James Nelson (Scottish footballer)

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For other people named James Nelson, see James Nelson (disambiguation).
James Nelson
Personal information
Full name James Nelson
Date of birth (1901-01-07)7 January 1901
Place of birth Greenock, Scotland
Date of death 8 October 1965(1965-10-08) (aged 64)
Playing position Full back
Youth career
St Paul's
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Crusaders ? (?)
1921–1930 Cardiff City 240 (7)
1930–1935 Newcastle United 146 (21)
1935–1939 Southend United 73 (9)
Total 459 (37)
National team
1925–1930 Scotland 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

James "Jimmy" Nelson (7 January 1901 – 8 October 1965) was a Scottish international footballer who played for Cardiff City and Newcastle United in the 1920s and 1930s and was the right back in the Wembley Wizards Scotland side of 1928.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Born in Greenock, Scotland, Nelson moved to Northern Ireland as a child, starting his football career there with junior sides St Paul's and Glenarm, before turning senior with Crusaders.

Cardiff City[edit]

Nelson moved to Wales in 1921 when signed by Cardiff City and stayed with the Bluebirds for nine seasons. During this time he became the first Cardiff player to be sent off in a League match (v. Manchester City, in August 1925)[2] and was also a member of the talented side which won the FA Cup in 1927 against Arsenal. Amongst his team-mates were fellow Scottish international Jimmy Blair, the talented goalscoring forward Hughie Ferguson, heart and soul of the side Fred Keenor, all time Cardiff City record goal scorer Len Davies and speedy left winger George McLachlan.[3]


Nelson played 4 times for his country between 1925 and 1930 and was Scotland's right-back in the Wembley Wizards game where they beat England 5-1. Nelson had previously been selected to play for Ireland but was withdrawn from the squad when he was found to be ineligible.[4]

Newcastle United[edit]

He was signed by Newcastle United for £7,000 in July 1930. He captained the side to victory in the 1931–32 FA Cup. Tommy Lang inspired the semi final win against Hughie Gallacher's Chelsea and Arsenal were defeated in the 1932 FA Cup Final.

Southend United[edit]

Nelson played for Southend United in the twilight of his career.

Later years[edit]

Nelson became a publican after his playing retirement, initially in Southend then later in Penarth and Cardiff. His son Tony became an amateur international footballer for Wales then later turned professional with Newport County and Bournemouth.


Cardiff City
1923, 1927, 1928, 1930
Newcastle United


  • Hayes, Dean (2006). The Who's Who of Cardiff City. Breedon Books. ISBN 1-85983-462-0. 
  1. ^ "The Wembley Wizards". soccerhistory.org.uk. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  2. ^ "The roaring twenties". cardiffcityfc.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  3. ^ Jimmy Nelson & Cardiff City of the 1920s feature in the profile of George McLachlan
  4. ^ "Cup friends reunited". BBC Sport. 2009-01-04. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 

External links[edit]