Tough tackling midfielder Jimmy McGill joined the Tigers in October 1971, manager Terry Neill paying a £55,000 fee to prise the rugged Scotsman away from Huddersfield Town. McGill was immediately placed into the City midfield engine room and was ever-present until he missed four games in April 1972. McGill opened his goalscoring account for the Tigers in a December 1971 1-1 draw at Blackpool and scored again in early January 1972 when City dumped Norwich City out of the FA Cup by a 3-0 scoreline. City had started the 1971/72 season in poor form and struggled in the lower reaches of the table until an upsurge in form from December onwards, in which McGill played his part. Optimism therefore abounded at the start of the 1972/73 season and McGill started every League and Cup game, adding one goal in a January 1973 6-2 demolition of Preston North End. Despite an unbeaten run in December, January and February, a decent run to the Fifth Round of the FA Cup and an impressive Anglo Italian Cup win over Serie A leaders Lazio, City again drifted in mid-table to confound that early season promise.
Jimmy started the 1973/74 season in his usual first team midfield berth but he suffered a two month layoff in October and November. McGill’s return to the first team demonstrated his versatility as he played in midfield, right back and left back roles during the remainder of the season. McGill was out of the first team picture at the start of the 1974/75 season but when Neill left the Tigers in September 1974 to manage Tottenham and experienced defensive midfielder John Kaye took over the reins, McGill was restored to the centre of midfield. In 1975/76 season McGill was again on the sidelines, and while he had a run of seven starts in late September and October, by February 1976 he was again out of the first team and City were open to offers when Halifax Town signed him.
James Morrison McGill was born in Partick on the banks of the River Clyde and grew up in the North Glasgow suburb of Milton. He became an apprentice welder in the Clyde shipyards at 15 and played his football for local junior side Possilpark YMCA. In 1965 McGill, alongside his Possilpark team-mate John Corr, signed for Arsenal. McGill made his Gunners’ debut in May 1966 against Leeds United, a fixture notable for attracting Arsenal record lowest attendance – only 4,500 came through the Highbury turnstiles on the same evening that Liverpool’s European Cup Winners’ Cup final appearance was being televised live. Jimmy went on to make ten League appearances and two League Cup appearances for Arsenal before he transferred to Huddersfield Town in September 1967 for a £10,000 fee. At Leeds Road McGill quickly became a first team regular and was a key part of the Terriers team that won the Second Division title in 1970, starting all 42 games, scoring four goals and providing a supply line to striker Frank Worthington who netted 28 times in the League. McGill played in all but one top flight fixture in 1970/71 season as the Terriers finished 15th in the First Division, but during the 1971 close season he demanded a pay rise that led to his demise at Leeds Road and his eventual transfer to the Tigers after over 170 appearances for Huddersfield in all competitions.
Jimmy started 11 games for Halifax Town in the latter stages of the 1975/76 season before heading across the Atlantic Ocean and spending the summer of 1976 playing for San Diego Jaws in the North American Soccer League. Jimmy started 20 games for the Jaws and teamed up with bearded former Birmingham and Sheffield United clogger Trevor Hockey in a midfield that was surely never lacking for tackles. McGill returned to Halifax for the 1976/77 season and made 21 appearances for the Shaymen, but drifted out of the first team in January 1977 and had his contract cancelled the following April. Jimmy spent the summer of 1977 in Australia playing for George Cross in Melbourne, a team connected to Ken Wagstaff that attracted several ex-Tigers in the 1970s, then had a short spell at Frickley Athletic before hanging up his boots. McGill resumed his welding career in the Huddersfield area and after a long illness he died in a Leeds hospital in March 2015.
Date/Place of Birth: 27 November 1946, Glasgow
Hull City First Game: 30 October 1971, Preston North End A (Division Two), 24 years, 337 days old
Hull City Final Game: 3 January 1976, Plymouth Argyle H (FA Cup Third Round), 29 years, 37 days old
Possilpark YMCA, Arsenal (1965-1967), Huddersfield Town (1967-1971), Hull City (1971-1976), Halifax Town (1976), San Diego Jaws (1976), Halifax Town (1976-1977), George Cross (1977), Frickley Athletic (1977-1978)
Hull City Record
Career: 177 apps, 4 goalsJimmy McGill
|1971/72||24 (0)||1||3 (0)||1||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1972/73||42 (0)||1||4 (0)||0||2 (0)||0||-||-||4 (0)||0|
|1973/74||32 (1)||0||2 (0)||0||4 (0)||0||-||-||3 (0)||1|
|1974/75||33 (1)||0||1 (0)||0||1 (0)||0||-||-||-||-|
|1975/76||10 (4)||0||1 (0)||0||1 (1)||0||-||-||3 (0)||0|