Slim Jim: Simply the Best

Slim Jim: Simply the Best

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 1845027833

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Jim Baxter was one of Scotland's greatest-ever football players, a left-footed wonder who became a Rangers icon and a leading member of the celebrated Scotland side of the 1960s. In this insightful biography, Tom Miller takes an in-depth look at the legend known as Slim Jim. Baxter joined Rangers in 1960 for a then record transfer fee of GBP 17,500 and quickly showed his worth, helping them to an incredible run of ten trophy victories between 1960 and 1965. He also played an instrumental role in Scotland's strong international run, especially playing against England, where in 1963 he scored both goals in a 2-1 victory after Scotland were reduced to ten players. And his 1967 game of keepieuppie, while waiting for teammates to get into position, in the midst of the British Home Championship has gone down in football history. Yet off the field, Baxter was a contradictory character. Though an affable man who eschewed the sectarianism that blighted Glasgow football, he was also a gambler and regularly drank to excess. After stints at Sunderland and Nottingham Forest, his football career ended with a brief spell at Rangers again. Baxter died of pancreatic cancer in 2001. In this insightful biography, lifelong fan Tom Miller brings Slim Jim and his passion for Rangers to life, capturing the halcyon days of 1960s football and charting the rise and fall of arguably the greatest footballer Scotland has ever produced.

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the only one taking a gamble. Baxter could have taken the comfort of a two-year deal, but backed himself to succeed. His strategy looked to be a sound one, as he buckled down to training and was positive in his comments, reinforcing the view he was worth the risk his manager was taking. White was after the ‘feel good’ factor. Jim, even when not so slim, was his chance to provide it. The new signing certainly captured the imagination of the supporters, who agonised at being second to Celtic

lights of Glasgow and the publicly perceived persona that James Curran Baxter had become also showed an integrity that remains bewildering yet incredibly heartwarming. And the truth, which Jim Baxter had spent much of his adult life trying to forget, was that he had been adopted by his uncle Rab and his wife Agnes because his real mother – who he had known all his life as his Aunt Betty – had abandoned him as a baby and given him away. But the real truth would take thirty years to unfold and

World War was becoming a reality. Elizabeth Curran was Rab and Dave Baxter’s half-sister and she was not married. The baby boy was named and registered as James Curran in honour of her late father. By this time, Elizabeth’s half-brother Rab Baxter was married to Agnes Denholm. They had no children of their own and were unable to have any, which was a great sadness to the couple. This was a time, of course, when having a child out of wedlock was more than frowned upon, and Elizabeth Curran was

years and found himself shipped out to play his football in South Africa when the club had a Cup-Winners’ Cup final date in their diary. Henderson was twenty-eight years old when he was given a free transfer. It was a very sad way to end his Ibrox career, particularly as Rangers went on to win their one and only European trophy within weeks of his departure. Baxter left for purely financial reasons in a period when Rangers showed no flexibility in their salary structure. Many years later, like

walking in the footsteps of a legend like Jim Baxter.’ IAN WILKIE: A member of the Big Apple Bears and a resident of New York: ‘I was brought up in Coatbridge and remember Jim Baxter’s wedding day. I had a good spot in front of the car and came away a wealthy boy. It was the only ‘scramble’ I ever remember with silver in it! I was in awe of Baxter because of all the talk from the adults about what a player he was, but I remember when he came back to play the second time (against Clyde, I think).

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