Airdrie's Greatest Centre Back - Jim Black
4th March 2016
Joining last week's winner Jimmy Sandison in the heart of the Greatest XI defence, with 52% of this week's vote you have named JIM BLACK as the man to wear our number 5 shirt.
1962-1969 / 1974-1979
Born in the town on 13th November 1943, Jim was still in his teens when he arrived at Broomfield from East of Scotland youth outfit Lochend Hearts.
His debut came in the league game with Third Lanark at Broomfield on November 10th 1962, but it wasn’t until the following season that he really made his mark as a committed yet polished centre-half. Together with wing halves Sam Goodwin and Derek Whiteford, he would soon form what is still considered one of Airdrieonians’ most celebrated half-back lines. As a proclamation, ‘Goodwin, Black and Whiteford’ would come to roll off the tongue every bit as effortlessly as those other iconic threesomes of Diamonds’ lore, ‘Ewart, Dick and McQueen’ and ‘McMillan, Baird and Welsh’.
Jim’s initial spell with Airdrie stretched until May 1969 by which time he had amassed 184 appearances and developed into one of the most sought after stoppers in the Scottish game. As things unfolded, it was Hibernian, at the time a leading force in the top division, who eventually shelled out a fee of £32,500 to bag the defender. Black appeared for Hibs over 150 times during a rich spell of success that included winning the League Cup in 1972, as well as back-to-back Dryburgh Cups (’72 & ’73) and a Scottish Cup final appearance, also in ’72.
On the eve of season 1974-75, however, Jim made an emotional return to Broomfield featuring for the Diamonds a further 199 times, including 1975’s Scottish Cup final defeat to Celtic and, a year later, silverware at last in that epic Spring Cup final display against Clydebank at Firhill. Leaving Broomfield in 1979, Jim went on to play for and manage Stenhousemuir.