Versatile tough tackling Mancunian defender James Radcliffe Greenhalgh was raised in Moston and worked as a butcher’s assistant during World War Two while playing football for his local side, Newton Heath Loco. He was one of a number of signings made by City in the summer of 1946 as the club rapidly assembled a squad for the restart of League football under the guiding hand of former WW1 Football Battalion commander turned football manager Major Frank Buckley. In contrast with many of those signings, Greenhalgh’s time at City endured for several seasons, outlasting the Major and contributing to the successes of Raich Carter.
Greenhalgh missed only one game in his first season and scored his first professional goal in an April 1947 2-0 win over Carlisle. His reliability was tested in 1947/48, absent for two spells in the middle and latter parts of the season. However in 1948/49 Greenhalgh again missed only one game as the Tigers powered towards promotion in front of enormous attendances electrified by the presence of Raich Carter. Players like Jimmy Greenhalgh did much of the defensive spadework that allowed talents like Carter to shine. Greenhalgh scored four goals during 1948/49 and City won all four games by 14-2 on aggregate. Influential!
Elevated to the Second Division, Greenhalgh again playing regularly for Carter’s team in 1949/50, but dropped out of the first XI in March and April as City’s form faltered and the promise of a second promotion under Raich’s management faded. Carter looked elsewhere for his defensive midfield stability in 1950/51, principally Viggo Jensen and Don Revie. Greenhalgh fell out of contention and left in November 1950.
Bury paid £13,000 to their Second Division rivals Hull City for Greenhalgh’s signature and he served the Shakers just as effectively as he had served the Tigers. In five seasons he made over 120 appearances before dropping out of League football and joining Wigan Athletic in July 1955. After one season in the Lancashire Combination Greenhalgh returned to league football in July 1956, becoming player-coach at Gillingham (though he only played 16 times for the Gills).
His time at Gillingham began a lengthy post-playing career in football coaching and management. He spent nearly three years at Priestfield before being appointed Lincoln City’s trainer in February 1959. Newcastle United appointed him to do the same role in June 1962, and Greenhalgh was then appointed first team manager at Darlington in July 1966. Greenhalgh left the Feethams hot seat in February 1968 and went back to coaching at Middlesbrough, a role he maintained until 1979. In the early 1980s Greenhalgh was chief scout for Sunderland.
He settled in Darlington in later life, dying in August 2013 at the fine age of 90, 67 years to the day since he made his Hull City debut.
Date/Place of Birth: 25 August 1923, Manchester
Hull City First Game: 31 August 1946, Lincoln City H (Division Three North), 23 years, 6 days old
Hull City Final Game: 25 November 1950, Bury A (Division Two), 27 years, 92 days old
Newton Heath Loco, Hull City (1946-1950), Bury (1950-1955), Wigan Athletic (1955-1956), Gillingham (1956-1959)
Hull City Record
Career: 167 apps, 7 goalsJimmy Greenhalgh