Born: 31 October 1935, Carrickfergus
Height: 5.08 ft
Weight: 11.00 st
Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 7 Full Caps (1959-1963), 2 'B' Caps (1957-1960), 1 Amateur Cap (1953), Junior; Irish League: 6 Caps (1956-1968).
Club Honours: (with Linfield) Irish League Champion; (with Norwich) Football League Division Three Runner-Up 1959/60 (promoted); Football League Cup Winner 1961/62; (with Derry) Irish Cup Runner-Up 1970/71.
Teams........... --Seasons-- League FACup FLCup Europe
Carrick Rangers (Irish Intermediate League)
Newcastle United 57/58....... 11/ 2
Norwich City.... 58/59-62/63 161/55 25/ 5 .9/ 6
Everton......... 63/64-65/66 ..7/ 1
Port Vale....... 65/66-67/68 .63/ 8 .7/ 3 .2/ 0
Derry City...... 68/69-70/71 ......................... player-manager
Linfield........ 71/72......................... 0(1)/0 player-manager
Jimmy Hill was a goalscoring winger who caught the eye with hometown club Carrick Rangers before joining Linfield in the mid-1950s. At Windsor Park he picked up a League title as well as Inter-League honours, prompting Newcastle to sign him in part-exchange for Jackie Milburn in 1957. They were big boots to fill at St James' Park, and perhaps unsurprisingly, Hill failed to impress the Magpies' faithful.
It was at Norwich City that Hill's Football League career really took off. In 1959 he was the creative force (along with former Irish international forward Bobby Brennan) in the team that reached the FA Cup semi-final, despite their Third Division status; and the following season he top-scored with 16 goals as the club finished as runners-up and clinched promotion to the Second Division. In 1962 Hill was part of the Norwich team that won their first major honour, scoring in the 4-0 aggregate win over Rochdale in the League Cup Final. With 66 goals he still ranks amongst the Canaries' all-time top goalscorers.
With Billy Bingham's Everton career drawing to a close, Harry Catterick was perhaps excited by the prospect of replacing one Irish winger with another and consequently stumped up £25,000 for Hill's signature in the summer of 1963. Once again Hill failed to make an impact on the English top-flight, and hampered by injury, he made just seven appearances in two seasons. Early in the 1965/66 season Hill left Goodison for Port Vale, once again attempting to fill in where Bingham had left off.
Hill returned to the Irish League as player-manager of Derry City in 1968, guiding them to runners-up spot in the City Cup and Irish League in his first season and to the Irish Cup Final in 1971. He also added further Irish League caps to his collection. In 1971 he once again replaced Billy Bingham, taking over the role of Linfield manager, but he lasted just a season at Windsor Park before resigning for personal reasons.
Hill remained outside the game for almost twenty years, running a sportshop in his native Carrickfergus, before taking the job as Carrick Rangers manager in November 1988. With Carrick struggling in the Irish League, he resigned in February 1991.
Northern Ireland Cap Details:
22-04-1959 Wales....... H W 4-1 BC
06-04-1960 Wales....... A L 2-3 BC
26-10-1960 West Germany H L 3-4 BC
07-10-1961 Scotland.... H L 1-6 BC
12-10-1963 Scotland.... H W 2-1 BC
30-10-1963 Spain....... H L 0-1 BC
20-11-1963 England..... A L 3-8 BC
Summary: 7/0. Won 2, Drew 0, Lost 5.
12-09-1953 England..... H W 2-1
Summary: 1/0. Won 1, Drew 0, Lost 0.