James Richardson (better known as Jimmy Richardson) was born 1885 in Glasgow was a professional footballer and manager, who played for Huddersfield Town, Sheffield Wednesday, Sunderland, and Ayr United, as well as several other clubs including Kirkintilloch Rob Roy.
Richardson joined Sunderland in 1912 and played there for two years, scoring a total of 31 goals over 45 appearances. In his first season with Sunderland he helped them win the league for the first time since the 1894/1895 season, and the last time until the 1935/1936 season. He also played in the 1913 FA Cup Final against Aston Villa, with Sunderland losing 1-0.
After signing from Sunderland, Jimmy Richardson scored 109 league goals for Ayr United between 1914 and 1921. In the 1914/15 season alone, while playing for Ayr United, Richardson was joint top goalscorer in the Scottish league, with a total of 29 goals.
After one season he quit to become manager at Cowdenbeath. To this day, the 1924/25 season that Cowdenbeath played with Richardson as manager is still considered their greatest ever performance. In 1916, Richardson went to fight in France during the Great War. He returned in 1918 with stomach troubles, but was well enough to join the first team again on 2 November 1918, scoring a hat-trick against Hibernian in a match that ended 5-0. Thereafter he joined Millwall prior to returning to Ayr as manager in 1923.
For reasons unknown, despite having an incredible season, Richardson left the club after just one year as manager.
After retiring from management, Richardson remained a fan of Ayr United and was spotted at the club as a supporter just a few months prior to his death in August 1951. He remains Ayr United’s third highest goalscorer, despite having missed two seasons due to active service. On 4 January 1921, Ayr United held a testimonial match at Somerset Park for Richardson against a Scottish League select side, known amongst fans as “Jimmy’s Day”.
Jimmy died on 31st August 1951.
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