John Sims, a well-known lower division striker who scored 86 times in a 345-game Football League career, enjoyed two spells with Exeter City. He first arrived from Notts County in the late 1970s before leaving for Plymouth Argyle where he made almost exactly half of his professional appearances. Returning to St James’ Park from Torquay United he later headed back to Plainmoor to conclude his playing career. In total he made around sixty league appearances for the Grecians.
He started his career as an apprentice with Derby County, turning professional in August 1970. He made three league outings for County. He also had loan spells with Luton Town in November 1973, Oxford United in September 1974 and Colchester United in January 1975, before moving to Notts County in December 1975 for a fee of £10,000 where he was to score 13 goals in 61 league matches.
Moving to Exeter City in December 1978 for a fee of £12,000, his debut was against Walsall on Boxing Day with him scoring in the 3-1 win. His stay at St James’ Park was to be a short one as he followed manager Bobby Saxton to Plymouth Argyle in October 1979 for £22,500.
He quickly established himself at Home Park, making 183 appearances and scoring 48 goals, and was voted Player of the Season in 1982 by the Plymouth fans. He left Plymouth in August 1983 to join Torquay United where he scored eight times in thirty league matches.
Signing again for Exeter City in February 1984, he made a further 25 appearances, scoring six times in the process, before returning to Torquay United in November 1984.
Appointed player-coach at Plainmoor, he became manager when David Webb left the club although his spell in charge was to last 33 days with just one win and one draw in eight matches. Later that year he joined Saltash United before becoming player-manager of Waldon Athletic in Torquay and running the Post Horn in Madrepore Road, Torquay.