Jim Melrose

The Transfer Record: Jim Melrose

When manager Jock Wallace signed striker Jim Melrose from the Scottish Premier Division side Partick Thistle in July 1980, it was the third time that Leicester City had paid their record transfer fee of £250,000.
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Born in Glasgow, Melrose had spent five seasons at Thistle, where he won eight Scotland Under-21s caps and also represented the Scottish League.

Wallace signed Melrose to strengthen his young side, which had just been promoted to the top flight as Second Division champions.

Playing as partner for Alan Young, Jim found himself in a side which was relegated at the end of his first season, despite his winning goal at Anfield, which ended Liverpool’s record of 85 home games without defeat, and a hat-trick against Norwich City.

Back in the Second Division, Jim’s performances in the 1981/82 season made him popular with the Filbert Street crowd.

However, the emergence of Gary Lineker meant that despite making 28 starting appearances in the league and cup competitions, he often had to fulfil the role of a super sub, most memorably when he scored twice in the 5-2 victory over Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup Quarter-Final.

Wallace left Filbert Street in July 1982. His successor Gordon Milne started the new season playing Melrose alongside Gary Lineker, Steve Lynex and recent signing Alan Smith.

In September 1982, though, to the disappointment of the fans, he was exchanged for Tommy English, who came from Milne’s old club Coventry City. Melrose made 86 appearances and scored 26 goals for Leicester.

After a year at Highfield Road, Jim’s subsequent career took him to Celtic (making appearances in Scottish FA Cup Final and Scottish League Cup Final), Wolverhampton Wanderers (on loan), Manchester City, Charlton Athletic, Leeds United and Shrewsbury Town.

Melrose retired from playing in 1990, having scored a career total of 99 league goals.

He became a players’ agent, a chief scout at Filbert Street, and was involved in fronting a consortium in an unsuccessful attempt to take over Stockport County. He is currently working in investment banking.

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