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Dave Abrahams
1 Posted 02/04/2020 at 09:53:27
Great story Jamie, and although the “ phoney” Jimmy Dunn was a bit of a scally I can’t help having some admiration for the way he impersonated and got away with some great days out on Jimmy’s name, a proper “ Cheeky Charlie”.

By the way Rob Saywer’s article on Jimmy’s career last year was absolutely brilliant and showed the massive contrast to footballers of yesteryear and today’s spoiled brats.

Susan Dunn-Morris
2 Posted 02/04/2020 at 18:30:16
Many thanks for a great article, Jamie. I just told my Dad, 92 (Jimmy's last remaining child) and he is chuffed to bits that him and his family are still remembered and being written about by you and Rob. He remembers the incident well and would have liked to have seen if this scoundrel looked anything like his dad or had a chance for a 'quiet word'.
Jack Convery
3 Posted 03/04/2020 at 01:41:25
A lovely piece - more please.
Chris Williams
4 Posted 03/04/2020 at 07:43:32
Manchester City 0 Everton 3

Dean, Stein, Dunn.

Wembley 1933

Eddie Dunn
5 Posted 03/04/2020 at 08:46:18
Fascinating reading Jamie, and what a hard-faced cheek that imposter had – he could have come across the real Jimmy Dunn and been found out. I also enjoyed that article by Rob Sawyer.
As Dave says, the contrast in lifestyle of yesteryear's footy players compared to today's millionaires is immense. The current apartheid in the way some clubs are treating their non-playing staff compared to star players is scandalous. I'm sure that the excesses will somewhat diminish as the dust settles after this crisis is finally over.

Meanwhile these articles are welcome reminders of the ordinary folk who we used to play this great game.

Jamie Yates
6 Posted 03/04/2020 at 11:18:37
Thanks so much folks. I've been using my time quite productively in a very broad and speculative sense, I love stumbling upon stuff like this that has fallen through the cracks of time. I wonder whether wee Jimmy ever did hop on a train down to London to find the imposter...

Susan, I'm absolutely thrilled that Rob was able to pass the story on to you and that it jogged your father's mind. For me personally, and I've mentioned him on here before, but I've always connected your grandad and my own great grandfather in my mind, a pair of diminutive, but full of beans 'Weegie' characters who went on to lead remarkable lives.

My great grandad was also a James. He was born in Maryhill in Glasgow in 1897, where by pure coincidence I ended up living across the road from his birthplace for a period between 2007-2010, having been born and raised 3rd generation south of the border. Jimmy Baird stood 4ft 11ins tall fully grown, even more of a pocket dynamo than Jimmy Dunn. Family folklore states that he played football for Dumbarton at some stage, although I've never found any proof in writing. He was a winger and nicknamed 'The Tricky Ant'.

In 1914 Jimmy and his twin brother George signed up (underage) as WWI soldiers. George sadly died in the final weeks of the conflict. His WWI diary survives to this day with a cousin of my Nanna's up in Glasgow and makes for harrowing, poignant reading.

A bit more of a jack-the-lad than his more reserved twin, Jimmy returned to Glasgow to be castigated by his family for leading his late brother off to war. Devastated he turned his back on his home town and pretty much ran away with the circus, well, the music halls, performing up and down the UK, including at the Liverpool Empire in the 1920s. He married the grandaughter of a millionaire former Mayor of Brighton who he met at a Manchester boarding house. Her father had unfortunately blown the family fortune and she ended up taking a millinery apprenticeship having been raised as a bonafide lady.

My great grandparents married in 1926 and had their three children, including my Nanna (whose 90th birthday it would have been yesterday), in Moss Side, before relocating to the East End of London. There they were bombed out 8 times in WW2. The Germans had it in for my great grandad... an odd quirk of fate though was that his wife's mother was German born of Polish descent, her family had arrived in England in the 1870s.

After the war Jimmy worked as a professional snooker referee, he knew the likes of Joe Davies and co. personally and officiated at the inaugral News of the World World Championship in 1950 at the Thurston Hall, Leicester Square, where he disqualified South African Peter Mans, father of Perrie Mans, in the latter stages, in quite controversial circumstances.

He always maintained his showbiz connections and my Nanna remembered bumping into the likes of Tessie O'Shea at places like Charing Cross station and her dad being made a big fuss of. My mum always remembers him tap dancing in the kitchen. I was only a few months old when he died in 1980, but I know he was delighted to have learned that I shared his name.

I like to think that the two wee Jimmys, Dunn and Baird, would have got along well and had a few good stories to exchange. I used to imagine bumping into my great grandad on a wander through Glasgow city centre when I lived and worked there.

Dave Abrahams
7 Posted 03/04/2020 at 12:27:44
Jamie(6), another great story Jamie, this time about one of your own, your great grandad lived a great life, he should have wrote a book, it would have been a best seller.
David Gibbs
8 Posted 27/07/2020 at 14:59:26
I am a grandson of James. He was an inspiration to my Mother Theresa and it was her that guided my Grandfather through the last few difficult months of his life.

I remember her crying at night and as a child and was confused during that time.

John, who wrote a piece earlier on my family, was not exactly a supportive son to his mother in her later years!

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