Player of the Day: Jim Baxter

Published:
by Oscar Chamberlain

Scottish legend in the spotlight.

One of the finest players of his generation, Jim Baxter will be forever remembered by Scottish football fans as arguably the best the Tartan Army have produced.

At Sunderland, the cavalier character showed his genius in glimpses as he edged towards the end of his career but his quality still left its mark on the Roker faithful.

Born in Fife, Baxter began his career with Raith Rovers before moving to Glasgow Rangers in 1960 for a fee of £18,000.

In five years at Ibrox he won three league titles, the Scottish Cups and five Scottish League Cup titles as well as being a finalist as Rangers made the European Cup Winners’ Cup final in 1961, only to be defeated by Fiorentina in the final.

Ian McColl signed Baxter in May 1965 as the Black Cats parted with £72,500 to secure his services.

His home debut, a 4-1 win over Sheffield United, in which he scored two goals, the second of which as good as any he scored in a Sunderland shirt, was the benchmark for his debut season.

He followed up his home debut with a further 37 appearances over the course of the campaign and five more goals, including strikes in wins over Aston Villa and Chelsea.

Baxter scored on the opening day of the 1966-67 season as the Black Cats lost 3-1 to Arsenal at Roker Park, though, his most notable contribution of the campaign would be in a Scotland shirt.

In April 1967, Scotland defeated a World Cup winning England side 3-2 at Wembley with Baxter’s breath-taking display in the game receiving widespread plaudits.

Jim made just another 18 appearances for Sunderland before moving to Nottingham Forest for £100,000 in December 1967.

He returned to Rangers in 1969 before retiring a year later.

Capped 34 times by the Tartan Army, ten of which were during his time with Sunderland, Jim sadly passed away in 2001 at the age of 61.