AskBiography Logo   Latest News  Follow Us on Twitter  Follow Us on Google Buzz  Became Fan - Facebook  Subscribe to RSSRSS   Bookmark and Share

Jim Baxter

Jim Baxter
Personal information
Full nameJames Curran Baxter
Date of birth29 September 1939
Place of birthHill of Beath, Scotland
Date of death14 April 2001(age 61)
Place of deathGlasgow, Scotland
Playing positionMidfielder

     Home | Football Player | Jim Baxter

James Curran Baxter (29 September 1939 14 April 2001) was a left-footed Scottish international midfielder who is regarded by some as the country's greatest ever football player. Born and educated in Fife, Baxter started his professional career at Raith Rovers before moving to Glasgow club Rangers for a Scottish record transfer fee in 1960. "Slim Jim" helped Rangers to win ten trophies between 1960 and 1965.

However he started drinking heavily during a four-month layoff caused by a leg fracture in December 1964, his fitness suffered, and he was transferred to Sunderland in summer 1965. In 98 games over two and a half years at Sunderland he became known for drinking himself unconscious the night before a match and playing well the next day. At the end of 1967 Sunderland transferred him to Nottingham Forest, who gave him a free transfer back to Rangers in 1969 after 50 games. A year later Baxter retired from football at the age of 31.

From 1961 to 1967 he was a leading member of a strong Scottish international team that lost to England only in 1965, shortly after he recovered from the leg fracture. He thought his best international performance was a 2 1 win against England in 1963, when he scored both goals after Scotland were reduced to 10 players by an injury. In the 1967 match against England, who had won the 1966 World Cup, he taunted the opposition by ball juggling while waiting for his team-mates to find good positions.

In his prime Baxter was known for his ability to raise a team's morale, his good tactical vision, precise passing and ability to send opponents the wrong way and for being a joker on the pitch. He also broke with Glasgow tradition and Rangers' policy by becoming friendly with several members of their major Glasgow rivals, Celtic.

Although he gained a reputation as a womaniser when he moved to Glasgow, Baxter married in 1965 and had two sons. The marriage broke up in 1981, and in 1983 he formed another relationship that lasted the rest of his life. After retiring from football he became manager of a pub, and his continued heavy drinking damaged his liver so badly that he needed two transplants at the age of 55, after which he swore off alcohol. Baxter was also addicted to gambling, and is estimated to have lost between £250,000 and £500,000. After he died of pancreatic cancer in 2001, his funeral was held in Glasgow Cathedral, where Gordon Brown delivered one of the readings. In 2003 a statue was erected in his honour at his hometown, Hill of Beath.

Warning: simplexml_load_file( [function.simplexml-load-file]: failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.0 410 Gone in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 257

Warning: simplexml_load_file() [function.simplexml-load-file]: I/O warning : failed to load external entity "" in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 257

Fatal error: Call to a member function children() on a non-object in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 260