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Jim Baxter BBC Alba


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1 minute ago, Bobby Hume said:

Exactly .... they should have gave him the increase he asked for and not been so tight fisted .... but like today money has fucked the game up severely.

:uk:

Buttons now when you compare now to overpaid shite that the fans adore, the games fucked and the country!:sherlock:

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There is a book called Scottish Sporting Legends which obviously contains a chapter about the great man - here's an excerpt.

2. JIM BAXTER

Football

Born: Hill of Beath, Fife, 29 September 1939

Died: Glasgow, 14 April 2001

CAREER:

Raith Rovers 1957–60: 62 appearances, 3 goals

Rangers 1960–5 and 1969–70: 254 appearances, 24 goals; Scottish League Championship 1960–61, 1962–63, 1963– 64; Scottish Cup 1961–62, 1962–63, 1963–64; Scottish League Cup 1961–62, 1963–64, 1964–65

Sunderland 1965–7: 98 appearances, 12 goals

Nottingham Forest 1967–9: 48 appearances, 3 goals

Scotland 1960–7: 34 appearances, 3 goals

 

While Liverpool idolised The Beatles in the ’60s, a goodly proportion of Glasgow worshipped ‘Slim Jim’. If Cristiano Ronaldo is worth £80 million, then you could not buy Baxter today for one penny less.

Like George Best, he was more rock star than footballer: a beauty queen on each arm, a betting slip in every pocket and, most destructively of all, a Bacardi and Coke in every pub. Like Best, Baxter burned the candle at both ends then torched the bit in the middle.

He never trained or practised, he scarcely won a tackle in his entire career, his right foot was placed there purely for symmetry, he never headed the ball, he stood 5 ft 11 in. but weighed only 9 st. 12 lb, and he moved at nothing faster than regal elegance. Yet Jim Baxter was a football god. A swivel of those narrow hips, a dip of that slender shoulder as he drifted in on goal and entire defences would leap out of his way like desperate passengers abandoning a sinking ship.

He scored twice on his first appearance at Wembley in the dark blue of Scotland in 1963 and played keepie-uppie underneath the twin towers four years later when he toyed with Sir Alf Ramsey’s world champions. No marvel was beyond his power.

Glasgow may have belonged to Jim Baxter but until his premature death from pancreatic cancer at the age of 61 the lilt forever remained that of the Fife coal-mining community of Hill of Beath, where he worked down the village pit during the week and turned out for Raith Rovers on Saturdays until Rangers paid £17,500 for his blessed genius in 1960.

The combination of drink, gambling, two ill-advised transfers to Sunderland and Nottingham Forest, plus Rangers’ snooty refusal to grant him a testimonial – ‘Och, I was only there five years [sic],’ he insisted with unflinching loyalty – saw Baxter live out his life in modest surroundings on the south side of the city over which he once reigned supreme. If he had been allowed an agent, he would have earned – and no doubt spent – millions.

In 1963, when he played alongside Lev Yashin, Ferenc Puskás and Eusébio in the Rest of the World team that met England at Wembley, Baxter was earning a meagre £35 a week at Rangers, yet he never displayed a shred of bitterness that the riches bestowed upon far less deserving talents were denied him. ‘I think Puskás was on two grand at Real Madrid even then. I was a slave during my time at Rangers but the game changed. In my day, the directors had all the power before it passed to the players. But I really was the luckiest guy in the world. I started off with nothing down the pits and went on to have a life money can’t buy. I messed up my marriage and my liver but that was inevitable, the way I was going.’

From as far back as he could remember, Baxter’s weekends were spent playing his beloved fitba’ and bevvyin’; since there was only one full-sized ball in Hill of Beath, everyone joined in. ‘Forty-a-side. Until the big boys came out the pub like Frankenstein’s monster in their great size-14 wellies. When you get the ball and there’s 39 huge miners chasing you, then you’ve got to have a wee bit of skill to survive.’

Even on a crowded, muddy pitch resembling the battle scene in El Cid, Baxter’s shimmering brilliance could be seen by all through the gloom. At 17 – by which time he had been one of the big boys in the pub for some years – he signed for Raith Rovers and received £250. ‘My mum was the proudest woman in Scotland because I bought her the first washing machine in the whole of Hill o’ Beath.’

Still a month shy of his 21st birthday, Baxter joined Rangers and joyously surrendered the last vestiges of self-control. ‘After Hill o’ Beath, Glasgow was Las Vegas. People might wonder how I went off my head. But one day you’re a Raith Rovers player who cannae pull the birds at the Cowdenbeath Palais. Next day you come through to Glasgow and the girls are throwing themselves at you. It was a wee bit o’ a change in fortune and I certainly wasn’t letting it go by. I was a rascal, all right.’

On many an occasion, Baxter would still be trying to sober up three hours before kick-off, yet despite these well-publicised excesses, which resulted in two liver transplants, he was greeted with affection where’er he roamed. As he lay dying, every new postal delivery reduced him to tears; cards and letters of support arrived from Hong Kong and Australia, from Sean Connery and Billy Connolly, from Rangers fans and Celtic players (Baxter’s drinking buddies came from a’ the airts), from grandmothers and schoolchildren he had never met. At his funeral in Glasgow Cathedral the then Chancellor Gordon Brown delivered one of the readings.

Beloved by all or not, however, during his original spell at Ibrox Baxter was paid the same modest salary as everyone else. And so at the end of every season he would approach the Rangers captain, who would approach the manager, who would approach the directors with his claim for a wage rise. That was the way things were done. He was not seeking to match Puskás’s earnings, merely a ‘few quid more than those less gifted. I mean we were all paid equally. Which was a bit like paying Frank Sinatra the same as the Alexander Brothers.’

He almost went to Tottenham as Danny Blanchflower’s replacement but Rangers backed out of the deal at the last minute and when Internazionale Milano showed an interest, the Ibrox board refused to part with Glasgow’s most glamorous citizen, leaving the Italians to buy European Footballer of the Year Luis Suárez from Barcelona as their second choice. ‘Suárez,’ sighed Baxter without a hint of conceit. ‘He wasn’t in the same league as me.’

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17 minutes ago, siddiqi_drinker said:

Drank in his pub back in the day when Johnny Hamilton worked in there and IIRC there was a Greek restaurant nearby.  Baxter was a bit of a character and although I was a kid when I saw him play, it was an honour to have done so.  

Sadly I don't think either Rangers or Scotland will see his likes again which is sad.  Kids are spending too much time on electronic media and those who do play football are having the 'Baxter' coached out of them, pure raw natural talent with a swagger.

Top post mate, and if we ever saw his like again in a Rangers strip it would be as if (allegedly :D) we had died and gone to valhalla.

:uk:

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Have the great pride in posting that JB was a friend of mine.  I got to know him when he had the pub at Paisley Road Toll.   He was a great player back in the day, truly wonderful.  It is difficult to compare old with new but what I believe is that in the sixties, Jim Baxter was one of the very best players in the world.  He was up there with Pele, Puskas and Eusebio.    Today that would rate him alongside Messi and Ronaldo.  

He was a really nice guy to know and had a lot of good stories. 

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18 minutes ago, JCDBigBear said:

Have the great pride in posting that JB was a friend of mine.  I got to know him when he had the pub at Paisley Road Toll.   He was a great player back in the day, truly wonderful.  It is difficult to compare old with new but what I believe is that in the sixties, Jim Baxter was one of the very best players in the world.  He was up there with Pele, Puskas and Eusebio.    Today that would rate him alongside Messi and Ronaldo.  

He was a really nice guy to know and had a lot of good stories. 

The way in that show they said he owned the world cup England team after winning the world cup he really must have been a fantastic player to have seen with the eye in real. 

 

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Way before my time as a player but I met him briefly outside Ibrox a few years before he died. I was just a kid but I could tell from my dad's reaction that it was a big deal.

I've always loved the story that Baxter turned to Alan Ball during the 1967 game at Wembley and asked him "Aren't you ashamed to be on the same pitch as me?"

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That's a great story @siddiqi_drinker

Ive actually been to the wee community centre/social where he lived beside In Hill O Beath and the locals love him up there, seen the pitch he has spoken about and the statue that stands just outside his mums old house next to the above mentioned social. (tu)

Sad as to what happened with the drink but at least he is honest about it, I think if we were offered huge amounts of money and women flinging themselves at you, way more than half of us would have done the exact same and lived that same lifestyle

Absolutely gutted I never got to meet him or old enough to watch him play

RIP Slim

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9 minutes ago, JamieD said:

Way before my time as a player but I met him briefly outside Ibrox a few years before he died. I was just a kid but I could tell from my dad's reaction that it was a big deal.

I've always loved the story that Baxter turned to Alan Ball during the 1967 game at Wembley and asked him "Aren't you ashamed to be on the same pitch as me?"

:lol: To a World Cup winner as well, and Ball was a decent player

But to be fair, he should be ashamed to be on the same pitch :lol:

 

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6 hours ago, JCDBigBear said:

Have the great pride in posting that JB was a friend of mine.  I got to know him when he had the pub at Paisley Road Toll.   He was a great player back in the day, truly wonderful.  It is difficult to compare old with new but what I believe is that in the sixties, Jim Baxter was one of the very best players in the world.  He was up there with Pele, Puskas and Eusebio.    Today that would rate him alongside Messi and Ronaldo.  

He was a really nice guy to know and had a lot of good stories. 

Baxter was before my time but love watching these things about him a true blue and a great player. 

Where abouts was his pub? Was it across from the angel which is now known as the union bar?

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9 hours ago, ex-guardsman said:

As a younger fan 80's 90's era of players onwards who would you compare him to if possible?

Scott Symon signed a player in 66 who had the sweetest left peg i have ever seen.
Dave Smith said in an interview that when he was at Aberdeen he always got the ball when he asked for it,but at Ibrox there were a lot of big personalities and it took him a couple of years to get a pass. :lol: 
Dave Smith got POTY in 72 and it was a long time coming.
Me personally thought he really was the nearest thing we had to Slim. :uk: 

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1 minute ago, scottyscott1963 said:

Scott Symon signed a player in 66 who had the sweetest left peg i have ever seen.
Dave Smith said in an interview that when he was at Aberdeen he always got the ball when he asked for it,but at Ibrox there were a lot of big personalities and it took him a couple of years to get a pass. :lol: 
Dave Smith got POTY in 72 and it was a long time coming.
Me personally thought he really was the nearest thing we had to Slim. :uk: 

Spot on bud, classy, elegant player. 

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1 hour ago, pollok-bear said:

Baxter was before my time but love watching these things about him a true blue and a great player. 

Where abouts was his pub? Was it across from the angel which is now known as the union bar?

Yes,Jim's pub was where the Union Bar is now.

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9 hours ago, JCDBigBear said:

Have the great pride in posting that JB was a friend of mine.  I got to know him when he had the pub at Paisley Road Toll.   He was a great player back in the day, truly wonderful.  It is difficult to compare old with new but what I believe is that in the sixties, Jim Baxter was one of the very best players in the world.  He was up there with Pele, Puskas and Eusebio.    Today that would rate him alongside Messi and Ronaldo.  

He was a really nice guy to know and had a lot of good stories. 

Drank along side him for years bud in Shawlands ! ???:sherlock:

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I was lucky enough to meet the legend the day of the Dundee Utd cup final and I told him that my father described him as the best player in the world bar none ! He just smiled and said tell your father thanks .  According to my dad no one but no one came close to Jim Baxter when he was fit and on his game he was simply the best !!

 

. The wives of Celtic fans used to send me letters thanking me for sending their husbands home early --- Jim Baxter

. Pele on Jim Baxter: "I wish he had been Brazilian."


 

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9 hours ago, pollok-bear said:

Baxter was before my time but love watching these things about him a true blue and a great player. 

Where abouts was his pub? Was it across from the angel which is now known as the union bar?

 

Paisley Rd. Toll - Baxter on one side of the road and Fergie across the way.

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I was lucky enough to watch him play, and to those who didn't, you really missed something that was beyond football.

Yes, that might sound unbelieveable, but I kid you not.

When going to games, everybody would talk about Baxter, which was awe inspiring considering the good players we had in the early 60's.

As others have said, he was, Simply the Best. 

 

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