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Jimmy Speirs

Jimmy Speirs
Speirs in his Bradford City kit in 1911
Personal information
Full nameJames Hamilton Speirs
Date of birth22 March 1886
Place of birthGlasgow, Scotland
Date of death20 August 1917(age 31)
Place of deathYpres, Belgium
Playing positionInside forward

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James Hamilton Speirs (22 March 1886 20 August 1917), commonly known as Jimmy Speirs, was a Scottish footballer who represented his country on one occasion, scored the winning goal in the 1911 FA Cup Final, and received the Military Medal during the First World War.

Born in Glasgow, he was one of six children, and worked as a clerk while playing youth football for Annandale. He started his adult football career with local junior team Maryhill, where he played for less than a season, before he moved to Rangers in 1905. He spent three years with the club, but won only the Glasgow Merchants' Charity Cup, before he joined a third Glasgow side Clyde. After one season, he left Clyde and Scotland, and joined Bradford City for their second season in the First Division. His greatest success came in his second season with Bradford, when he was the club's captain and goalscorer in their FA Cup Final victory of 1911, in a team featuring eight Scottish-born players.

He spent another two seasons with Bradford City, before he joined Leeds City, but after two seasons, the First World War broke out. League football continued for one more season, at the end of which Speirs returned to Glasgow. Married with two young children, Speirs would have been exempt from conscription but he volunteered to join the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders in 1915. He was promoted to Lance Corporal, Corporal and Sergeant, and won the Military Medal for bravery in the field, but was killed during the Battle of Passchendaele in August 1917, at the age of 31.

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