Jim Scott
By Jim Vaughn and Bill Gibbs
Wednesday 22 Dec 2010 11:00:00
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Following the death of Jackie Sinclair, we thought it fitting to write a few words about Jim Scott who played alongside Jackie in the late 60’s. Best friend Jim, attended the Falkirk Hospital with Jackie, providing Jackie with support and encouragement in his battle against cancer.

Jim was born on 21st August 1940 in Falkirk and started his professional career in 1958 with Hibernian, moving to the Magpies in 1967. Jim moved to Crystal Palace in 1969 and onto Falkirk in 1971 and finally ended his professional playing days in 1973 with Hamilton Academicals.

Now retired, Jim played 74 games for the Magpies as outside right. Jim was an old fashioned winger, marauding up and down the right wing where he managed to net a total of 6 goals for the Magpies, and, none more important than Newcastle’s first ever goal in Europe against Feyenoord at St. James’ Park; and his semi-final goal against Rangers, ironic that it was two best pals from Scotland that helped put an end to Glasgow Rangers and put the Magpies into the final of the Fairs Cup. The 1969 Fairs Cup Semi-Final goals from two Scotsmen, that sparked the riots, blasted Newcastle into the Final. Jim managed a total of 4 goals in the 68/69 European campaign.

A case of mistaken identity almost ruined Jim’s chance of playing in the Fairs Cup. Whilst on tour of duty in 1968/69 he was quietly sitting in his room at the Goya Hotel in the city of Zaragoza and he was asked to join Dave Smith in the reception of the hotel. When they got there imagine the panic when Smith and Scott were confronted by two Spanish Policemen.

A couple of Englishmen called Smith and Scott had committed crimes in the Zaragoza area, and the cops had been tipped off they were staying at the Goya. They were on the verge of being arrested and marched to the local nick. It took some doing to convince the police that they were not the guilty ones. They had to produce their passports and argue our corner repeatedly before the police would believe they were footballers, not criminals.

Imagine a modern day footballer playing a European tie away on New Year’s Day, it simply would not happen.

Like his best friend Jackie Sinclair, Jim only won one cap for Scotland, a 3–0 friendly defeat against the Netherlands in May 1966.

When Jim finished his playing career he and his brother Alex, who played for Glasgow Rangers, Everton in the 1966 FA Cup Final win against Sheffield Wednesday, Hibernian (where he was signed from Wednesday using part of the fee that took Jim to Newcastle United) and finally Falkirk, built a pub in Falkirk called The Hurlet.

Sadly Alex passed away in2001. Jim went on in the pub trade and was at The Aitken Bar in Falkirk until his retirement. In The Aitken Bar was Jim’s framed Fairs Cup Final shirt next to a large frame with brother Alex’s Scotland shirt alongside Pele’s Brazilian shirt from the match at Hampden Park. Above the bar was a framed Newcastle United shirt signed to Jim’s good lady Ann by Alan Shearer. When Fairs Club Chairman Bill Gibbs first met Ann, she proudly informed him that she was a shareholder, by virtue of the shares passing to her via her dad, of the other team in Falkirk, East Stirlingshire!

Jim was the first Fairs Cup player honoured by The Fairs Club when he was presented with his shirts by them.  He was further honoured in May this year at the Fairs Club Presentation Evening at The Lindisfarne Club in Wallsend, where he was presented with a statuette in the form of a Newcastle footballer, for scoring Newcastle United’s first ever European goal in 1968/69 versus Feyenoord at St. James’ Park.

As we mentioned earlier Jim was the best friend of Newcastle United winger, Jackie Sinclair, who passed away recently and regularly attended Jackie’s hospital visits with him. Jackie was cremated on September 21st and The Fairs Club was given the honour of their members filing in to the Crematorium wearing their Newcastle shirts, behind Jackie’s coffin. Later that day at a celebration of Jackie’s life in the Church at Dollar where he resided, member John Oliver read out a poem about Jackie which he had composed and when John had finished, it was lovely to see the lady vicar lead a rapturous round of applause.  United legends John McNamee and Alan Foggon represented the players and it was a measure of the man that Ex Dunfermline legend Jim Leishman and Glasgow Rangers legend Willie Henderson attended. Jackie leaves a wife Lynne, son Chris, daughter Jody and Grandchildren, Juliet and Callum.


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