Stocky centre half Jim Blyth signed for City in the 1937 close season and was a first team regular throughout the 1937/38 season, missing only one fixture all season, the first leg of a Division Three North Cup tie. His consistency extended into the 1938/39 when manager Ernest Blackburn again used Jim as first choice centre half until February 1939 when his place was handed to youth team product Harold Meens. Blyth started a handful of games at left half before dropping out of the side in early March and requesting a transfer in late April 1939.
James Barnes “Jim” Blyth was born at Gorebridge, a rural settlement that grew rapidly in the 1860s when Arniston Colliery was sunk nearby. He started his football career with local Scottish junior clubs Newtongrange Star and Arniston Rangers, by the age of 24 he was impressing as a stocky but effective centre half. After several clubs scouted him and expressed an interest, Jim joined Tottenham Hotspur in February 1936. He played for Spurs’ Reserves for the remainder of the season, but in September 1936 he was given his first team debut and made 11 starts that season for the London side. By the 1937 close season Blyth was deemed surplus to requirements at Spurs and he joined Hull City on the last day of April 1937.
Blyth moved to Heart of Midlothian in May 1939, three weeks after requesting that Hull City put him on the transfer list. He was associated with Hearts throughout most of World War Two then in October 1945 he moved to Perth side St Johnstone. He stayed a year at St Johnstone and drifted out of the side in September 1946 – confusingly, a couple of weeks before St Johnstone signed another defender called James Blyth, a left-back from Hibernian, a coincidence that confuses some online biographical sources.
By 1958 Blyth was living back in Gorebridge and judging dance competitions, and he remained in his home town until his death in December 1979.
Date/Place of Birth: 9 August 1911, Gorebridge
Hull City First Game: 28 August 1937, Wrexham H (Division Three North), 26 years, 19 days old
Hull City Final Game: 9 March 1939, Rotherham United H (Division Three North), 27 years, 212 days old
Newtongrange Star, Arniston Rangers (1933-1936), Tottenham Hotspur (1936-1937), Hull City (1937-1939), Heart of Midlothian (1939-1946), St Johnstone (1945-1946)
Hull City Record
Career: 80 apps, 0 goalsJim Blyth