Jimmy Rimmer, Arsenal’s three season hero.

By Tony Attwood

John James Rimmer known as Jimmy, was born in Southport on 10 February 1948.  He joined Manchester United on schoolboy forms in 1963 and became a professional for the club in 1965.

He stayed at Manchester United for nine seasons as second keeper to Alex Stepney, appearing 34 times in the league and 12 times in cup matches.

In October 1973 he was loaned to Swansea City for whom he was number 1 keeper, and in February 1974 he signed for Arsenal for £40,000, Arsenal obviously having realised that Bob Wilson was going to retire early.

He made one appearance for Arsenal in that first season, but did take over as planned from Bob Wilson in the following season

Season League Games Manager
1973/4 1 Bertie Mee
1974/5 40 Bertie Mee
1975/6 41 Bertie Mee
1976/7 42 Terry Neill
Total 124  

He won Arsenal’s Player of the Year award in 1975 and in 1976 won an England cap in an exhibition match in New York against Italy, playing the first half of the game.

Jimmy was displaced as number 1 keeper when Terry Neill arrived, and bringing with him Pat Jennings one year later.

Rimmer stayed at Aston Villa until 1983 and played 229 games, and included winning the league in 1981 and European Cup in 1982.

After that he went back to Swansea, and then had short spells with Hamrum Spartans (of Malta) and Luton Town. He retired from playing football in 1986, aged 38.

After leaving Luton Town he became goalkeeping coach for Swansea, and was acting manager after the dismissal of Kevin Cullis.  After that he worked in China as a goalkeeping coach for the national team, and then coached in Canada.

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3 Replies to “Jimmy Rimmer, Arsenal’s three season hero.”

  1. He was one of the biggest reasons we avoided relegation in those dark days of the mid-seventies.

    Also I’m pretty sure he was on the bench for Utd when they won the European Cup.

  2. Away to QPR April 1976, just before the 2nd half kick off, he was booked when the ref saw him marking lines with his boot studs from the goalposts to the 6yd line, obviously to help him leave shots that would go wide of the goal. He played a great match that day but couldn’t stop QPR winning 2-1.

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