"A remarkable man...to have played for Scotland, won the FA Cup, scored the winning goal and won a Military Medal is remarkable by any standards."
Over the next three years, he played a total of 62 Scottish League and Cup games, and scored 29 goals, for the ‘Gers before moving to Clyde in 1908, for whom he scored 10 goals in 20 Scottish League Division One and Scottish Cup games. In March 1908, Jimmy Speirs won his only international cap for Scotland, in the British Championship game against Wales at Dundee.
In July 1909 he signed for Bradford City in the English First Division. He captained the side, and played in 86 League games, scoring 29 times, with a further 10 FA Cup games (4 goals). His career peaked with “glorious 1911” when his goal after 15 minutes in the replay at Old Trafford won the FA Cup.
In December 1912 Jimmy was signed for the Leeds City club by the legendary Herbert Chapman, who would later achieve League Championship success with Huddersfield Town and Arsenal. The reported fee of £1,400 was huge, at a time when the average weekly wage was just £2, and top players were earning only £4 per week. As at Valley Parade, Jimmy captained the side, playing 73 times for the Elland Road club (32 goals), plus a further 5 FA Cup games.
Jimmy Speirs played his last match in the final league game of the 1914-15 season, before, despite being married with two young children, he returned to Glasgow and volunteered to enlist in the Cameron Highlanders, being immediately posted to a reserve battalion at Inverness.
In March 1916, the then Corporal Speirs was posted to France. He won the Military Medal for bravery in the field in May 1917, and was then promoted to Sergeant. Tragically, at the age of just 31, Jimmy was reported wounded and missing on 20 August 1917, with his widow eventually being informed that he had died on, or shortly after, going missing.
Sergeant J H Speirs MM is buried at Dochy Farm New British Cemetery, near Ieper (Ypres) in Belgium.
Jimmy has a dedicated website which gives a detailed account of his life, footballing career and heroic war record.