Jimmy Adamson

James Adamson (4 April 1929 – 8 November 2011)[1] was an English professional footballer and football manager. He was born in Ashington, Northumberland.[2] He made 486 appearances for Burnley ranking him sixth in their all-time appearance list.[2]

Jimmy Adamson
Personal information
Full name James Adamson
Date of birth (1929-04-04)4 April 1929
Place of birth Ashington, Northumberland, England
Date of death 8 November 2011(2011-11-08) (aged 82)
Place of death Nelson, Lancashire, England
Position(s) Right-half
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1947–1964 Burnley 426 (17)
National team
1953 England B 1 (0)
Teams managed
1970–1976 Burnley
1976 Sparta Rotterdam
1976–1978 Sunderland
1978–1980 Leeds United
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Playing career

Adamson, a right-half, joined Burnley in January 1947 after playing non-league football in his native Ashington and working as a miner. His early career was interrupted by national service, which he completed with the Royal Air Force, meaning his debut had to wait until February 1951, when Burnley played away to Bolton Wanderers. He played once for the England B team, but never made the full England side.

He was an ever-present as Burnley won the First Division in 1959–60 and captained the side to the 1962 FA Cup Final which they lost against Tottenham Hotspur. He was also named Footballer of the Year in 1962.[2]

Adamson formed a midfield partnership with inside-forward Jimmy McIlroy, around which much of Burnley's creative play was centred.

Coaching career

He retired in 1964, having played 426 league games, and joined the Burnley coaching staff. He had previously coached the England team in the 1962 World Cup in Chile and was the Football Association's preferred choice of manager ahead of Alf Ramsey but declined the offer.[2]

In February 1970, when Burnley manager Harry Potts was made general manager, Adamson stepped up to become team manager. Burnley were relegated at the end his first full season in charge, but returned to the top-flight in 1973, winning the Second Division title.[2]

Burnley were relegated again in 1976, although Adamson had already left that January. In May 1976 he was appointed as manager of Dutch side Sparta Rotterdam, but left the following month. In November 1976 he was made manager of Sunderland, but was unable to prevent them from relegation from the First Division.[2]

He left Sunderland in November 1978, taking over from Jock Stein as manager of Leeds United. His time at Leeds is well remembered for the huge roars of "Adamson Out" with which the crowd greeted his later appearances.[citation needed] He left Leeds in October 1980.[2] He took no further part in professional football and spent the rest of his life in Burnley.[3]

Adamson died on 8 November 2011, aged 82.[2] He was predeceased by his wife, May, and daughters, Julie and Jayne. He is survived by three granddaughters and two grandsons.[3]

On 1 August 2013 his biography was set to be released, written by Dave Thomas and published by Pitch Publishing.



See also


  1. "Jimmy Adamson". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  2. "Burnley legend Jimmy Adamson dies at 82". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  3. Glanville, Brian (9 November 2011). "Jimmy Adamson obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 November 2011.