Jimmy Bloomfield

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Jimmy Bloomfield
Personal information
Full name James Henry Bloomfield[1]
Date of birth (1934-02-15)15 February 1934[1]
Place of birth Notting Hill, London, England
Date of death 3 April 1983(1983-04-03) (aged 49)[1]
Place of death Chingford, England
Position(s) Inside forward
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1951–1952 Hayes
195?–1952 Walthamstow Avenue
1952–1954 Brentford 42 (5)
1954–1960 Arsenal 210 (54)
1960–1964 Birmingham City 123 (28)
1964–1965 Brentford 44 (4)
1965–1966 West Ham United 10 (0)
1966–1968 Plymouth Argyle 25 (1)
1968–1970 Orient 45 (3)
Total 499 (95)
International career
1956–1957 England U23 2 (1)
Football League XI
Managerial career
1968–1971 Orient
1971–1977 Leicester City
1977–1981 Orient
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

James Henry Bloomfield (15 February 1934 – 3 April 1983) was an English football player and manager. He made nearly 500 appearances in the Football League, including more than 300 in the First Division with Arsenal, Birmingham City and West Ham United. He was capped by England at under-23 level. He then spent 13 years in management with Orient and Leicester City.

Life and career[edit]

Bloomfield was born in Notting Hill, North Kensington, London. His younger brother Billy was also a professional footballer with Brentford, and a nephew, Ray Bloomfield, featured for Arsenal's youth team and for a brief period for Aston Villa's first team before moving on to play soccer in America.[2]

He began his career as a youngster with non-league club Hayes,[3] and had a short spell with Walthamstow Avenue, before joining Second Division club Brentford in October 1952.[1][4] After Brentford were relegated in 1954, Bloomfield was snapped up by Arsenal for £8,000 as a replacement for Jimmy Logie.[5]

Bloomfield made his debut at the start of the season, against Everton on 25 August 1954, though he only played 19 times that season, and it was not until 1955–56 did he become a first-team regular.[5] A powerful inside forward with a high work rate and accurate passing, Bloomfield was part of Arsenal's attack from 1955 to 1960, one of Arsenal's few stars during a mediocre period for the club.[6][7] He won caps for England at under-23 level,[8] but never at full level, and for the Football League XI,[1] and also played in the London XI that lost the first Inter-Cities Fairs Cup final against Barcelona in 1958.[9]

Bloomfield played 227 times for Arsenal, scoring 56 goals. However, with the arrival of George Eastham in 1960, Bloomfield lost his place in the team, and was sold to Birmingham City in November that year.[5] Bloomfield spent four seasons with the Blues, reaching and losing another Fairs Cup final in 1961 (this time to Roma).[10] He helped Birmingham win the 1963 League Cup, scoring a goal in the final itself as Birmingham overcame local rivals Aston Villa.[11][12] In the summer of 1964 he returned to Brentford, and later had spells with West Ham United, Plymouth Argyle and Orient.[1]

In 1968, he became Orient's player-manager, and won the Third Division in his second full season, 1969–70,[13] He was appointed by newly promoted Leicester City in 1971, and kept the Foxes in the First Division for six years. They also reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 1973–74, which they lost, after a replay, to Liverpool.[14] During his six-year stint at Leicester, Bloomfield created a side of free-flowing skilful football on a shoe-string budget, featuring the likes of Frank Worthington, Keith Weller and Len Glover, and he is still considered one of the club's all-time great if not greatest manager.[15][16] He left the club in 1977, and they were relegated the following season.[17][18]

Bloomfield returned to manage Orient again in 1977, and his second spell in charge included a run to the FA Cup semi-finals in 1977–78, in which they were defeated by his old club Arsenal.[13] He left in 1981 following a dispute with the club chairman, Brian Winston, over the sale of Nigerian international winger John Chiedozie.[13] In a 2014 Football League poll, Bloomfield was voted Orient's best ever manager.[19] After leaving Orient, he was a coach at Luton Town until his sudden death in Chingford, Essex, in 1983, from cancer at the age of 49.[1][5][20]



Birmingham City[11][12]



Leicester City


  • Football League Third Division Manager of the Year: 1969–70[22]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Jimmy Bloomfield". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  2. ^ Haynes, Graham; Coumbe, Frank (2006). Timeless Bees: Brentford F.C. Who's Who 1920–2006. Harefield: Yore Publications. p. 23. ISBN 0955294916.
  3. ^ "Players: Bloom–Bossu". A–Z of Hayes FC. Hayes & Yeading F.C. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Jimmy Bloomfield". Greens on Screen. Steve Dean. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d Harris, Jeff (1995). Hogg, Tony (ed.). Arsenal Who's Who. Independent UK Sports. p. 127. ISBN 978-1-899429-03-5.
  6. ^ Glanville, Brian (4 November 2004). "Arsenal's failings put glorious tradition back in the spotlight". The Times. London. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  7. ^ Mannion, Damian (23 November 2011). "From non-league to Premier League: Ian Wright, Chris Smalling, Stan Collymore and more rapid rises". Talksport. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  8. ^ Courtney, Barrie (27 March 2004). "England – U-23 International Results – Details". RSSSF. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  9. ^ Ross, James M. (4 June 2015). "European Competitions 1957–58: Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1955–58". RSSSF. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  10. ^ Ross, James M. (16 July 2015). "European Competitions 1960–61: Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1960–61". RSSSF. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  11. ^ a b Shaw, Phil (26 February 2011). "'I was on £18 a week. I'd doubled my wage'". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 17 November 2021. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  12. ^ a b Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. pp. 31, 73. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9.
  13. ^ a b c Kaufman, Neilson. "O's Through the Years". Leyton Orient F.C. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  14. ^ "Liverpool in 5th Cup Final". The Age. Melbourne. AAP–Reuter. 5 April 1974. p. 26 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ "Fantastic days, but not always sunny". The Cunning Fox. 26 August 2009. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  16. ^ Hutchinson, John (16 May 2013). "TWIH: The end of the Bloomfield era". Leicester City F.C. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  17. ^ "Past managers". Leicester City F.C. 20 June 2008. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012.
  18. ^ "The history of Leicester City Football Club". Leicester City F.C. 16 September 2008. Archived from the original on 30 March 2009.
  19. ^ a b Mail, Simon (17 April 2014). "Jimmy Bloomfield voted as Leyton Orient's best manager". East London and West Essex Guardian. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  20. ^ Glanville, Brian (20 November 2013). "Arsenal's top 12 playmakers". Arsenal F.C. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  21. ^ Miller, Nick (4 August 2016). "The forgotten story of... Leicester City winning the 1971 Charity Shield". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  22. ^ "Revie is top manager". The Guardian. London. 25 April 1970. p. 19 – via Newspapers.com. Inscribed salvers and £100 cheques went to the three divisional managers of the season: Ian Greaves (Huddersfield Town), Jimmy Bloomfield (Orient), and Jimmy McGuigan (Chesterfield).