Sillick (sometimes Sellick), Jimmy


Exeter, Devon (1884)



Biographical Text

Jimmy Sillick was one of the club’s founding members. Having been an original St Sidwell’s United player in 1901, he appeared in the first game played by Exeter City in 1904.

He was born in Exeter in 1884 and registered under the name ‘Sillick’ although contemporary reports often called him ‘Sellick’. Later described as “one of the smartest and certainly one of the fastest forwards ever to have worn the City colours” he had played football at school before, at the age of thirteen, appearing with the St James's Church Lads' Brigade in 1897. A mainstay for three seasons, he then played for St Thomas's Past in 1901 as an outside-left scoring many goals in the process. He subsequently became a member of the new St Sidwell’s United that was built around a group of 16- and 17-year olds who had attended St Sidwell’s school and lived close to the current St James’ Park.  

A goalscorer in the inaugural friendly against Dawlish on 21 September 1901, he scored a hat-trick in the new club’s first league game against Exeter YMCA on 5 October 1901. Featuring prominently over the next three seasons, he continued as St Sidwell’s became Exeter City in 1904 and appeared in the renamed club’s opening league fixture against 110 Battery Royal Artillery on 10 September 1904.  

Remaining a key figure during the 1904/05 season he made 13 appearances (five goals) followed by featuring in nine (of 12) games in 1905/06, 23 in 1906/07 (missing just one game) and 21 times during the next term which proved to be City’s last season before turning professional.   

Having played for the Devon county side, and known for his “fine turn of speed and accurate centres”, Jimmy in common with most of his teammates did not turn professional when City joined the paid ranks in 1908 although he did continue to play for the reserves as an amateur. After one season, he moved to Poole where he played for Longfleet St Mary’s. 

Referred to as ‘Sellick’ in the 1901 census, he was described as a ‘house painter’ living in Sidwell Street, Exeter. Reverting to ‘Sillick’ in 1911 he was a signwriter in Parkstone, near Poole. Later records suggest he was in Cowick Street, Exeter in 1939 before dying in the Totnes area in 1945.  


Exeter City from 1904/05






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