Versatile forward James “Jimmy” Bloomer joined the Tigers in February 1948, who jumped in to claim his signature ahead of First Division side Chelsea. Jimmy was born in Rutherglen to the south east of Glasgow and was associated with Scottish junior club Strathclyde for several years while serving in the Royal Artillery as a Sargeant. It was Bloomer’s return from military service in the Far East at the end of 1947 that put various English and Scottish team on alert about his impending availability.
Jimmy immediately made his City debut at outside right as manager Frank Buckley’s side looked to arrest a decline in form that had seen the Tigers’ promotion push dwindle. Bloomer made three starts and scored in his second, a 2-3 defeat against Gateshead, but by the time he returned to the first team for the last League fixture of the season on May Day 1948 Buckley was gone, Raich Carter was poised to take over as manager and significant squad investment was in train. Bloomer scored in that match, a 3-1 defeat of Carlisle United, but it proved to be his last first team action for the Tigers. He remained with the club during Carter’s remarkable 1948/49 Division Three North title winning campaign, but was not able to break back into the first team and left the club in June 1949.
In June 1949 Bloomer joined City’s Second Division rivals Grimsby Town, beginning a period of his career that would define the rest of his life and the lives of his family. He was used sparingly in his first season at Blundell Park – it is likely that this was in part caused by his continued military duties – and after a Mariners’ debut in December 1949 against Blackburn he had a run of starts in March and April 1950, scoring his first Grimsby goal against Chesterfield. He started the 1950/51 season on the fringes of the first team until in late October 1950 he was moved from outside right to centre forward and scored all four goals in a 4-2 defeat of Southampton. A second hattrick two weeks later against Brentford established Bloomer as Grimsby’s first choice centre forward for the rest of the season, during which he netted five more goals.
Despite Jimmy’s goals, Grimsby were relegated to Division Three North at the end of the 1950/51 season and the following season Bloomer scored an impressive 18 goals despite missing a month of football during the autumn. Grimsby finished second in the table that season, narrowingly missing out on an immediate promotion back to the second tier, but during the next three seasons the Mariners drifted towards the lower half of the table. Bloomer was absent from the game between November 1952 and August 1953 due to a broken leg and in November and December 1953 he announced his return to form with six goals in seven starts, which he then followed up a fortnight later with a hattrick in a thrilling 5-5 draw against Fulham in the FA Cup. The 1954/55 season saw Jimmy consigned to the reserves and he made his last Mariners’ senior appearance (and scored his last Mariners’ goal) in a December 1954 1-1 draw against Oldham Athletic. When he left Grimsby Town in January 1955 he had made 120 senior appearances for the club and scored 49 goals.
For the next eight years Bloomer continued to play at a semi-professional level for a string of Lincolnshire clubs. Between January and June 1955 he scored 30 goals in 25 starts for King’s Lynn, then moved to Boston United where he added 20 goals in 36 starts. In November 1956 he moved to Wisbech Town then had further spells at Skegness Town, Spalding Town and Cleethorpes before hanging up his boots in 1963.
Jimmy lived in Grimsby for the rest of his life, dying in December 2011, and began a footballing dynasty. His son James Moore Bloomer also played for Grimsby Town in the late 1960s while another son Brian McGregor Bloomer, who played a few League games for Scunthorpe United in the late 1970s, is the father of another ex-Mariner Matt Bloomer. Indeed Matt Bloomer also played for Hull City, making Jimmy and Matt Bloomer the first grandfather/grandson combination to have played for Hull City.
Date/Place of Birth: 10 April 1926, Rutherglen
Hull City First Game: 28 February 1948, Hartlepools United A (Division Three North), 21 years, 324 days old
Hull City Final Game: 1 May 1948, Carlisle United H (Division Three North), 22 years, 21 days old
Strathclyde Juniors (1943-1948), Hull City (1948-1949), Grimsby Town (1949-1955), King’s Lynn (1955), Boston United (1955-1956), Wisbech Town (1956-1958), Skegness Town (1958-1960), Spalding Town (1960-1962), Cleethorpes (1962-1963)
Hull City Record
Career: 4 apps, 2 goalsJimmy Bloomer