Leicester City In 100 Players: Jimmy Walsh
Before signing for City in November 1956, the Scotland Under-23s international inside-forward played for Glasgow Celtic. He had scored in the 1953 Coronation Cup final at Hampden Park in front of a crowd of 117,000.
He was a title winner with Celtic in 1954 and netted in the 1956 Scottish FA Cup final when his side lost to Clyde after a replay. Jimmy went on to play 199 games for Leicester, scoring 92 goals, a total which makes him the 13th highest goalscorer in the Club’s history.
This feat is all the more remarkable because he was one of the first players in the Football League to wear contact lenses. Apart from one game in the Second Division, when he made his debut, all of his league games for the Club were in the top flight.
He struck 13 times in his first 19 games in the old First Division. These included scoring four times against the legendary Bert Trautmann in an 8-4 victory over Manchester City in February 1958. Jimmy topped the Club’s goalscoring charts in 1958/59 with 20 goals.
In October 1960, he hit the Club’s first-ever goals in the newly-established League Cup with a hat-trick against a Mansfield Town side containing a young Mike Stringfellow He was the Club’s top scorer again in 1960/61, with 27 goals, helping his side to finish sixth in the old First Division and reach the FA Cup final.
He also registered four goals in the run to the 1961 FA Cup final, including the strike which broke the deadlock in the epic semi-final against Sheffield United, which went to two replays.
As the Club’s captain, he led the team out at Wembley for the cup final against Tottenham Hotspur when his side, playing with 10 fit men for most of the game, were eventually defeated 2-0.
His two efforts against Glenavon in the 1961/62 European Cup Winners’ Cup were the Club’s first-ever goals in European competition.
Having lost his regular first team spot half way through the 1962/63 season, he didn’t play in the 1963 FA Cup final against Manchester United and, in July 1964, he was named as player/manager at Rugby Town before becoming a newsagent.
Jimmy died in August 2014. His 1961 FA Cup final shirt and medal, kindly loaned by his family, are on display in King Power Stadium's reception area.
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