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The Scottish League had been formed for the 1890-91 season, with Rangers as founder members.

They were League Champions for four successive seasons from 1898-99 to 1901-02, but Jimmy’s three seasons with the Club, after his move from Maryhill, saw Celtic take the Championship each time.


Jimmy’s debut in the Scottish League (Division One) came on 25 September 1905 at Ibrox, when Rangers crashed to a 5-0 defeat by Hearts. In the following League match, on 7 October, Jimmy scored his first goal for Rangers in a 4-1 win at Port Glasgow. Jimmy played in 18 games in the League that season, netting 6 goals.

The Scottish FA Cup began at Barrhead for Rangers, with a comprehensive 7-1 away win at Second Division Arthurlie - with Jimmy bagging a hat-trick – his first recorded hat-trick in senior football. However, the Cup run ended in disappointment with a surprising 1-0 defeat at Clune Park against struggling Port Glasgow, in the quarter-final.

There was no success in the Glasgow Cup either, with Rangers losing at Cathkin Park in a semi-final replay to Third Lanark (who had finished just below them in the league) despite a goal from Jimmy Speirs.

 
However, there was joy in the Glasgow Merchants’ Charity Cup. Jimmy scored twice in Rangers’ 5-3 win over Celtic in the semi-final, and then a further two in the final against Queens Park. 

 
This therefore provided Jimmy with his only medal (see left - click on front and reverse to enlarge) for the season, and – as it turned out – of his time with Rangers.
 
In addition to games in the Scottish League, Scottish FA Cup, Glasgow Cup, Glasgow Merchants’ Charity Cup and Glasgow League, Jimmy also played in at least one "other" game – against Blackburn Rovers on Christmas Day 1905. 

Before an attendance of 16,000 in Lancashire, Jimmy scored Rangers’ only goal in a 4-1 defeat by the English First Division club.




 


Played  Won  Drawn  Lost  Goals
   For
  Goals
 Against
  Points  Position
   30   15    7   8   58    48    37    4th


           CompetitionAppearances   Goals
Scottish League Division One        18           6
Scottish FA Cup        3     3
Glasgow Cup        1     1
Glasgow Merchants Charity Cup        2     4
Glasgow League        4     2
Other matches        1     1


Date  Opponents  Competition  Venue  Result  Score  Attend 
  -ance 
Goals
scored
  by
Jimmy
1905
25 Sep
Hearts      SL    H     L   0-5  18,000   -
30 SepThird Lanark    GC-SF    A     L   1-3  12,000   1
7 OctPort Glasgow      SL    A     W   4-1   3,000   1
14 OctDundee      SL    H     D   1-1   9,500   -
21 OctCeltic      SL    H     W   3-2  30,000   -
28 OctFalkirk      SL    A     W   6-1   6,000   -
4 NovQueens Park      SL    A     W   2-1  13,000   1
11 NovThird Lanark      SL    H     L   2-4  10,000   -
18 NovMotherwell      SL    A     D   3-3   5,000   -
25 NovMorton      SL    H     L   1-2   4,000   -
9 DecMorton      SL    A     W   3-0   5,000   1
23 DecMotherwell      SL    H     W   2-1   6,000   -
25 DecBlackburn Rov   Friendly    A     L   1-4  16,000   1
30 DecAirdrieonians      SL    H     L   1-3   8,000   1
1906
13 Jan
St Mirren      SL    A     L   2-3   -
20 JanPort Glasgow      SL    H     W   4-0   8,000   -
27 JanArthurlie  SC Rd 1    A     W   7-1   6,000   3
10 FebAberdeen  SC Rd 2    A     W   3-2  14,000   -
3 MarHibernian      SL    H     D   1-1   7,000   -
10 MarPort Glasgow SC Qtr Fin    A     L   0-1  11,000   -
17 MarPartick Thistle      SL    A     D   1-1   8,000   1
21 MarThird Lanark      GL    H     L   0-2   2,000   -
24 MarFalkirk      SL    H     W   3-1   7,000   -
31 MarCeltic      GL    A     W   3-0  12,000   2
7 AprHearts      SL    A     D   2-2   6,000   1
16 AprPartick Thistle      GL    H     W   1-0   2,000   -
1 MayQueens Park      GL    A     W   3-0   1,500   -
5 MayCeltic   GCC SF    A     W   5-3   2
12 MayQueens Park  GCC Final    A     W   3-2  25,000   2

SL - Scottish League Division One       SC - Scottish Cup        GC - Glasgow Cup       GCC - Glasgow Merchants Charity Cup              GL - Glasgow League



Ultimately, 1906-07 proved to be another disappointing season for Rangers. Although they improved to third in the League, they were ten points adrift of champions Celtic, and three points behind Dundee. Celtic rubbed it in by knocking Rangers out of the Scottish FA Cup at Ibrox by three goals to nil, before a gate of 60,000 on 9 March 1907 – by far the largest before which Jimmy Speirs had played up to that point.


There was no success in the Glasgow Cup (beaten in a replay by Queens Park at Ibrox by 3-0, after a 2-2 draw at Hampden Park), but Rangers did retain the Glasgow Merchants’ Charity Cup after beating Celtic in the final. Jimmy Speirs did not appear in the "Charity Cup", however, so was not able to add a medal to that won in the previous season in this competition.

Jimmy’s 13 league goals during the season placed him as joint top scorer, with Kyle.


Played  Won  Drawn  Lost  Goals
   For
  Goals
 Against
  Points  Position
  34   19     7    8   69    33    45    3rd


         CompetitionAppearances  Goals
Scottish League Division One        22    13
Scottish FA Cup         3     1
Glasgow Cup         2     1
Other matches         5     1


Date  Opponents Competition  Venue  Result  Score  Attend-
   ance
 Goals
 scored
   by
 Jimmy
1906
18 Aug
Falkirk      SL    H    D   2-2  13,000   1
25 AugPort Glasgow      SL    A    W   2-0   8,000   -
1 SepAberdeen      SL    H    W   6-2  10,000   1
8 SepQueens Park   GC Rd 1    A    D   2-2  28,000   1
15 SepQueens ParkGC Rd 1 rep    H    L   0-3  26,000   -
13 OctKilmarnock      SL    A    W   5-1   7,000   2
20 OctMorton      SL    H    W   2-0   9,000   1
27 OctCeltic      SL    A    L   1-2  30,000   -
3 NovSt Mirren      SL    H    D   1-1  12,000   -
10 NovThird Lanark      SL    A    W   2-0  16,000   -
1 DecAirdrieonians      SL    H    W   2-1  13,000   1
6 DecClyde      SL    A    W   5-1   1
15 DecMotherwell      SL    H    L   0-1   5,000   -
22 DecAberdeen      SL    A    W   3-0   7,000   -
29 DecHamilton Acc      SL    H    L   0-1   5,000   -
1907
2 Jan
Partick Thistle      SL    A    D   2-2   7,000   -
5 JanMorton      SL    A    L   1-2   5,000   1
12 JanHibernian      SL    H    W   1-0   7,000   1
19 JanAirdrieonians      SL    A    W   3-2   8,000   1
26 JanFalkirk   SC Rd 1    A    W   2-1  16,000   -
2 FebThird Lanark      SL    H    D   0-0  10,000   -
9 FebHamilton Acc      SL    A    W   3-0   6,000   2
16 FebGalston   SC Rd 2    A    W   4-0   4,000   1
23 FebSt Mirren      SL    A    D   0-0   7,000   -
2 MarMotherwell      SL    A    L   0-1   5,000   -
9 MarCeltic   SC Rd 3    H    L   0-3  60,000   -
20 AprKilmarnock      SL    H    W   3-0   2,500   1

SL - Scottish League Division One           SC - Scottish FA Cup             GC - Glasgow Cup




Photograph reproduced by kind permission of Gavin Watson Printers, Blantyre - click to enlarge

Again, Rangers finished third in the league – but this time just five points behind champions (again) Celtic, and one point behind Falkirk. They exited the Scottish Cup at the second round stage, beaten (again) by Celtic at Ibrox Park.  Rangers took the "auld enemy" to two replays in the final of the Glasgow Cup….but lost the third game. The three matches – all at Hampden – attracted gates of 81,000, 52,000 and 56,000.

Such attendances helped Rangers to enjoy its most lucrative season to date financially - gross gate receipts totalling £14,076 for the season.

On the field, however, there was not even the consolation of the Glasgow Merchants’ Charity Cup – the holders for the previous two seasons were beaten by Queens Park in the semi-final.

Jimmy Speirs did not appear in the league until the end of November, and played only 13 league games during the season (none of which were lost), scoring five times. Although this was Jimmy's last season with Rangers prior to moving to Clyde, it was a notable season for Jimmy, with the birth of his son (see Early Years and Family) being followed by international and representative honours.



On 7 March 1908, Jimmy Speirs was awarded his only international  cap when he represented Scotland in the British Championship game against Wales at Dens Park, Dundee. The Scots won the game by two goals to one, before a crowd of 18,000, but Jimmy was not on the scoresheet that day.

Jimmy's international cap - Scotland v Wales, 1908 (click to enlarge)



On 18 March 1908, Jimmy represented Glasgow in a long-established Inter-City fixture with Sheffield. The game resulted in a 2-2 draw, with Jimmy scoring the second Glasgow goal. A crowd of  5,000 witnessed the proceedings, which were brought to an abrupt end some 15 or 20 minutes early, due to darkness!  It seems that Jimmy received a cap for his appearance - his family have a cap "G v S, 1908", which presumably relates to this match.

Jimmy's representative cap - Glasgow v Sheffield, 1908 (click to enlarge)

The Glasgow Evening Times reported the game - click to view

(Reproduced with the permission of the Evening Times (Glasgow), © Newsquest Media Group)  



Played  Won  Drawn  Lost  Goals
   For
  Goals
 Against
  Points  Position
  34   21     8    5   74    40    50     3rd


         CompetitionAppearances  Goals
Scottish League Division One       13    5
Scottish FA Cup        3    1
Other matches        5    1


Date  Opponents  Competition  Venue  Result  Score  Attend-
   ance
 Goals
 scored
   by
 Jimmy
1907
30 Nov
Third Lanark       SL    A    W   5-3   9,000   1
7 DecHearts       SL    A    W   2-1  11,000   -
14 DecMotherwell       SL    H    W   4-2  10,000   2
21 DecDundee       SL    A    W   2-1  15,000   -
28 DecFalkirk       SL    H    D   2-2  25,000   1
1908
11 Jan
Third Lanark       SL    H    W   2-0   8,000   1
18 JanAberdeen       SL    A    D   0-0  10,000   -
25 JanFalkirk    SC Rd 1    A    D   2-2  20,000   -
1 FebFalkirk SC Rd 1 Rep    H    W   4-1  52,000   1
8 FebCeltic    SC Rd 2    H    L   1-2  23,000   -
15 FebHamilton Acc       SL    A    D   2-2   6,000   -
29 FebHearts       SL    H    W   2-1   6,000   -
28 MarHibernian       SL    A    W   3-0   9,000   -
4 AprMotherwell       SL    A    W   2-1   3,000   -
11 AprClyde       SL    H    D   1-1   6,000   -
13 AprSt Mirren       SL    A    W   2-0   4,000   -

SL - Scottish League Division One             SC - Scottish FA Cup


Season Scottish
 League
 Games
Scottish
 League
  Goals
Scottish
   Cup
 Games
Scottish
   Cup
  Goals
Glasgow
  Cup
 Games
Glasgow
   Cup
  Goals
  Glasgow
Merchants
  Charity
    Cup
  Games
 Glasgow
Merchants
  Charity
   Cup
  Goals
1905-6    18     6    3     3    1    1     2    4
1906-7    22    13    3     1    2    1     -    -
1907-8    13     5    3     1    -    -     -    -
Totals    53    24    9     5    3    2     2    4


Jimmy's family still have this cutting from an unknown publication.  "Speirs dribbles well....scores with a curly one" - click to enlarge


And so, after three years at Ibrox, Jimmy Speirs moved across Glasgow, to Shawfield Park, the home of fellow First Division side, Clyde.

 
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