Jimmy Hill – RIP

OBITUARY – Death of a President

It is with the greatest regret we announce the death of our President Jimmy Hill only the second man to grace the position since the inception of the LFCA.

This is a basic Obituary setting out his many achievements which included the reformation of both the wage structure for professional players whilst Chairman of the PFA and later as pundit pressing for 3 points for a win, creating the first all seater stadium when at Coventry, innovating the changing of the Throw-in Law and creating the first TV football panel for the 1970 World Cup.

Jimmy’s playing career started with Brentford for whom he played between 1949 & 1952 As a forward or inside forward he played 83 times for them scoring ten goals.  He then moved on to Fulham making 276 appearances for them scoring 41 goals including a Club record of 5 goals in an away game and being part of Fulham’s promotion to the First Division until he retired from playing in 1961.  During his time at Fulham Jimmy who had qualified as a Full Badge Coach under Walter Winterbottom whom he also assisted to develop the FA Coaching system was also a leading coach with the CCPR helping them in taking courses leading to the FA Preliminary Certificate.

This experience with coaching and teaching where he was also named as an FA Staff Coach, assisted him in his move into management in 1961 when he took over at Coventry City.  He remained there until 1967 by which time the Club had been promoted from the Third Division to the First Division, by winning the Third Division Championship in season 1963/64 and the Second Division Title in1966/67.  In total counting all matches in charge his record showed 290 games played with 129 wins; 83 draws and 78 losses with a 44.48 win percentage.
During his period there he changed the strip to Sky Blue and the nickname to the Sky Blues and also wrote the words to a new Club song as he was to do for Arsenal in later years.

Jimmy subsequently returned to Coventry as Managing Director and later Chairman and had a statue erected in his honour which stands outside the Ricoh Arena. He also later had spells as Chairman of both Charlton and his other great footballing love Fulham.

Jimmy Hill really created the role of football pundit and joined London Weekend Television to head their football programmes including “The Big Match” which was a competitor to the BBC’s “Match of the Day” programme.  However he left ITV to take over that BBC programme and remained “in situ” until moving over to Sky Sports to head his own “Sunday Supplement” football show mixing it with a table of football journalists.

Outside of the game Jimmy was a leading member of the Goaldiggers a charity set up to raise funds for the Duke of Edinburgh’s playing fields appeal and was involved in several football days’ events including two five-a-side competitions at Wembley Arena involving music bands who included one top professional footballer.  On both occasions George Best played whilst Elton John appeared and raised a team including Rod Stewart.

Jimmy was awarded an OBE and the FA Fifty Year Award for services to football but never got what he should have done which was a Knighthood for the same services.  When offered the role of President of the LFCA he immediately accepted the position becoming only as previously indicated the second ever holder of the position after Sir Walter Winterbottom since the inception of the LFCA.  For the last couple of years unfortunately Jimmy suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.

Reference was made earlier to an Arsenal song in which Jimmy penned the words “proud to say your name”.  Well we at the LFCA will always be proud to say his name as our President.

James (Jimmy) William Thomas Hill- Born Balham 22nd July 1928- Died West Sussex 19th December 2015- Aged 87.