FULL NAME : JAMES WILLIAM SCARTH
Born 26th August 1926 in North Shields, County Durham, England.
Height : - .m (5' 8”)
Weight : - - kgs (11st 12lbs)
Hailing from the North-East, Jimmy Scarth was a fast right winger, with a dribble that could see him go past defenders and that brought him to the attention of Tottenham, who signed him to play a part in the success of the early 1950s.
A good schoolboy footballer, Jimmy represented St. Joseph's School at outside left and North Shields Schoolboys at inside left. He was working in the North-East shipyards until he joined the Navy at 17 and when demobbed in 1945, he played for Percy Main Amateurs, moving to inside right, producing displays which won him recognition in selection for the North East Amateurs. Scarth was then recruited by North Shields, but soon moved back to Percy Main and Spurs had noted his ability, so invited him for a pre-season trial, snapping him up on a professional contract immediately and Jimmy made his first team debut in the 1948-49 season, when he won a place in the FA XI at inside right and then outside right.
While Les Medley and Sonny Walters were ahead of Scarth
in the pecking order for a place in the “Push and Run”
team, he was always available to come in and provide a
more than capable stand-in for any absences. For three
seasons, Jimmy relied on the odd game, making seven
league appearances, with a good return of three goals in
those games. A feature of Jimmy's game was the fact
that he worked for the team and always looked to go
forward, always being aware
of where his team-mates were.
Making regular reserve and A Team appearances, Jimmy played 143 competitive games and scored 37 goals. During his time at Spurs, he won the Eastern Counties League League and Cup and the East Anglian Cup.
On leaving Spurs, Jimmy joined Gillingham for £3,500, where he became noted for scoring the joint fastest hat-trick at that time against Clapton Orient on 1st November 1952 in less than three minutes. This was bettered in 20004, but some doubt still remains over the exact speed of Jimmy's treble, with some saying it was as quick as 110 seconds. Earning £7 a week at Tottenham, he got £600 from the transfer to Gillingham, although £300 was taken by the tax man, but he was tempted by maximum wage at Priestfield stadium. After three seasons with the Kent club, Scarth left to join nearby Gravesend & Northfleet, who he helped to the Southern League title in 1958 before retiring from playing in 1960.
At the age of 36, he returned to London to work for Gestetner, the Tottenham based photo copier firm, where he worked for 15 years. When the factory closed down, he got a job cleaning in Waltham Cross and then as a trolley collector for Waitrose in Bircherley Green, Hertford, but turned out twice a season for the Sunday Brimsdown Veterans side until he was 68. Had to retire from Waitrose at 70, as they were not able to insure him should he have an accident.
Jimmy married his wife Kate (affectionately known as Kitty) four weeks after his famous hat-trick and was the father of Spurs youth and reserve team striker Bobby.
Jimmy Scarth died 12th December 2000 in Welwyn Garden City.