jimmy holmes - fact file

1977 - 1979        defender

Born on 11th November 1953 in Meath Square, The Liberties, Dublin, Republic of Ireland.

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Skilful Irish defender, who joined Spurs when they were relegated to the Second Division and played a major part in securing promotion, but a broken leg playing for his country virtually ended his time at White Hart Lane.

As a schoolboy, Holmes went to Strand Street Christian Brothers School, before moving to the Emmet Road Technical School, playing for the schools, as well as Dublin and the Republic of Ireland Schoolboy teams.  He also played youth football for St. John's Bosco Boys Club, where he was spotted by the Sky Blues.

Starting his career with Coventry City, Holmes was an assured central defender, who wasn't blessed with height, but with a good reading of the game and a fine passing range.  Signed by Coventry scout Bunny Fullam, Jimmy made a reputation as a solid performer and was integrated into the reserves following some good youth team appearances, including the Sky Blues progress to the FA Youth Cup final in 1970 against Spurs, which went to three games before Tottenham won.  Was quickly pushed through the ranks of the Republic of Ireland set-up and at the time became the youngest player in the national side at 17 years and 200 days when he appeared as a substitute in the Dalymount Park match against Austria on 30th May 1971.

Was in the Coventry side for five years before Tottenham made a move for him, bringing him in ahead of the last stage of the relegation season, but his presence could not stop the inevitable and his excellent ability in bringing the ball out of defence was useful in launching attacks from the back. 

In May 1979, Jimmy was playing in a World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria in the Levski stadium in Sofia, when a tackle resulted in him breaking his leg with a sickening crack.  Complications in re-setting his leg, with the local hospital applying the plaster too tight and the plane home having to be diverted to France to allow Jimmy to have emergency treatment.  Once home, Holmes had trouble with his skin where the plaster had made contact with it and the leg had to be re-set, but losing a year of playing time meant that he was never the same player again and Spurs released him to join Vancouver Whitecaps in America to resurrect his career.  However, after a year, he was back in England trying to find a club and spent a few months at Leicester City, where he played twice before moving onto Brentford.  Stayed a month at Griffin Park, then went on to Torquay United and Peterborough United before hanging up his boots .

Was awarded a testimonial by the RoI FA in 1985 and Glenn Hoddle took an all-star XI at Dalymount Park.

Jimmy took up a job as a police officer in the West Midlands on retirement from football and received a commendation for bravery in July 2006.  Retired from the force in late 2008 and was looking to get back into football in some capacity.

 

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Career Record
 
Club Signed Fee Debut Apps Goals
Coventry City (professional) November 1970 ?? 4th December 1971  v  Leicester City (First Division) () 128 6
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR March 1977 120,000 12th March 1977  v  West Bromwich Albion (First Division) (home)  lost 0-2 92 2
Vancouver Whitecaps (USA) February 1981 ?? ??  ?? ??
Leicester City October 1982 Free ??  2 0
Brentford February 1983 Free ??  ?? ??
Torquay United March 1983 Free ??  25 3
Peterborough United November 1983 ?? ??  49 7

Career Record
Coventry City
- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals
Vancouver Whitecaps (Canada)
- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals
Leicester City

- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals
Brentford
- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals
Torquay United

- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals
Peterborough
United
- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals

Honours
Republic of Ireland international
30 full caps;  - goals
Debut : -  sub v Austria (World Cup qualifier) (Dalymount Park, Dublin)  30th May 1971  (lost 1-4)
Under-21 caps; goals
FA Youth Cup runners-up medal 1969-1970  (Coventry City)

Milestones
- appearance

2009
Favourite pre-match meal : - Steak and toast
Which player of the modern game would you have liked to have played with ? : -  Ledley King, as we would have complemented each other in central defence
Which player from your era would have been worth 30 million ? : - Ricky Villa, Ossie Ardiles or Glenn Hoddle.
Favourite away ground : - Anfield
Most memorable game : -  THFC 9  Bristol Rovers 0, with Colin Lee hitting four on his debut and Ian Moores grabbing a hat-trick
What years were you at your best ? : - 1976-1979
Most difficult opponent : - Steve Coppell (Man U)
Hardest opponent : - Joe Jordan (Man U)
What was in your first pay packet ? : - 100 at Coventry; 300 at Spurs
How would the Spurs side you played in fare in the Premier League ? : -  Top six

 

           

 

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