Joe Dixon’s

Football Memories

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1977




It’s with great sadness to write about the passing of Jimmy Clark on the 25 January 2015. He just never recovered from a massive heart attack a few weeks earlier. In this time his very close and loving family would never have realised just how many friends from the football world were praying and willing him to make a full recovery. Perhaps he was needed to manage a team in a much much higher league.























































The service was conducted by Deacon: Rev. Norman Barron and, as he knew Jimmy from his footballing days and was just recently chatting with him, the service seemed to have a lot more feeling than would normally be the case. Lovely messages from family members including ‘a Reflection of Jim’s Sporting Life’ by Norman Taylor (nephew and best friend), meant it was a lovely and very emotional service.



Football friends paying their respect included :-


From Ryhope CA (now Sunderland RCA):-   Billy Anderson, Brian Page, Brian Gibbs, Harry Clark, Keith Hembrough, Bobby Pickering, John Pollock, Billy Mitchell, Jimmy Usher, Paul Carr, John Donaghue,  Bob Stallard, Brian Waddell, Dave Hall, Billy Crake, Tommy Crake, Derek Baines, Tony Swallow, Owen Hayley and myself.

From Seaham Red Star:- Dave Copeland, Reg Atkinson, Des Johnson and Harry Hobson.


Charlie Grose (Ryhope CW) and Dennis White (Boldon CW).


Ernie Carlin, now requiring a ‘walker’, wasn’t well enough to attend but his thoughts were very much with Jimmy’s family.



With Jimmy being 8 years older than me our paths never crossed until he came, as player/manager, to Ryhope Youth Club. I had left the ‘YC earlier and was playing on a Saturday morning for Ryhope ‘Pops’ in the CIU league. He came to see me one day and said he was having team problems and needed to bring in a player in order to give him a few options on team selection. He asked me if I could help him out. I wasn’t very keen at first and made excuses like ‘I didn’t fancy playing 2 games in a day’, ‘I didn’t want to take some ones place’ etc. But he was very persuasive and had such an appreciative manner that I agreed when he said it would be just for 2-3 games. I nearly changed my mind when he wanted to play me centre forward. But again he convinced me I could do it.


The liking and respect I had for Jimmy saw that ‘2-3 games’ stretched (from 1967/68) until the 1978/79 season and covered 3 different teams(Ryhope CA, Silksworth CW and Seaham Red Star) and 4 different Leagues. Other players such as Brian Page, Harry Clark, Norman Taylor, Bobby Pickering and Billy Mitchell all gave similar service. Jimmy Usher actually played in the same 3 teams and 5 different Leagues. With very long service from committee members Ernie Carlin, Billy Anderson(who also played), Terry and Kevin Brace (both now sadly no longer with us) it is fair to say that Jimmy Clark had total respect and loyalty in abundance.


I would like to remind people of an incredible achievement that happened on Wednesday 2 March 1977 at the Green Drive football ground in Dawdon. It was a friendly between Seaham Red Star and a full strength Carlisle Utd team, then in League Division 2 (Now the Championship). The ‘Star, MANAGED by Jimmy, were shock (but deserved) 3-2 winners. Bobby Moncur was their Manager and lots of their players were also in the team 2 seasons before this when they topped Division 1 (now Premier League) early in the season. Reports say that we outplayed Carlisle  and deserved to win. As the Green Drive’s playing surface was excellent there was no luck with our win. This achievement is proudly remembered by Seaham Red Star FC and a report of this achievement featured in a match programme on 25 November 2014. Any manager in Non League football would love to have this on his CV.  


Jimmy, a great family man, gentleman and friend to many, will be sadly missed.


The tribute below is from the Football Echo on 2nd Nov. 1985.
































































Jimmy Clark 1937-2015


1974/1975 Season