Jim Herriot

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Jim Herriot
Personal information
Full name James Herriot[1]
Date of birth (1939-12-20) 20 December 1939 (age 82)[1]
Place of birth Chapelhall,[1] North Lanarkshire, Scotland
Position(s) Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1957–1958 Douglasdale
1958–1965 Dunfermline Athletic 94 (0)
1965–1971 Birmingham City 181 (0)
1970Mansfield Town (loan) 5 (0)
1971Aston Villa (loan) 0 (0)
1971 Durban City
1971–1973 Hibernian 57 (0)
1973–1975 St Mirren 31 (0)
1975–1976 Partick Thistle 0 (0)
1975Morton (loan) 1 (0)
1976Dunfermline Athletic (loan) 0 (0)
1976–1977 Morton 3 (0)
National team
1962–1963 Scottish League XI 2 (0)
1968–1969 Scotland 8 (0)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

James Herriot (born 20 December 1939) is a Scottish former footballer who played as a goalkeeper for clubs in Scotland, England and South Africa. Herriot represented both Scotland and the Scottish League XI.


Herriot was an apprentice bricklayer playing part-time for Junior club Douglasdale[2][3] before he joined Dunfermline Athletic in 1958. He became the Pars established number 1 when Eddie Connachan left for Middlesbrough in 1963.[4] Herriot adopted the American Football technique of applying boot polish under and around his eyes to reduce the effects of glare from the sun.[5] Herriot helped Dunfermline reach the 1965 Scottish Cup Final, which they lost 3–2 to Celtic.[4][6]

Herriot was transferred to Birmingham City for £18,000 in 1965.[4] He was a fixture in the City side during the next four-and-a-half years[7] and eventually gained international recognition. He made his Scotland debut in October 1968, in a 1–0 defeat by Denmark in a friendly in Copenhagen, and played a further seven times for the national side. His last cap came just a year after his first, in a 3–2 defeat by West Germany in a FIFA World Cup qualifier in Hamburg.[8]

By 1970 Herriot had fallen from favour at St Andrew's and, following loan spells with Mansfield Town and Aston Villa, he left for South African club Durban City.[5][9] He returned to Britain in 1971, joining Eddie Turnbull's developing Hibernian side. With Hibs he won his first career honour, the 1972–73 Scottish League Cup, as well as the fledgling Drybrough Cup on two occasions.[2]

He left the Edinburgh side to join St Mirren in 1973, then moved to Partick Thistle in 1975. After a spell on loan with Morton in October 1975 he returned to Dunfermline Athletic in early 1976 before joining Morton permanently for the 1976–77 season.[10] He retired from the game in the summer of 1977.[2]

Literary alter ego[edit]

Herriot is probably best known today for giving his name to the writer James Herriot, a Yorkshire vet whose real name was Alf Wight. Wight needed a pen-name to comply with professional rules banning advertising and chose Jim Herriot's name after seeing him play for Birmingham City in a televised match against Manchester United.[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Jim Herriot". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Jim Herriot". Hibernian Historical Trust. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  3. ^ More Douglas Players | Jim Herriot, A History of Football in Douglasdale, 12 July 2009
  4. ^ a b c "Jim Herriot". Dunfermline Athletic F.C. Archived from the original on 1 March 2008.
  5. ^ a b Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 97. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9.
  6. ^ "Determination wins out". Glasgow Herald. 26 April 1965. p. 6.
  7. ^ Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. pp. 201–05. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9.
  8. ^ "James Herriot". Scottish Football Association. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Herriot, James (Jim)". Aston Villa Player Database. Jörn Mårtensson. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  10. ^ Hosie, Rab. "Appearance records: H". Scottish Football Historical Archive. Archived from the original (DOC) on 27 November 2016.
  11. ^ Lewis, Stephen (2 February 2013). "World of James Herriot in Thirsk re-opens with new collection". The Press. York. Retrieved 20 April 2018.

External links[edit]