Versatile half back and forward Jimmy Duthie joined the Tigers in July 1951, a hefty £5,000 being paid for his signature. While signed as a half back, a shortage of available forwards meant that manager Raich Carter started the season with Duthie playing centre forward for the first team. Duthie rewarded the manager with August 1951 goals against Queens Park Rangers and Sheffield United but results were not good and when Carter stepped aside in early September 1951 Duthie was dropped to the Reserves, reappearing in the first team only for a late October game against Leeds United and two April 1952 games against Nottingham Forest and Brentford – the latter match saw Duthie score in 4-1 victory.
New manager Bob Jackson took over City for the 1952/53 season and he used Duthie sparingly as a centre half – two starts in November 1952, the first of which against Leeds United saw Welsh legend John Charles score a hattrick – and five starts in March and April 1953, the second of which against Leeds ended in a revengeful 1-0 win. His final appearance for the Tigers came on the last day of the season against Sheffield United when he had one last game at centre forward.
James Duthie was born at Rescobie, a small hamlet in Angus, Scotland a few miles east of Forfar. The advent of World War Two hampered any footballing ambitions he may have had in his teenage years, he joined RAF Bomber Command and was stationed in Lincolnshire. This not only afforded him the chance to play football for his unit – he scored six goals in an 8-6 victory against the RAF Training Corps in February 1948 – but also meant he attracted the attention of local Football League sides. Duthie assisted Lincoln City’s reserve side during the early part of the 1947/48 season and in April 1948 he played in a Reserve match for Hull City – alas he was at the time registered to play for Scunthorpe United and City had to pay a £30 fine to the Midland League for fielding an ineligible player. His time at Scunthorpe was short because by October 1948 he had signed amateur terms for Grimsby Town and spent the 1948/49 playing in the Mariners’ reserves. He was handed a first team debut by Grimsby at the end of April 1949, the final day of the season that Grimsby lost 1-5 to Bury.
In the 1949 close season Duthie left the RAF and signed professional terms for Grimsby. During December 1949 and January 1950 he had a spell of ten games playing at right half that drew to a close after a 0-5 FA Cup defeat to Portsmouth, who were managed by Duthie’s future City boss Bob Jackson. Duthie was a more regular presence in Grimsby’s half back line during the 1950/51 season, which ended in relegation for the Mariners, making 33 starts and impressing enough to attract the attention of Hull City and Raich Carter, who enjoyed working with ex-RAF players. He made a total of 44 senior appearances for Grimsby.
In May 1953 Duthie left Hull City and signed for Division Three South side Southend United. He served the Shrimpers for five seasons and by the mid-1950s was club captain. Operating almost exclusively at right half, he established himself as a first team regular during December 1953 and was a near-ever-present from then until he dropped out of the side in December 1957, other than missed a five month chunk of the 1954/55 season. He scored nine goals in 170 senior appearances for Southend United before leaving the club in the 1958 close season.
In July 1958 Jimmy was appointed player-coach at Eastern Counties League side Bury Town, based in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. He played on until 1961 and stayed in the town for the rest of his life, which came to a premature end in February 1972 at the age of 48.
Date/Place of Birth: 23 September 1923, Rescobie
Hull City First Game: 18 August 1951, Barnsley H (Division Two), 27 years, 329 days old
Hull City Final Game: 29 April 1953, Sheffield United A (Division Two), 29 years, 218 days old
Lincoln City (1947-1948), Scunthorpe United (1948), Grimsby Town (1948-1951), Hull City (1951-1953), Southend United (1953-1958), Bury Town (1958-1961)
Hull City Record
Career: 17 apps, 3 goalsJimmy Duthie