22 March 1886 - 20 August 1917. This site is dedicated to James Hamilton Speirs - Jimmy Speirs - professional footballer and, ultimately, war hero. http://www.jimmy-speirs.co.uk/ (With courtesy and kind thanks to Andrew Pickles).

Jimmy Speirs: A History of Bradford City Front Room of Fame: http://www.bantamspast.co.uk/frontroom/jimmy_speirs.html

League 7331
F.A. Cup 50