A tribute to Jimmy Smith, the greatest Rangers goalscorer

dh1963

Well-Known Member
The tiny village of Slamannan can't have many claims to fame, but it was here on September 24th 1911 that the greatest goalscorer in the history of Rangers was born. During his career at the club he was given many unflattering descriptions. Battering ram. Bludgeoning. Aggressive. Uncultured. Basic. But there is one word that described the career of Jimmy Smith better than any other. Goals.

His football career didn't get off to the most promising of starts. At 14 the Airdrie Academy pupil joined local side Denny Hibs, where he played alongside Matt Busby, but they decided he would never make the grade and allowed him to leave for local rivals Longriggend. At 15 he was given a trial by Middlesbrough but was unsuccessful. He was picked up finally by a senior team when signing for East Stirling. Smith would only play 12 games for them before manager Bill Struth yet again showed his instincts in seeing the potential in young centre forwards and he joined Rangers in August 1928 at the age of 17.

At such a young age, and with Rangers dominating Scottish football, it was no surprise he had to wait to make his first team debut. Season 1928/29 saw double holders Rangers look invincible. After 30 league games unbeaten and into the Cup Final again, manager Struth decided to throw in young Smith on March 27th 1929 at Douglas Park during a hectic spell of fixtures. Not the debut Jimmy Smith would have wanted, as Hamilton upset the odds, winning 3-1 to end the long Rangers unbeaten record. Smith's only other appearance that season wasn't much better, a disappointing goalless draw at Ibrox against relegation threatened Ayr United. The following season, Jimmy Fleming remained the undisputed centre forward at Ibrox, his 27 league goals ensuring another title won. Jimmy Smith only started 1 match all season, but it saw him score his first league goal for the club in a 3-1 away win over Dundee.

But his career would suddenly change when Rangers undertook a close season tour of Canada. Young Smith suddenly found an incredible scoring streak while in North America, firing in 18 goals in just 7 games on the tour. Manager Struth decided Jimmy Smith would start the following season as his first choice number 9.

The manager had his confidence in Smith rewarded. He scored doubles in the opening 2 matches. He scored his first goal against Celtic, albeit in a losing Glasgow Cup Final. And after losing his place in the team during mid season, Smith returned on Valentine' Day 1931 to score 5 goals in a massacre of Clyde. He kept his place in the run in, eventually scoring 21 goals in 21 games as the league was retained by just 2 points from Celtic. The first of 9 championship medals had been won. Smith became a real favourite with the Ibrox fans for his no nonsense and fully committed approach, as well as his uncanny ability to be in the right place in the penalty box at the right time. At 6 feet 1 inch tall and 14 stones in weight, he was the biggest number 9 the Rangers support had worshipped till that time.

Amazingly, season 1931/32 saw him lose his place again as an even younger and prolific striker called Sam English broke all kinds of records. His tragic story is well known, but it meant Smith saw far more first team starts again the following season. These next 5 seasons saw Jimmy Smith become irreplaceabe.

1932/33 League games played 34, goals 33
1933/34 League games played 32, goals 41 (including 9 in the first 2 games!)
1934/35 League games played 32, goals 36
1935/36 League games played 28, goals 31
1936/37 League games played 37, goals 31

In amongst this frenzy of goals, he also scored one in the 1934 Cup Final win over St Mirren and both in the 2-1 Cup Final win over Hamilton in 1935. Although not scoring in 1936, he played in the winning final against Third Lanark to complete a Scottish Cup hat trick.

By the time War had broken out, Jimmy Smith had 5 league medals, 3 cup medals and 23 hat tricks or better. He scored 5 goals in 3 different games and 6 goals in a match once. During wartime, he continued his amazing goalscoring record. The league was regionalised first in a Western, then a Southern format. Nothing changed, Rangers kept winning them and Jimmy Smith kept scoring. By 1942 age had started catching up with Smith and his appearances became more occasional. But he enjoyed an Indian Summer in late 1944 and into 1945, returning to do what he did best. Getting his name on the scoresheet in Rangers wins. As war ended, he made one final famous appearance at Ibrox in November 1945, the legendary 2-2 draw with Russian superstars Moscow Dynamo in front of an enormous attendance. Needless to say Jimmy Smith, at the age of 34, managed a goal that day, a typical effort. A high cross floated into the box, Smith colliding with Dynamo goalkeeper Khomich, with the ever alert Jimmy sticking out a foot while on the ground to divert the ball into goal.

Jimmy Smith, despite his incredible goals record, only won 2 Scotland caps, both against Ireland. His only Scotland goal was scored in the second of these games, at Pitoddrie in 1937. He did also play in 3 unofficial wartime internationals, and always spoke afterwards of a particular career highlight when meeting Sir Winston Churchill at Wembley.

He retired in May 1946, days after playing his final game for Rangers. Typically, it was a 4-0 Victory Cup win over Airdrie that saw him also score his 365th and last Rangers goal. Jimmy Smith continued serving the club for many years after this, first as club trainer until 1954, the as Chief Scout on the appointment of Scot Symon, a role he retained until retiring in 1967. From then until failing health in his later years, he kept close ties with the club and was a regular on matchday.

He died on December 5th 2003 at the age of 92. A member of the Rangers Hall of Fame, Jimmy Smith has a place in our history that is likely never to be bettered. A goals to games ratio over a lengthy career that warrants the title of our Greatest Ever Goalscorer.

Jimmy Smith, Rangers FC 1929 to 1946

Excluding wartime
Games 259
Goals 249

Including wartime
Games 390
Goals 365

5 league titles
4 wartime titles
3 Scottish Cups
2 Scotland caps

Legend
 

arnietac1

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
Think if i am correct his daughter married a good bluenose who frequented the Qou Vadis on a regular basis.
 

MearnsUnionist

Well-Known Member
The tiny village of Slamannan can't have many claims to fame, but it was here on September 24th 1911 that the greatest goalscorer in the history of Rangers was born. During his career at the club he was given many unflattering descriptions. Battering ram. Bludgeoning. Aggressive. Uncultured. Basic. But there is one word that described the career of Jimmy Smith better than any other. Goals.

His football career didn't get off to the most promising of starts. At 14 the Airdrie Academy pupil joined local side Denny Hibs, where he played alongside Matt Busby, but they decided he would never make the grade and allowed him to leave for local rivals Longriggend. At 15 he was given a trial by Middlesbrough but was unsuccessful. He was picked up finally by a senior team when signing for East Stirling. Smith would only play 12 games for them before manager Bill Struth yet again showed his instincts in seeing the potential in young centre forwards and he joined Rangers in August 1928 at the age of 17.

At such a young age, and with Rangers dominating Scottish football, it was no surprise he had to wait to make his first team debut. Season 1928/29 saw double holders Rangers look invincible. After 30 league games unbeaten and into the Cup Final again, manager Struth decided to throw in young Smith on March 27th 1929 at Douglas Park during a hectic spell of fixtures. Not the debut Jimmy Smith would have wanted, as Hamilton upset the odds, winning 3-1 to end the long Rangers unbeaten record. Smith's only other appearance that season wasn't much better, a disappointing goalless draw at Ibrox against relegation threatened Ayr United. The following season, Jimmy Fleming remained the undisputed centre forward at Ibrox, his 27 league goals ensuring another title won. Jimmy Smith only started 1 match all season, but it saw him score his first league goal for the club in a 3-1 away win over Dundee.

But his career would suddenly change when Rangers undertook a close season tour of Canada. Young Smith suddenly found an incredible scoring streak while in North America, firing in 18 goals in just 7 games on the tour. Manager Struth decided Jimmy Smith would start the following season as his first choice number 9.

The manager had his confidence in Smith rewarded. He scored doubles in the opening 2 matches. He scored his first goal against Celtic, albeit in a losing Glasgow Cup Final. And after losing his place in the team during mid season, Smith returned on Valentine' Day 1931 to score 5 goals in a massacre of Clyde. He kept his place in the run in, eventually scoring 21 goals in 21 games as the league was retained by just 2 points from Celtic. The first of 9 championship medals had been won. Smith became a real favourite with the Ibrox fans for his no nonsense and fully committed approach, as well as his uncanny ability to be in the right place in the penalty box at the right time. At 6 feet 1 inch tall and 14 stones in weight, he was the biggest number 9 the Rangers support had worshipped till that time.

Amazingly, season 1931/32 saw him lose his place again as an even younger and prolific striker called Sam English broke all kinds of records. His tragic story is well known, but it meant Smith saw far more first team starts again the following season. These next 5 seasons saw Jimmy Smith become irreplaceabe.

1932/33 League games played 34, goals 33
1933/34 League games played 32, goals 41 (including 9 in the first 2 games!)
1934/35 League games played 32, goals 36
1935/36 League games played 28, goals 31
1936/37 League games played 37, goals 31

In amongst this frenzy of goals, he also scored one in the 1934 Cup Final win over St Mirren and both in the 2-1 Cup Final win over Hamilton in 1935. Although not scoring in 1936, he played in the winning final against Third Lanark to complete a Scottish Cup hat trick.

By the time War had broken out, Jimmy Smith had 5 league medals, 3 cup medals and 23 hat tricks or better. He scored 5 goals in 3 different games and 6 goals in a match once. During wartime, he continued his amazing goalscoring record. The league was regionalised first in a Western, then a Southern format. Nothing changed, Rangers kept winning them and Jimmy Smith kept scoring. By 1942 age had started catching up with Smith and his appearances became more occasional. But he enjoyed an Indian Summer in late 1944 and into 1945, returning to do what he did best. Getting his name on the scoresheet in Rangers wins. As war ended, he made one final famous appearance at Ibrox in November 1945, the legendary 2-2 draw with Russian superstars Moscow Dynamo in front of an enormous attendance. Needless to say Jimmy Smith, at the age of 34, managed a goal that day, a typical effort. A high cross floated into the box, Smith colliding with Dynamo goalkeeper Khomich, with the ever alert Jimmy sticking out a foot while on the ground to divert the ball into goal.

Jimmy Smith, despite his incredible goals record, only won 2 Scotland caps, both against Ireland. His only Scotland goal was scored in the second of these games, at Pitoddrie in 1937. He did also play in 3 unofficial wartime internationals, and always spoke afterwards of a particular career highlight when meeting Sir Winston Churchill at Wembley.

He retired in May 1946, days after playing his final game for Rangers. Typically, it was a 4-0 Victory Cup win over Airdrie that saw him also score his 365th and last Rangers goal. Jimmy Smith continued serving the club for many years after this, first as club trainer until 1954, the as Chief Scout on the appointment of Scot Symon, a role he retained until retiring in 1967. From then until failing health in his later years, he kept close ties with the club and was a regular on matchday.

He died on December 5th 2003 at the age of 92. A member of the Rangers Hall of Fame, Jimmy Smith has a place in our history that is likely never to be bettered. A goals to games ratio over a lengthy career that warrants the title of our Greatest Ever Goalscorer.

Jimmy Smith, Rangers FC 1929 to 1946

Excluding wartime
Games 259
Goals 249

Including wartime
Games 390
Goals 365

5 league titles
4 wartime titles
3 Scottish Cups
2 Scotland caps

Legend

Amazing post @dh1963 .

What a read.

A true Rangers legend.
 

SSR

Well-Known Member
The tiny village of Slamannan can't have many claims to fame, but it was here on September 24th 1911 that the greatest goalscorer in the history of Rangers was born. During his career at the club he was given many unflattering descriptions. Battering ram. Bludgeoning. Aggressive. Uncultured. Basic. But there is one word that described the career of Jimmy Smith better than any other. Goals.

His football career didn't get off to the most promising of starts. At 14 the Airdrie Academy pupil joined local side Denny Hibs, where he played alongside Matt Busby, but they decided he would never make the grade and allowed him to leave for local rivals Longriggend. At 15 he was given a trial by Middlesbrough but was unsuccessful. He was picked up finally by a senior team when signing for East Stirling. Smith would only play 12 games for them before manager Bill Struth yet again showed his instincts in seeing the potential in young centre forwards and he joined Rangers in August 1928 at the age of 17.

At such a young age, and with Rangers dominating Scottish football, it was no surprise he had to wait to make his first team debut. Season 1928/29 saw double holders Rangers look invincible. After 30 league games unbeaten and into the Cup Final again, manager Struth decided to throw in young Smith on March 27th 1929 at Douglas Park during a hectic spell of fixtures. Not the debut Jimmy Smith would have wanted, as Hamilton upset the odds, winning 3-1 to end the long Rangers unbeaten record. Smith's only other appearance that season wasn't much better, a disappointing goalless draw at Ibrox against relegation threatened Ayr United. The following season, Jimmy Fleming remained the undisputed centre forward at Ibrox, his 27 league goals ensuring another title won. Jimmy Smith only started 1 match all season, but it saw him score his first league goal for the club in a 3-1 away win over Dundee.

But his career would suddenly change when Rangers undertook a close season tour of Canada. Young Smith suddenly found an incredible scoring streak while in North America, firing in 18 goals in just 7 games on the tour. Manager Struth decided Jimmy Smith would start the following season as his first choice number 9.

The manager had his confidence in Smith rewarded. He scored doubles in the opening 2 matches. He scored his first goal against Celtic, albeit in a losing Glasgow Cup Final. And after losing his place in the team during mid season, Smith returned on Valentine' Day 1931 to score 5 goals in a massacre of Clyde. He kept his place in the run in, eventually scoring 21 goals in 21 games as the league was retained by just 2 points from Celtic. The first of 9 championship medals had been won. Smith became a real favourite with the Ibrox fans for his no nonsense and fully committed approach, as well as his uncanny ability to be in the right place in the penalty box at the right time. At 6 feet 1 inch tall and 14 stones in weight, he was the biggest number 9 the Rangers support had worshipped till that time.

Amazingly, season 1931/32 saw him lose his place again as an even younger and prolific striker called Sam English broke all kinds of records. His tragic story is well known, but it meant Smith saw far more first team starts again the following season. These next 5 seasons saw Jimmy Smith become irreplaceabe.

1932/33 League games played 34, goals 33
1933/34 League games played 32, goals 41 (including 9 in the first 2 games!)
1934/35 League games played 32, goals 36
1935/36 League games played 28, goals 31
1936/37 League games played 37, goals 31

In amongst this frenzy of goals, he also scored one in the 1934 Cup Final win over St Mirren and both in the 2-1 Cup Final win over Hamilton in 1935. Although not scoring in 1936, he played in the winning final against Third Lanark to complete a Scottish Cup hat trick.

By the time War had broken out, Jimmy Smith had 5 league medals, 3 cup medals and 23 hat tricks or better. He scored 5 goals in 3 different games and 6 goals in a match once. During wartime, he continued his amazing goalscoring record. The league was regionalised first in a Western, then a Southern format. Nothing changed, Rangers kept winning them and Jimmy Smith kept scoring. By 1942 age had started catching up with Smith and his appearances became more occasional. But he enjoyed an Indian Summer in late 1944 and into 1945, returning to do what he did best. Getting his name on the scoresheet in Rangers wins. As war ended, he made one final famous appearance at Ibrox in November 1945, the legendary 2-2 draw with Russian superstars Moscow Dynamo in front of an enormous attendance. Needless to say Jimmy Smith, at the age of 34, managed a goal that day, a typical effort. A high cross floated into the box, Smith colliding with Dynamo goalkeeper Khomich, with the ever alert Jimmy sticking out a foot while on the ground to divert the ball into goal.

Jimmy Smith, despite his incredible goals record, only won 2 Scotland caps, both against Ireland. His only Scotland goal was scored in the second of these games, at Pitoddrie in 1937. He did also play in 3 unofficial wartime internationals, and always spoke afterwards of a particular career highlight when meeting Sir Winston Churchill at Wembley.

He retired in May 1946, days after playing his final game for Rangers. Typically, it was a 4-0 Victory Cup win over Airdrie that saw him also score his 365th and last Rangers goal. Jimmy Smith continued serving the club for many years after this, first as club trainer until 1954, the as Chief Scout on the appointment of Scot Symon, a role he retained until retiring in 1967. From then until failing health in his later years, he kept close ties with the club and was a regular on matchday.

He died on December 5th 2003 at the age of 92. A member of the Rangers Hall of Fame, Jimmy Smith has a place in our history that is likely never to be bettered. A goals to games ratio over a lengthy career that warrants the title of our Greatest Ever Goalscorer.

Jimmy Smith, Rangers FC 1929 to 1946

Excluding wartime
Games 259
Goals 249

Including wartime
Games 390
Goals 365

5 league titles
4 wartime titles
3 Scottish Cups
2 Scotland caps

Legend
No footage of his goalscoring exploits :))
 

Bluegenebop

Well-Known Member
Enjoyed that. Amazing for such a prolific goalscorer he was only capped twice. Must have been some forward line back in the day if Smith couldn't get in.
 

Bluebearjim

Active Member
Great post OP. Jimmy Smith was one of the many players my late Dad (born 1920) used to rave about. Would take all in his wake apparently to get to the ball in the box. WATP
 

dh1963

Well-Known Member
Great post OP. Jimmy Smith was one of the many players my late Dad (born 1920) used to rave about. Would take all in his wake apparently to get to the ball in the box. WATP
6 feet 1 inch tall, that was a bit of a giant back then.
 

crocnroll

Well-Known Member
Had the privilege of meeting him in the district before one of our home games during the 9 in a row era. Got him to sign my season book (we had books rather than smart cards) and he couldn’t fathom why a youngster wanted his autograph.
 

bontamsyl

Well-Known Member
My dad pointed out this old guy in bookies one day on the paisley rd. said to me do you know who that is sadly i didn't my old man said thats the great Jimmy Smith.wish i had spoke to him.
 

PowerRanger71

Active Member
The tiny village of Slamannan can't have many claims to fame, but it was here on September 24th 1911 that the greatest goalscorer in the history of Rangers was born. During his career at the club he was given many unflattering descriptions. Battering ram. Bludgeoning. Aggressive. Uncultured. Basic. But there is one word that described the career of Jimmy Smith better than any other. Goals.

His football career didn't get off to the most promising of starts. At 14 the Airdrie Academy pupil joined local side Denny Hibs, where he played alongside Matt Busby, but they decided he would never make the grade and allowed him to leave for local rivals Longriggend. At 15 he was given a trial by Middlesbrough but was unsuccessful. He was picked up finally by a senior team when signing for East Stirling. Smith would only play 12 games for them before manager Bill Struth yet again showed his instincts in seeing the potential in young centre forwards and he joined Rangers in August 1928 at the age of 17.

At such a young age, and with Rangers dominating Scottish football, it was no surprise he had to wait to make his first team debut. Season 1928/29 saw double holders Rangers look invincible. After 30 league games unbeaten and into the Cup Final again, manager Struth decided to throw in young Smith on March 27th 1929 at Douglas Park during a hectic spell of fixtures. Not the debut Jimmy Smith would have wanted, as Hamilton upset the odds, winning 3-1 to end the long Rangers unbeaten record. Smith's only other appearance that season wasn't much better, a disappointing goalless draw at Ibrox against relegation threatened Ayr United. The following season, Jimmy Fleming remained the undisputed centre forward at Ibrox, his 27 league goals ensuring another title won. Jimmy Smith only started 1 match all season, but it saw him score his first league goal for the club in a 3-1 away win over Dundee.

But his career would suddenly change when Rangers undertook a close season tour of Canada. Young Smith suddenly found an incredible scoring streak while in North America, firing in 18 goals in just 7 games on the tour. Manager Struth decided Jimmy Smith would start the following season as his first choice number 9.

The manager had his confidence in Smith rewarded. He scored doubles in the opening 2 matches. He scored his first goal against Celtic, albeit in a losing Glasgow Cup Final. And after losing his place in the team during mid season, Smith returned on Valentine' Day 1931 to score 5 goals in a massacre of Clyde. He kept his place in the run in, eventually scoring 21 goals in 21 games as the league was retained by just 2 points from Celtic. The first of 9 championship medals had been won. Smith became a real favourite with the Ibrox fans for his no nonsense and fully committed approach, as well as his uncanny ability to be in the right place in the penalty box at the right time. At 6 feet 1 inch tall and 14 stones in weight, he was the biggest number 9 the Rangers support had worshipped till that time.

Amazingly, season 1931/32 saw him lose his place again as an even younger and prolific striker called Sam English broke all kinds of records. His tragic story is well known, but it meant Smith saw far more first team starts again the following season. These next 5 seasons saw Jimmy Smith become irreplaceabe.

1932/33 League games played 34, goals 33
1933/34 League games played 32, goals 41 (including 9 in the first 2 games!)
1934/35 League games played 32, goals 36
1935/36 League games played 28, goals 31
1936/37 League games played 37, goals 31

In amongst this frenzy of goals, he also scored one in the 1934 Cup Final win over St Mirren and both in the 2-1 Cup Final win over Hamilton in 1935. Although not scoring in 1936, he played in the winning final against Third Lanark to complete a Scottish Cup hat trick.

By the time War had broken out, Jimmy Smith had 5 league medals, 3 cup medals and 23 hat tricks or better. He scored 5 goals in 3 different games and 6 goals in a match once. During wartime, he continued his amazing goalscoring record. The league was regionalised first in a Western, then a Southern format. Nothing changed, Rangers kept winning them and Jimmy Smith kept scoring. By 1942 age had started catching up with Smith and his appearances became more occasional. But he enjoyed an Indian Summer in late 1944 and into 1945, returning to do what he did best. Getting his name on the scoresheet in Rangers wins. As war ended, he made one final famous appearance at Ibrox in November 1945, the legendary 2-2 draw with Russian superstars Moscow Dynamo in front of an enormous attendance. Needless to say Jimmy Smith, at the age of 34, managed a goal that day, a typical effort. A high cross floated into the box, Smith colliding with Dynamo goalkeeper Khomich, with the ever alert Jimmy sticking out a foot while on the ground to divert the ball into goal.

Jimmy Smith, despite his incredible goals record, only won 2 Scotland caps, both against Ireland. His only Scotland goal was scored in the second of these games, at Pitoddrie in 1937. He did also play in 3 unofficial wartime internationals, and always spoke afterwards of a particular career highlight when meeting Sir Winston Churchill at Wembley.

He retired in May 1946, days after playing his final game for Rangers. Typically, it was a 4-0 Victory Cup win over Airdrie that saw him also score his 365th and last Rangers goal. Jimmy Smith continued serving the club for many years after this, first as club trainer until 1954, the as Chief Scout on the appointment of Scot Symon, a role he retained until retiring in 1967. From then until failing health in his later years, he kept close ties with the club and was a regular on matchday.

He died on December 5th 2003 at the age of 92. A member of the Rangers Hall of Fame, Jimmy Smith has a place in our history that is likely never to be bettered. A goals to games ratio over a lengthy career that warrants the title of our Greatest Ever Goalscorer.

Jimmy Smith, Rangers FC 1929 to 1946

Excluding wartime
Games 259
Goals 249

Including wartime
Games 390
Goals 365

5 league titles
4 wartime titles
3 Scottish Cups
2 Scotland caps

Legend
Good read
 
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