Jimmy Briscoe

*Indicates unconfirmed information. Figures in brackets after English team names indicate all appearances made and goals scored in competitive matches for Football League clubs from 1888 onwards. For Scottish League clubs the figures show details of all competitive appearances and goals scored from 1946/47 onwards.

Jimmy Briscoe

Appearances: 13 Goals: 6

Date / Year of birth: 14th October 1923

Position: Striker

Season of first appearance: 1953/54

Season of last appearance: 1953/54

Also played for: Sheffield Wednesday (5,3), Raith Rovers (Scotland) (0) and Ramsgate Athletic

6' 0" tall, hard-working, burly centre-forward born in Swinton who started his career with Sheffield Wednesday and progressed through their junior ranks to the first team.

Before making his senior bow for Wednesday Jimmy made wartime guest appearances for clubs including Raith Rovers and in 1945 he scored a hat-trick for them in a match against Glasgow Rangers. That reputedly made Jimmy the first Englishman ever to have scored a treble against Rangers. He also turned out for various armed forces sides during the war and in 1946 Jimmy played for the Royal Navy against the Dutch national team at Ajax's stadium.

He finally made his first team debut for Sheffield Wednesday in a 2nd Division game at Manchester City on 12.10.46 and scored the Owls' goal in a 2-1 defeat watched by 36,413. Jimmy made four further senior appearances, the last of them in a 4-1 defeat at Plymouth on 4.1.47, and scored twice more before moving to Ramsgate towards the end of 1946/47.

Jimmy went on to spend six seasons with the Rams and he was a prolific scorer for the club. During the 1949/50 campaign he scored a remarkable 47 goals and played in every match the Rams took part in, be it league, cup or friendly.

In June 1953 Jimmy crossed Thanet to join Margate and made his debut in a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Dover at Hartsdown Park on 22.8.53. It was the opening day of the 1953/54 campaign. He went on to score six times in 13 first team appearances during the season but spent a lot of time in the reserves, finding the net 21 times for them. His second string tally included four goals in an 8-0 win over Sheppey in October 1953 and an amazing six in an 11-0 win over Bexleyheath & Welling during January 1954.

Jimmy stayed with the club for the 1954/55 season too but played exclusively for the reserves, scoring 34 times for them. Unsurprisingly that made him their top scorer although it was surprising that he didn't get a chance in the first team.

He began the 1955/56 season in the reserves once more but with no sign of a first team opportunity on the horizon Jimmy left the club before the end of the campaign.

He was a miner and during January 1959 he suffered facial injuries in a pit explosion at Betteshanger.

During the early 1960's Jimmy returned to Ramsgate and became a member of the club's General Committee. In 1967 he left the Rams to become Commercial Manager at Stevenage Town but the club went bust at the end of 1967/68.

Jimmy then established a new club in the town - Stevenage Athletic - for the 1968/69 season and managed them until leaving the club early in 1971 to pursue interests outside of football.

When Stevenage Athletic went out of business in 1975 Jimmy was instrumental in forming Stevenage Borough who would eventually reach the Football League in 2010.

During the 2000/01 campaign Jimmy was President of Stevenage's Supporters Association and also helped out with matchday hospitality. His son Lloyd was also working behind the scenes at the club. When Margate played Borough in an FA Trophy tie on 3.2.01 Jimmy was interviewed for the matchday programme and remembered the local derbies between Ramsgate and Margate that he played in. "Having played with both sides, the build up to the derby game was exactly the same - it was one we must NEVER lose" he recalled. Jimmy added "both managers, Almer Hall and Jim Blair, would end up nervous wrecks !"

Jimmy also claimed that Margate once 'lost' a player during a home game with Dover. He told the interviewer "halfway through the second half Eric Worthington turned to me and said 'Jim, we've only got ten men on the field !' unbeknown to the rest of us, Almer Hall had taken Tommy Bing off and sold him to Spurs whilst we were playing the game !"

Another memory Jimmy shared related to a game where teams representing the towns of Margate and Ramsgate played on the Goodwin Sands - "there were ships passing by on either side of the pitch, which was between a couple of ship-wrecks" he recalled. Jimmy added "what we didn't realise though was that the timing was all wrong, the tide came in and we had to abandon the game at half-time !"

The programme article also mentioned Jimmy once scoring five goals in a game for Margate, all with his head, and he remembered Almer Hall asking him after the game "has thou got a problem with thee feet ?" In his closing thoughts Jimmy was quoted as saying "in my ten years with both clubs we played hard and fair but I cannot remember anyone being sent off. I must admit though, that if my generation had been playing today we would all be sent off within five minutes with those hard toe-caps !"

At the start of the 2006/07 season Jimmy was still busy with his dual role at Stevenage but sadly suffered a stroke in November 2006. However he made a welcome return to Broadhall Way in April 2007 when he watched Stevenage draw with Morecambe. At the time he was still in hospital and in May 2007 Jimmy was present at the new Wembley as Stevenage won the FA Trophy. Manager Mark Stimson told the club's website that his personal highlight of the day was Jimmy joining in with the celebrations down on the pitch. He said "Jim is the heart and soul of the football club and when he talks to you he makes a lot of sense and I enjoy listening to him."

Jimmy was still president of Stevenage's Supporters Association during the 2010/11 season and in 2011 he was living in a care home near Letchworth, Hertfordshire. His son Lloyd still took him to all Stevenage's home matches and Lloyd's godfather was Jimmy's old Margate team-mate Brian Moffatt.

Jimmy died on 27.8.14 at the age of 90 and his passing prompted a plethora of tributes to him for his lifelong service to football.

Stevenage Supporters' Association issued a statement saying "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Stevenage FC Supporters' Association president, Jim Briscoe, who will be sorely missed by so many associated with the football club. Jim was passionate about Stevenage Football Club, was involved with football at Broadhall Way for almost 46 years and was a life member of the club. Most notably, he was a key member of the 'A Team' - a group of enthusiasts who became the founding fathers of Stevenage Football Club. We wish to pass our deepest condolences to Jim's family and many, many friends."

Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace said "Jim was a source of guidance and inspiration to me when I came to Stevenage 15 years ago, along with other members of the A Team that are sadly no longer with us. I never had anything but total support from Jim in our progress to the Football League. He wanted to see Stevenage FC in the Football League so badly that I felt I wanted to see that for Jim as much as myself. His dream drove me on and it was a real moment for me when promotion was secured. He was the first person I thought about when that whistle blew at Kidderminster. I valued the time I spent with him and his pals talking about the past and I valued the chats we had about football. Bringing Jim into the Boardroom to act as the club's ambassador was one of my proudest moments - he was a great character and helped change the way we were viewed by other clubs. I know he cherished that involvement and loved every minute he spent at the Club. I've mentioned Jim's pals from the past a couple of times and I know he would want me to reinforce the fact that a lot of people did a lot of great work to get the Club where it is now - that was the type of person he was. He was the sole surviving member of the original A Team and those guys will never be forgotten. Our thoughts go out to Jim and his family and I personally look back with fond memories of many a laugh and joke with him. We will have a minute's silence on Tuesday night against Gillingham and a few of us will have a tear in our eye at the passing of a truly wonderful man."

Stevenage manager Graham Westley said "It's a very sad day for a club like ours when we lose such a great supporter and such a great man. Jim was part of the infantry; he put one foot in-front of the other to get the Club to where it is. He loved his football and he was just a lovely guy. When I was here the first time he was at the ground every day and he didn't care if he was washing the cups up or cutting the grass - Jim would do anything. He was a special guy, he had a long history of football and he absolutely adored the game. He gave his heart and soul to this football club and I'm sure everybody will be devastated."

Ramsgate's website described Jimmy as being "A real gent who did a great many things for Ramsgate whether he was wearing his boots or not in his 20 years in the town, and who no doubt did as much if not more in the following 46 years in Stevenage."











1953/54 (MFC)

13 (40)