Gray, Jimmy

Birth Date

16th September 1900





Biographical Text

Taking over from Dicky Baugh, and subsequently forming his own fine full-back pairing with Charlie Miller, Jimmy Gray spent six years with Exeter City between 1930 and 1936. He joined the club from Liverpool, having previously played in South Africa, and was a regular when City finished runners-up in Southern League (South) in 1932/33. A member of the Exeter City team that defeated Torquay United to win the Division Three (South) Cup in May 1934.

Growing up in Glasgow. Jimmy had appeared for the city's boys' clubs team before moving to play football in South Africa where he had played for representative teams against the English FA. Signing for Liverpool in 1927 he moved to Exeter City aged thirty in January 1930 where he was to compete with Dicky Baugh for the right-back position. 

Making his debut against Walsall at Fellows Park on 18 January 1930 Jimmy was ever-present for the remainder of the season and also appeared in the first six games of 1930/31. From that point onwards he was to only play another six games that season as Dicky Baugh took over and played in all the games in City’s run to the quarter-final of the FA Cup. Seemingly undaunted, Jimmy reclaimed his spot in October 1931 and played 36 times when the Grecians were runners-up in the league in 1932/33.

Going on to make 41, 41 and 33 league appearances during his remaining seasons at St James’ Park he was rewarded with a benefit match against Liverpool, his former club, in May 1935.  Retiring from the game he later worked in a telephone exchange in Liverpool and having visited Exeter several times over the years, died in August 1978. 


Report from the Western Morning News (2 May 1935) of Jimmy Gray's benefit match against Liverpool:

Wednesday, May 1 1935: Exeter City – Liverpool 1-3 (1-1). Attendance: 5,000.

Liverpool: Kane; Cooper, Tennant; Savage, McDougall, Dabbs; Nieuwenhuys, Wright, English, Johnson, Hanson.

Exeter City supporters paid gratifying tribute last night to five years’ consistent playing service when a crowd of over 5,000 watched Jimmy Gray’s benefit match with his former club, Liverpool. Additional interest was lent to the match by the presence of two former Exeter City players – Dick Pym, the ex-Bolton and international goalkeeper, and Wilf Lowton, the Wolverhampton full back – who officiated as linesmen. Liverpool won by three goals to one. Liverpool experienced difficulty in fielding a goalkeeper, for Kane received an injury to a finger at Torquay on Monday. They wired to the Football Association in the afternoon for permission to play Chesters, the Exeter ‘keeper, but this was refused, and Kane had to take the field.

The game was purely of an exhibition character, but this did not detract from the entertainment value, for Liverpool concentrated on close passing movements, and gave a brilliant exhibition of football artistry. The Exonians made a praiseworthy effort to play their famous First Division opponents at their own game, and were not entirely disgraced. The City were dangerous in early spasmodic raids, but their movements lacked concentrated effort, and they were often frustrated by Cooper, who revealed all the polish and consistent expected from an international back. Liverpool were the first to score, some scrappy goalmouth play culminating in English converting a stray shot from Hanson. Exeter were not to be denied, and ten minutes later Scott equalized after good play by Hurst.

In the second half the Liverpool forwards monopolized the play with clever inter-passing, and Nieuwenhuys and Wright, on the right-flank, combined brilliantly. English, the Irish international and former Glasgow Ranger, completely nonplussed the Exeter centre half with his intricacies and dash, and he crowned a great evening’s work by completing a “hat trick.” A well attended dance was afterwards held at Deller’s Cafe. 





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