Jimmy Rimmer

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Jimmy Rimmer
Personal information
Full name John James Rimmer[1]
Date of birth (1948-02-10) 10 February 1948 (age 68)
Place of birth Southport, Lancashire, England
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
1963–1965 Manchester United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1965–1974 Manchester United 34 (0)
1973 Swansea City (loan) 17 (0)
1974–1977 Arsenal 124 (0)
1977–1983 Aston Villa 229 (0)
1983–1986 Swansea City 66 (0)
1986 Hamrun Spartans ? (0)
1986 Luton Town 0 (0)
Total 470
National team
1976 England 1 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

John James "Jimmy" Rimmer (born 10 February 1948) is an English former footballer who played as a goalkeeper in the Football League for Manchester United, Swansea City, Arsenal and Aston Villa.[2]

Rimmer, who won two European Cup winners medals, has been described by the Birmingham Mail as "perhaps the greatest goalkeeper in Aston Villa's history".[1][3]


Born in Southport, Lancashire,[2] Rimmer joined Manchester United as a schoolboy in 1963, turning professional two years later. He spent eleven years at Old Trafford, chiefly as Alex Stepney's understudy – he was on bench in the 1968 European Cup final. With Stepney prevalent between the sticks, Rimmer only played 46 times for United in total. In October 1973 he was loaned to Swansea City. With the Swans he impressed as first-team goalkeeper, enough so that Arsenal signed him from United in February 1974, eyeing him as a long-term replacement for Bob Wilson.[4]

Rimmer made only one appearance in 1973–74 (keeping a clean sheet on his debut against Liverpool). After Wilson announced his retirement at the end of that season, Rimmer became Arsenal's No. 1 for the next three seasons, and was a near ever-present for the Gunners, winning Arsenal's Player of The Year award in 1975. During his time at Arsenal he also won his one and only England cap, although it was not an auspicious match – against Italy in a friendly, Rimmer let two goals in and was substituted at half-time; England went on to recover and win 3-2.[4]

After Tottenham Hotspur manager Terry Neill took over at Arsenal, he signed Pat Jennings from his old club and Rimmer was duly sold to Aston Villa. In all he played 146 games for Arsenal. At Villa, Rimmer was No. 1 for the next six seasons, winning a First Division winners' medal in 1981. The following year Villa reached the European Cup final, but Rimmer was injured after only nine minutes and had to be replaced by the young Nigel Spink. Villa nevertheless beat Bayern Munich 1-0, meaning Rimmer became after Saul Malatrasi, the second player in history to get a European Cup winners' medal at two different clubs, despite the fact that he only played in one match.[4]

Rimmer left Villa in 1983 to rejoin old club Swansea City. After retiring from playing, he became Swansea's goalkeeping coach, having a brief spell as manager following the sacking of Kevin Cullis, before being replaced by Jan Molby. He then spent several years in People's Republic of China, to work as goalkeeping coach for the Chinese national team and Dalian Shide. After coaching in Canada for a period of time, Rimmer retired from football and lives in Swansea.[3]



Manchester United


Aston Villa



  1. ^ a b "Jimmy Rimmer". Englandstats. Retrieved 26 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Birmingham City : 1946/47 – 2008/09". UK A–Z Transfers. Neil Brown. Retrieved 26 January 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "Jimmy Rimmer". Birmingham Mail. 
  4. ^ a b c "Jimmy Rimmer: Profile". Arsenal F.C. 
  5. ^ "12 players who featured for Arsenal & Manchester United". The Telegraph.co.uk.