James Hamilton Speirs MM (22 March 1886 – 20 August 1917) was a Scottish footballer who represented his country on one occasion, scored the winning goal in the 1911 FA Cup Final, and received the Military Medal during the First World War.
Speirs was born on 22 March 1886 in the Govan area of Glasgow, Scotland, the fifth of six children of James Hamilton Speirs and Janet Shields Speirs (née McLean). By 1901, the family had moved to nearby Govanhill and Jimmy worked as a clerk. It was in Govanhill that Speirs’ football ability was first shown, when he played in the junior football circuit on the black ash pitches of Glasgow, for Annandale, during summer tournaments.
An inside forward, Speirs moved to Maryhill in the Glasgow Junior League in 1905. Maryhill, whose Lochburn Park ground was five miles north of Speirs’ home, were among the top sides in the junior leagues, and lifted 13 trophies in eight seasons at the turn of the 20th century.
The 1904–05 team contained six junior internationals, and the side won three titles that season. Speirs’ first recorded scoring appearance was on 29 April 1905, when his … Read the rest