Jimmy Gauld

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Jimmy Gauld
Personal information
Full name James Gauld
Date of birth (1931-05-09)9 May 1931
Place of birth Aberdeen, Scotland
Date of death 9 December 2004(2004-12-09) (aged 73)
Place of death London, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[1]
Playing position Inside forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1948–1950 Aberdeen 0 (0)
Elgin City
1954–1955 Waterford (30)
1955–1956 Charlton Athletic 47 (21)
1956–1957 Everton 23 (7)
1957–1959 Plymouth Argyle 64 (25)
1959–1960 Swindon Town 40 (14)
1960–1961 St Johnstone 4 (0)
1961 Mansfield Town 4 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

James "Jimmy" Gauld (9 May 1931 – 9 December 2004)[2] was a Scottish footballer, who played as an inside forward. He began his career with Aberdeen but failed to make a first team appearance before being released. Gauld went on to play in the Highland League for Huntly and Elgin City, and then played in the League of Ireland for Waterford. In his one season with the club, he finished as top goalscorer in the League of Ireland with 30 goals. His form led to a move to England in 1955, where he joined Charlton Athletic. Gauld was transferred to Everton the following year, and then joined Plymouth Argyle in 1957. Two seasons later, he was on the move again, joining Swindon Town for a club record fee.

In 1960, Gauld spent a brief period with St Johnstone and then moved to Mansfield Town, where a broken leg ended his career. It was after his playing days had finished that he gained notoriety for instigating and then exposing match fixing in the game. Gauld enticed several players into betting on the outcome of fixed matches, including England internationals Tony Kay and Peter Swan.[3] In 1964, Gauld sold his story to the Sunday People for £7,000, incriminating Kay, Swan and former team-mate David Layne in the process. Described by The Times as the "ringleader",[3] Gauld was sentenced to four years imprisonment and fined £5,000.[1][4] In total, 33 players were prosecuted for their involvement in the 1964 British betting scandal.[5]

Life and career[edit]

Born in Aberdeen, Gauld began his career with his local side Aberdeen, with whom he was selected for the Scottish Youth side.[1] Released by the club in 1950 without playing a first team game,[6] Gauld appeared in the Highland League for Huntly and Elgin City before joining League of Ireland side Waterford.[7][8] Gauld was the top goalscorer in the 1954–55 League of Ireland season with 30 goals.[9]

He went on to play in the Football League for Charlton Athletic, Everton, Plymouth Argyle and Swindon Town, who he joined for a club record fee.[7] A brief spell with St Johnstone followed before he joined Mansfield Town, where a badly broken leg suffered during a game played on Boxing Day 1960 ended his career.[8][10]

Once his playing days were over, Gauld pursued a shadow career of match fixing. In 1964 - in search of a final "payday" - he sold his story to the Sunday People for £7,000, incriminating three Sheffield Wednesday players that he had enticed into the scheme: Peter Swan, Tony Kay and David Layne. Gauld's taped conversations were ultimately to convict himself and the three Sheffield Wednesday players, with the judge making it clear that he held Gauld responsible for ruining the other three.[3]

Gauld, described as the "central figure", was sentenced to four years imprisonment for conspiracy to defraud and was fined £5,000. He and the others were banned from football for life by The Football Association, though several life bans were eventually lifted, with both Swan and Layne returning to Sheffield Wednesday in 1972.

The scandal was dramatised in a 1997 BBC film called The Fix, directed by Paul Greengrass, in which the role of Gauld was played by Christopher Fulford.

Gauld died in London in 2004.[11]


  1. ^ a b c Riddle, Andy (2001). Plymouth Argyle: 101 Golden Greats. Westcliff-on-Sea: Desert Island Books. pp. 93–95. ISBN 978-1-874287-47-6. 
  2. ^ "Jimmy Gauld". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c Broadbent, Rick (22 July 2006). "Swan still reduced to tears by the fix that came unstuck". The Times. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Jackson, Jamie (4 July 2004). "Triumph and despair". The Observer. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Cox, Richard; Russell, Dave; Vamplew, Wray (2002). Encyclopedia of British Football. London: Routledge. p. 72. ISBN 978-0714652498. 
  6. ^ "Jimmy Gauld". Aberdeen F.C. Heritage Trust. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Jimmy Gauld". Swindon Town F.C. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Jimmy Gauld". Post War English & Scottish Football League A – Z Player's Database. Neil Brown. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Canny, Julian; DeLoughry, Sean (29 February 2012). "Ireland – List of Topscorers". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "Jimmy Gauld". GoS–DB. Greens on Screen. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  11. ^ Davidson, Jack (December 16, 2013). "The Scots who paid a high price for match-fixing - The Scotsman". scotsman.com. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 

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