Robbie James

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Robbie James
Robbie James.JPG
Bust of James outside the Liberty Stadium, Swansea.
Personal information
Full name Robert Mark James[1]
Date of birth (1957-03-23)23 March 1957[1]
Place of birth Gorseinon, Swansea, Wales[1]
Date of death 18 February 1998(1998-02-18) (aged 40)[1]
Place of death Llanelli, Wales[1]
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1973–1983 Swansea City 393 (102)
1983–1984 Stoke City 48 (6)
1984–1987 Queens Park Rangers 87 (5)
1987–1988 Leicester City 23 (0)
1988–1990 Swansea City 90 (16)
1990–1992 Bradford City 89 (6)
1992–1993 Cardiff City 51 (2)
1993–1994 Merthyr Tydfil
1994–1995 Barry Town
1996–1998 Llanelli
Total 781 (137)
National team
1978–1988 Wales 47 (7)
Teams managed
1993–199? Merthyr Tydfil
199?–1998 Llanelli
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Robert Mark "Robbie" James (23 March 1957[2] – 18 February 1998) was a Welsh international footballer who played for many teams including Swansea City, Stoke City and Queens Park Rangers.[2] He represented his country on 47 occasions over a period of ten years, scoring a total of seven goals.[2]

He was a talented utility player who contributed greatly to Swansea City's rise from the Fourth Division to the First Division between 1978 and 1981, and helped them finish sixth in their first top division campaign. He played a total of 783 English league games between 1973 and 1994, scoring 134 goals. His league appearance tally is one of the highest of any player in the history of English football.[3]

Career[edit]

James was born in Gorseinon and began his career with local side Swansea City. He made his debut at the end of the 1972–73 season which ended with Swansea being relegated to the Fourth Division. They slowly recovered and James 16 goals in 1976–77 and 17 in 1977–78 helping the Swans gain promotion back to the Football League Third Division. He then scored a career best of 21 in 1978–79 as Swansea gained back to back promotions. After two seasons in the Second Division they completed a remarkable rise gaining promotion to the First Division for the first time in the club's history. James took to the top flight well scoring 14 goals in 46 appearances as Swansea finished in sixth position. However the following season saw Swansea relegated back to the Second Division and James joined Stoke City.[1]

He played in 46 matches for Stoke in 1983–84 scoring seven goals but with the team struggling in 1984–85 he was sold to Queens Park Rangers £100,000.[1] He spent three seasons at Loftus Road, helping the Hoops preserve their First Division status and reach the 1986 Football League Cup Final, where they were beaten 3–0 by Oxford United. At the end of the 1986–87 season, he joined Leicester City who had just been relegated to the Second Division.[4]

After a season with Leicester he moved back to Swansea City, and later played with Bradford City and Cardiff City. With Cardiff he won helped them to win the Third Division in 1992–93. After his time with Cardiff he moved into Non-League football with Merthyr Tydfil.[2] He collapsed and died during a match for Llanelli against Porthcawl on 18 February 1998.[5]

Career statistics[edit]

  • Sourced from Robbie James profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other[A] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Swansea City 1972–73 Third Division 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
1973–74 Fourth Division 28 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 29 2
1974–75 Fourth Division 42 8 2 0 0 0 0 0 44 8
1975–76 Fourth Division 45 8 1 0 1 0 0 0 47 8
1976–77 Fourth Division 46 16 1 0 6 2 0 0 53 16
1977–78 Fourth Division 42 16 5 1 2 0 0 0 49 17
1978–79 Third Division 43 15 4 2 5 4 0 0 52 21
1979–80 Second Division 29 6 5 2 2 0 0 0 36 8
1980–81 Second Division 35 8 1 0 2 0 0 0 38 8
1981–82 First Division 42 14 1 0 1 0 2 0 46 14
1982–83 First Division 40 9 1 0 4 0 5 0 50 9
Total 393 102 21 5 24 6 7 0 446 113
Stoke City 1983–84 First Division 40 6 1 0 5 1 0 0 46 7
1984–85 First Division 8 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 10 0
Total 48 6 1 0 7 1 0 0 56 7
Queens Park Rangers 1984–85 First Division 20 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 20 2
1985–86 First Division 28 1 1 0 6 0 0 0 35 1
1986–87 First Division 39 2 4 1 3 0 0 0 46 3
Total 87 5 5 1 9 0 0 0 101 6
Leicester City 1987–88 Second Division 23 0 0 0 4 0 1 0 28 0
Total 23 0 0 0 4 0 1 0 28 0
Swansea City 1987–88 Fourth Division 19 3 1 0 0 0 4 0 24 3
1988–89 Third Division 41 9 3 0 2 0 2 0 48 9
1989–90 Third Division 30 4 1 0 2 0 3 1 36 5
Total 90 16 5 0 4 0 9 1 108 17
Bradford City 1990–91 Third Division 46 3 2 0 5 1 4 1 57 5
1991–92 Third Division 43 3 2 0 4 0 2 0 51 3
Total 89 6 4 0 9 1 6 1 108 8
Cardiff City 1992–93 Third Division 42 2 1 0 2 0 4 0 49 2
1993–94 Second Division 9 0 0 0 2 0 2 1 13 1
Total 51 2 1 0 4 0 6 1 62 3
Career Total 781 137 37 6 61 8 29 3 908 154
A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the Full Members Cup, Football League play-offs, Football League Trophy and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.

Honours[edit]

The Robbie James Wall of Fame, April 2014
Swansea City
Queens Park Rangers
Cardiff City

Legacy[edit]

In 2007, a bust of James was unveiled outside Swansea's Liberty Stadium. The bust, located next to the stadium's ticket office, was made possible by fans raising nearly £7,000 in memory of the midfielder, who played almost 400 games for the club.[6]

On 22 September 2012, the first 20 names were inducted into the 'Robbie James Wall of Fame', a hall of fame commemorating notable former Swansea players and managers. The Wall of Fame, located beneath the bust of James at the Liberty Stadium, will eventually consist of a total of 100 plaques, unveiled over a period of 5 years.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Lowe, Simon (2000). Stoke City The Modern Era – A Complete Record. Desert Island Books. ISBN 1-874287-39-2. 
  2. ^ a b c d Football League Career Stats at Neil Brown
  3. ^ "Robbie James". This is South Wales. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  4. ^ Sporting Heroes – QPR
  5. ^ Ivan Ponting (21 February 1998). "Obituary: Robbie James". The Independent. Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "Swans' legend memorial unveiling". BBC News. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  7. ^ "Robbie James Wall of Fame". Swansea City Official Website. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 

External links[edit]