15 September 2007

Jimmy Shields

Name: Robert James Shields
Born: 26 September 1931, Londonderry
Height: 5.08 ft
Weight: 11.04 st
Position: Centre-Forward

Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 1 Full Cap (1956), 1 Amateur Cap (1954), Youth; Irish FA Representative; Irish League: 1 Cap (1953).
Club Honours: (with Crusaders) Ulster Cup Winner 1953/54.

Club Career:
Clubs
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA.Cup
Other
Londonderry BC
-
Youth
-
-
-
Crusaders
-
-
Amateur
-
-
-
Sunderland
-
Mar-54
-
0/ 0
-
-
Southampton
56/57-58/59
Jul-56
£1,000
38/20
4/1
-
Headington.Utd
58/59-59/60
Mar-59
-
5/ 1
(Southern.League)
South Shields
-
1961
-
(Northern Counties League)
TOTALS

£1,000
43/21
4/1
-

Biography:

A product of Londonderry Boys Club, Jimmy Shield signed for fledgling Irish League club, Crusaders. He was part of the Crues side which claimed their first major honour, the 1953 Ulster Cup. His efforts were rewarded with an inter-league appearance (in a 5-0 defeat by the Football League at Windsor Park in September 1953) and an Amateur cap (when he scored in a 3-2 win over Wales in January 1954).

A strong, forceful forward, Shields moved across the Irish Sea to sign with Sunderland in the spring of 1954. He spent two years at Roker Park, but was unable to make the breakthrough to the first eleven. He was rescued from reserve-team football when the Southampton Supporters’ Club raised the £1,000 transfer fee needed to take him to the south-coast.

Shields got off to a flying start at the Dell, scoring on his debut against Bournemouth in August 1956, and averaging close to a goal-a-game in the opening three months of the season. His form didn't go unnoticed by the Irish selectors, and Peter Doherty included him for an IFA match against the British Army in October (he scored in a 2-1 defeat) and for his only Full Cap against Scotland in November.

Although Shields' form didn't last through the season, he did finish with eighteen goals from 35 appearances as Southampton finished fourth in Division Three (South). A broken leg, suffered in a reserve match in September 1957, effectively ended Shields’ Football League career. He missed the entire 1957/58 campaign and played just three times in 1958/59 before leaving Southampton for Headington United (now Oxford United) in March 1959.

Later Shields settled in Sunderland, where he returned to his trade as a joiner.

Headington Career

Northern Ireland Cap Details:
07-11-1956 Scotland A L 0-1 BC

Summary: 1/0. Won 0, Drew 0, Lost 1.

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