Born: 14 December 1921, Newry
Died: 22 February 1985, Sudbury (England)
Height: 5.11 ft
Weight: 11.12 st
Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 5 Full Caps/1 Goals (1952-1953); Irish FA Representative (1953).
Teams............ --Seasons-- Signed ---Fee--- League FA Cup
Dundalk.......... 46/47 ..... c/s-46............ 9/ 4 (all games)
Ballymena United. 46/47-47/48 Nov-46 .....Free
Charlton Athletic 47/48-50/51 Feb-48 ...£5,000. 13/ 1 ..3/ 0
Chelsea.......... 51/52-52/53 Oct-51 ..£10,000 .23/12 ..8/ 2
Brentford........ 52/53 ..... Oct-52 .Exchange .13/ 3
Jimmy "Paddy" D'Arcy, originally a big centre-forward, spent much of his early footballing career in the League of Ireland during the Second World War years. He spent three seasons with Limerick before joining Dundalk in the summer of 1946. He spent just a few months at Oriel Park, scoring a City Cup hattrick against Drumcondra at Tolka Park, but by November he found his chances limited due to a surfeit of forwards and he requested to be released. He joined Ballymena United who had just returned to senior football after a War-time hiatus. In February 1948, aged 26, D'Arcy was transferred to English First Division club Charlton Athletic in a £5,000 deal.
At the Valley D'Arcy was unable to make a sustained impression on the first-team, playing just sixteen games in three-and-a-half seasons. With the reserves however he was a star, banging in 80 goals in 112 games. Finally, just shy of his thirtieth birthday, D'Arcy was given a chance to shine with a £10,000 move to Chelsea. Despite only joining in October and now playing mainly at inside-right, he finished the 1951/52 season as Chelsea's equal top scorer with twelve goals. He was also awarded his first Ireland cap in March 1952, playing at inside-right in a 3-0 defeat by Wales, and he remained an ever-present for the next four internationals.
In October 1952 D'Arcy was on the move again, joining Second Division Brentford in a deal that saw future England manager Ron Greenwood move in the other direction. In the summer of 1953 he was a member of the Irish FA's touring party to the USA and Canada. Five games into the tour the Irish side took on a Sasjatchewan Select at Moose Jaw, and having scored in a 10-0 win D'Arcy badly twisted his right angle on a rutted pitch far from suited to football. Despite playing on through the rest of the tour, and indeed scoring, he never fully recovered, and was forced to retire from the game the following January.
How Brentford could have used D'Arcy in the 1953/54 season, as they finished second-bottom of Division Two, and were relegated. Obviously somewhat miffed at losing a key player, the club took the IFA to the London High Court in a successful insurance claim.
With his playing days behind him, D'Arcy re-joined Charlton as Development Association Liaison Officer for an eight-month spell in 1955. He later settled in Sudbury in Suffolk, and worked as a quality inspector for a local glass manufacturing company. Jimmy D'Arcy died in Northwick Park Hospital in February 1985, aged 63.
Northern Ireland Cap Details:
19-03-1952 Wales... A L 0-3 BC
04-10-1952 England. H D 2-2 BC
05-11-1952 Scotland A D 1-1 BC 1 Goal
11-11-1952 France.. A L 1-3 FR
15-04-1953 Wales... H L 2-3 BC
Summary: 5/1. Won 0, Drew 2, Lost 3.