Dunfermline Athletic

Jimmy Williamson

(2 May 1928 – 21 February 2015)

The club were extremely upset to hear that the club’s oldest-known surviving player, Jimmy Williamson, died at the weekend just a couple of months before his 87th birthday. Jimmy had remained active and continued to work part-time in a local Butchers Shop in Perthshire. He died while out on the golf course.

Jimmy Williamson was born on 2nd May 1928 and lived in Stanley in Perthshire from the age of four until his death. Jimmy’s football career didn’t blossom until he was older, mainly due to the circumstances at the time. There was no schools football in Perthshire during the Second World War, but he did get some opportunity as a member of the Army Cadets, and went on to play for Murthly Amateurs.

During the War he became an Apprentice Butcher at the age of 14, but he had to give that up when he was called up by the Navy in 1946. He found himself based in Hong Kong and Singapore and got into the ship’s football team which played matches against other ships, including matches played at the Shanghai Stadium.

When Jimmy was demobbed he signed for Stanley Juniors and later he was picked up by a prominent local team Blairgowrie Juniors. He was an adaptable two-footed player who could play in a variety of positions and in his time with Blairgowrie was picked at left back, centre half and even centre forward. Despite his relatively small stature, his performances at centre half begun to receive recognition. He was selected for the Scotland Junior Select to play Northern Ireland, a match that in the end he was reserve for. But in 1952 he played for Perthshire Select against Fife Junior Select at Stark’s Park and it was there that Pars manager Bobby Ancell noticed him and signed him for Dunfermline.

Jimmy was with Dunfermline for four seasons from 1952 to 1956 but was constantly hampered by his unwillingness to move closer to East End Park and perhaps become full-time. He was offered a job in Fife which he rejected because he was the oldest in the family and the breadwinner, so he trained part-time, mostly at Muirton Park, the then home of St Johnstone.

Despite not being a regular in the side, he had fond memories of a lot of the matches he played at Dunfermline, recalling playing against Hibernian’s wing wizard Gordon Smith in the Pars first game back in the top league in 1955, and against the great Bobby Collins when Celtic came visiting. He remembered with affection his time at East End Park, and some of the characters – Ron Mailer, a young Jimmy Miller who went on to do great things with Rangers, and the manager Bobby Ancell himself who Jimmy thought a lot of.

After leaving East End Park in 1956, Jimmy joined Montrose briefly but the travel there was at least as difficult as Dunfermline! He returned home and played for Vale of Atholl in the North Perthshire League.

Jimmy came from a footballing family – brother Arthur played for Clyde and Southend, while Andy played for Portadown. His sons Mark and Clive both had spells with Dundee and Dundee. United.

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