Date: 25th October 2006 at 10:09pm
Written by:

Vital Chester City were saddened to hear of the death recently of former Chester player Jimmy McGill.

A Scotsman, Jimmy was born in Bellshill near Glasgow on October 2nd 1939. Although he started his career as a winger he joined Chester as a wing half and made 32 league appearances for the club in the early sixties. A strong tackler, he was also a good passer of the ball and although he only stayed at Sealand Road for a year he performed consistently in the number 4 shirt. Jimmy started his career with Partick Thistle whom he joined in 1956 at the age of 16. At the time Jimmy was playing as a winger but Partick had a strong side at the end of the fifties and he was unable to break through into the first team. In May 1959 Jimmy crossed the border and joined Oldham Athletic who were then in the Fourth Division.

Jimmy recalls that a number of clubs were interested in signing him but he was swayed by the Oldham manager Norman Dodgin who he says was the biggest influence of his footballing career. By now Jimmy had reverted to full back but the wingers instinct was still in him and his 39 appearances were notable for his overlapping runs down the wing. At the end of the 1959/60 season Jimmy asked for a transfer and joined Crewe in August 1960 where he made 81 League appearances and scored 2 goals as a right back and right half. It was at Crewe that Jimmy received the injury that was to eventually force his premature retirement from the game.

In October 1962 Jimmy asked for a transfer from Crewe and was signed by Bill Lambton for Chester. His debut came on October 27th 1962 in a 2-0 home victory over Bradford City in a game that also saw the debuts of Alan Pritchard and Dennis Keating. Jimmy went on to establish himself as a first team regular at Sealand Road and made 25 league appearances that season in a team that finished in the bottom four in the Fourth Division. At the start of the 1963/64 season Peter Hauser took over as player manager but after 7 appearances that season Jimmy asked for a transfer and joined Wrexham. His last appearances in a Chester shirt came on September 28th 1963 at Chesterfield in a game that Chester lost 1-0.

Jimmy only had a short spell at Wrexham making just 17 League appearances and in the summer before the start of the 1964/65 season he joined Macclesfield. By now Jimmy was having problems with the injury he had received at Crewe and the stay at Macclesfield only lasted a couple on months. Jimmy recalls that one of the reasons that he only stayed for a short time at Macclesfield was the difficulty he had in travelling from his home in Chester, a problem familiar to many of us! In October 1964 Jimmy joined Bournemouth but only remained there for a month without making a first team appearance. After leaving Bournemouth Jimmy started the 1965/66 season with Bangor City in the Cheshire County League before retiring from football shortly afterwards.

We send our deepest sympathy and warmest wishes to all of Jimmy`s family.