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Langley: Ernest James (Jim)

1951-1953 (Player Details)

Left Back/Left Wing

Born: Kilburn, London: 07-02-1929

Debut: v Bury (a): 28-08-1952

5’9 1/2” 11st 5lb (1957)

A product of Evelyns Yiewsley Senior School Kilburn, he played as an amateur for Yiewsley, Hounslow, Uxbridge and Hayes before joining Brentford in 1946. He returned to Non-League football with Guildford City and signed professional forms in 1949, after Army Service. He was immensely popular with the Guildford supporters, but after one hundred and fifty-five appearances and Guildford in dire financial straits, he was sold to Leeds United for £2,000 in June 1952. Langley, a future England full-back, was given his League debut by Leeds as a left-winger and, in fact all but two of his appearances were as a left winger, as he could only get a game in his specialist left-back position on the two occasions that the excellent Grenville Hair was not available through injury, and although he made a scoring debut it was as a left-back that he would find fame and international recognition after he left Leeds. There was no chance that he would dislodge the highly rated Grenville Hair even though Langley was an excellent full-back himself and so in July 1953 he joined Brighton and Hove Albion. Extremely popular with fans and other players, many were sad to see Langley depart and would remember his wholehearted performances, a precursor to Vinnie Jones, but with a much longer throw, a player who always had a smile on his face and was ready for fun, as well as giving his all, complete with overhead kicks, bicycle kicks and a sliding tackle on a par with Jimmy Dunn, and he was also the original overlapping full-back! It was just a pity United had two of the best English left-backs on their books at the same time. He was in many ways similar to Terry Cooper. Both started their career as an outside left and both were acknowledged as masters of overlapping left back position. Despite the drop down to the Third Division level with Brighton he won England Representative honours. He was called up to the England "B" team on 23rd March 1955 against West Germany "B" in a 1-1 draw at Hillsborough, Sheffield and this was followed by a place in the same team that beat Yugoslavia "B" 5-1 at Maine Road, Manchester on 19th October 1955 and Scotland "B" in a 2-2 draw at Dens Park, Dundee on 29th February 1956. He had, along with Grenville Hair, been a member of the F.A. XI that toured Bermuda, Jamaica, Trinidad and Curacao in the summer of 1955 and then along with Ted Burgin and Syd Owen, then of Sheffield United and Luton Town respectively, toured South Africa and Rhodesia the follwing summer. He then represented the Football League against the Irish League at St James's Park, Newcastle on 30th October 1956, in a 3-2 win. So it came as no surprise that, after scoring fourteen goals, including nine from the spot, and making one hundred and sixty-six League appearances, a £12,000 fee took him to Fulham in February 1957. There he formed an outstanding partnership with George Cohen. Both played for England and Langley was capped three times, making his debut in a 4-0 win against Scotland at Hampden Park on 19th April 1958, when he replaced long time England full-back Roger Byrne, who had unfortunately lost his life in the Munich disaster in the previous February. He looked destined for a long reign as England’s left back but, after gaining his second cap in a 2-1 win over Portugal at Wembley on 7th May 1958, he paid the price for a heavy 5-0 England defeat in Belgrade by Yugoslavia four days later and was never called up by England again. On 5th March 1958, he represented London in the 2-2 draw with Barcelona at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Final and scored the second equaliser in the eighty-eighth minute from the penalty spot. Langley appeared for Fulham in the F.A. Cup Semi-Finals of 1958 and 1963 and was a member of their promotion team in 1958-59. He scored thirty-one goals, including thirteen from the spot and amassed three hundred and twenty-three League appearances at Craven Cottage before moving on to Queens Park Rangers for £5,000 in July 1965. He helped Rangers to win the League Cup, by coming back from 0-2 at half-time to beat West Bromwich Albion, in a season where they also won the Third Division Championship in 1967, at the age of thirty-seven. In September 1967, after scoring nine goals, all from the spot, in eighty-six starts and one substitute League games for Rangers, he was appointed Player/Manager of Hillingdon Borough and led them out at Wembley in the 1971 Challenge Trophy Final. In August 1971 he became trainer coach at Crystal Palace and also managed Dulwich Hamlet in 1977-78. He was later a steward at West Drayton British Legion Club in Middlesex. He also returned to Hillingdon as club administrator for thirteen years from 1972 and then worked in the motor industry until he retired. He had a stroke in the 1990’s and died from a heart attack in Ruislip on 9th December 2007, aged seventy-eight.

League 93


Ivan Ponting

Monday, 17 December 2007

Jimmy Langley: Ebullient Fulham full-back

Ernest James Langley, footballer: born London 7 February 1929; played for Leeds United 1952-53, Brighton and Hove Albion 1953-57, Fulham 1957-65, Queen's Park Rangers 1965-67; capped three times by England 1958; married (two sons, and one daughter deceased); died London 9 December 2007.

Jimmy Langley was that rare being in professional football during the middle years of the last century a flamboyant full-back renowned for his impeccable sportsmanship. Not for him the grim, frowning, overtly physical approach which characterised many of his contemporaries. The ebullient Londoner was a hugely accomplished performer who took his work seriously enough to earn three England caps, but still he conveyed the engaging impression of playing the game for fun.

Even in the heat of the most frenetic action, an ear-to-ear grin was prone to crease his homely features, and during his pomp with Fulham for eight years from 1957, he was invariably at the heart of dressing-room banter with the numerous Craven Cottage characters of that era. Reportedly most of the verbal cut-and-thrust between Langley and the likes of the winger Trevor "Tosh" Chamberlain and club chairman Tommy Trinder, the comedian, tended to be good-hearted, but it was never less than wickedly irreverent.

On the field, unlike less expansive flank defenders, Langley was ever-ready to try something enterprisingly different. He was adept at sliding tackles which seemed to go on forever and spectacular bicycle-kick clearances which required astonishingly acrobatic contortions to complete.

Occasionally, Langley caused palpitations among team-mates and supporters alike by outrageously delicate manipulation of the ball when besieged by opposition forwards inside his own penalty box, and his swashbuckling left-flank attacking forays, rendered all the more eye-catching by his distinctive bandy-legged gait, sometimes left gaps which colleagues had to race to fill.

Still, he was quick and skilful enough to be caught out only rarely and there were few wingers who could give him a chasing, although Chelsea's Peter Brabrook did cause him more problems than most. Even then, "Gentleman Jim" tended not to resort to violence, although he was no soft touch, and feisty opponents such as Blackpool's Arthur Kaye could easily find themselves propelled beyond the touchline at high velocity by a trademark Langley slide.

A beautifully crisp striker of the ball with his favoured left foot, he was an expert penalty-taker, becoming only the second full-back in Football League history to reach half a century of goals Stan Lynn of Aston Villa and Birmingham City was the first. Then there were his throw-ins, almost as long as corner-kicks, testimony to his wiry strength and capable of creating havoc among unwary defences.

Yet for all his ultimate longevity he left the professional game after playing some 650 matches in 15 seasons Langley had been a slow starter. As a teenager he played at non-League level for Yiewsley, Hounslow Town, Uxbridge and Hayes before joining Brentford, then in the League's top division, as an amateur in 1946. He was rejected as being too small by the Griffin Park boss Harry Curtis, and returned to the lower level, first with Ruislip and then, after demob from National Service with the Army in 1948, Guildford City.

His League breakthrough finally arrived when he joined Second Division Leeds United as a left-winger in the summer of 1952, but despite scoring on his debut in a 2-2 home draw with Bury, he failed to carve a niche at Elland Road and switched to Brighton of the Third Division (South) in July 1953.

At the Goldstone Ground he was converted successfully into a left-back, and soon shone so insistently that he won representative honours, three outings for England "B" and selection for the Football League against the Irish League in October 1956. After twice tasting the disappointment of narrowly missing promotion with the Seagulls, whom he captained for two years, the 28-year-old accepted a career-changing 12,000 move to Fulham, then in the second tier, in 1957.

He settled quickly in west London, relishing the atmosphere in an attractive side marshalled by the masterful midfield general Johnny Haynes. In 1957/58, Langley excelled as never before, featuring prominently as Fulham reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, where they were eliminated by a patched-up Manchester United still reeling after the recent Munich air disaster only after a replay.

However, Langley had done enough to impress the England manager Walter Winterbottom, who was in need of a left-back following the death of Roger Byrne at Munich and called up Langley for his full international debut against Scotland at Hampden Park that April. He gave a creditable account of himself in a swingeing 4-0 victory, but then missed a penalty as England beat Portugal 2-1 at Wembley before suffering in a 5-0 reverse against Yugoslavia in Belgrade, where his immediate opponent, Aleksandar Petakovic, bagged a second-half hat-trick. After that he was dropped, never to be selected again; his international tenure had ended after 22 days.

Nothing daunted, he maintained a lofty standard with Fulham in 1958/59 as the team, now managed by Bedford Jezzard, finished as runners-up in the Second Division, thus securing elevation to the top tier. Thereafter, despite the occasional brush with relegation, Langley helped Fulham consolidate in the First Division over the next half-decade, during which highlights included his goal in the 1962 FA Cup semi-final replay defeat by Burnley and selection for the London side which lost to Barcelona in the final of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (now the Uefa Cup).

Despite celebrating his 36th birthday in 1965, Langley remained in jaunty form and many fans were surprised when he was released that summer by a new boss, Vic Buckingham, who was seeking to construct a younger team. Not long before his exit, though, there was a tribute from an unexpected source.

Stoke City's recently knighted Sir Stanley Matthews, who had just turned 50, planned one last League appearance and scanned the Potters' remaining fixtures for a suitable finale. The great outside-right wanted as his marker a man he could trust not to dish out brutal treatment, and who was not himself in the first flush of youth. He chose Langley, and bowed out in honourable combat with the Fulham number three, whose day was spoiled only slightly by Stoke's 3-1 victory.

In July the still-sprightly left-back joined Third Division Queen's Park Rangers in a 5,000 deal, but he was not looking for an easy billet to wind down his career. Thus he was ever-present as Alec Stock's men finished third in the table in 1965/66 and missed only a handful of games as they climaxed the following campaign by lifting the title and beating West Bromwich Albion of the top division in the first League Cup final played at Wembley.

Langley, now 38, had showed no sign of flagging against much younger opponents, but he was freed at season's end. Still as effervescent as ever, he was not ready to set aside his boots, and soon he became player-boss of non-League Hillingdon Borough, whom he led to the FA Trophy final in 1971. His team lost 3-2 to Telford after leading 2-0, but the irrepressible 42-year-old consoled himself by reflecting that he might have been the oldest man to appear in a recognised final at Wembley.

In August 1971 he started a coaching stint with Crystal Palace before returning to Hillingdon as club administrator in 1972, filling that role for the next 13 years. Later Langley worked in the motor industry and continued to indulge his passion for collecting cigarette cards, of which he had more than a thousand sets. His favourites, of course, were those depicting the game to which he devoted virtually his whole life.

Brian Glanville, The Guardian, Tuesday 5 February 2008

Jim Langley, who has died aged 78, may be regarded as the pioneer of the overlapping full-back. Not surprisingly, perhaps, he began as a left winger, as did a subsequent and better remembered left back in Terry Cooper. Both played for Leeds United, though the London-born Langley in his year at Elland Road in 1952-53 was mainly a reserve player, while Cooper went on to share in the subsequent triumphs of the Leeds team under Don Revie.

Langley played at non-league level before joining Brentford in 1946, but was rejected as too small and slipped back to non-league before joining Leeds. At 5ft 9ins and 11½ stone, but always lean and mobile, Langley made just nine first-team appearances for Leeds, but scored three goals. In July 1953 he joined Brighton and Hove Albion, turned into a speedy left back and became a great favourite. He made 166 appearances and scored 14 goals. On February 1 1957, a £12,500 fee took him to Fulham, where he spent eight years with 323 first-team appearances and 31 goals.

The Munich air crash of February 1958 deprived England of the Manchester United captain and left back, Roger Byrne. This led to three caps for Langley. The first, in April 1958, saw England crush Scotland 4-0 at Hampden Park. The next was a narrow win against Portugal at Wembley. Langley seemed all set for the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden, but his third appearance was in the catastrophic 5-0 defeat in a boiling hot Belgrade by Yugoslavia. Langley lost his place to the more robustly defensive Tommy Banks and never won another international cap.

In January 1965, he moved the short distance across west London to join Queens Park Rangers, where he played until June 1 1967, making 87 appearances and scoring nine goals. He was a member of the QPR Third Division team that dramatically beat West Bromwich Albion of the First in the League cup final at Wembley in 1967.

At the age of 42 he became trainer-coach with Crystal Palace before returning to non-league Hillingdon as club administrator for 13 years from 1972. Later he worked in the motor industry. He was married with two sons.

Ernest James "Jim" Langley, footballer, born February 7 1929; died December 9 2007


Former QPR full-back Langley dies

Langley helped QPR win the League Cup in 1967. Former QPR and Fulham player Jim Langley has died at the age of 79. Langley, who died following a heart attack, played at full-back in the QPR side that won the 1967 League Cup while in the old Third Division. Rangers famously came back from 2-0 down to beat First Division West Brom 3-2 in the final at Wembley and were also promoted in the same year. Langley moved to Loftus Road from Fulham in 1965. He also had spells with Brentford, Leeds and Brighton.

Ealing Gazette - December 21, 2007

The QPR swansong that gave Langley unexpected finale. Jim Langley only joined QPR for a quiet end to his playing career after a fruitful time with Fulham and England - but ended up with the most cherished memory of them all, writes Chris Longhurst. Langley, who passed away last week aged 78, ended up a Wembley winner in the Rs' famous 1967 League Cup final team and helped the team to promotion from the old third division. His son Peter Langley, 53, told the Gazette: "He left to join QPR really to have a rest because he felt his career was coming to an end!"He wanted to take it easy and thought being at a team in the third division would be just the kind of relaxing experience he was looking for. "Instead he found himself there when they were right on the upswing and that is unquestionably where he experienced his greatest joy as a player, winning the double and getting to play club football at Wembley." Langley, whose funeral takes place today (Friday) at Breaks-pear crematorium left some happy memories behind at both clubs - who both praised the defender this week. And Peter says his dad - whose hobby was collecting cigarette cards - was very fond of his time with both clubs. "Dad loved his time at Fulham," he said. "That was where he really got to experience the fame of being a professional football player. It led to all sorts of socialising and my brother and sister and myself used to have no choice but to be dragged down to Craven Cot tage every weekend to watch him in action. "We would sit in the cottage where the club's lounge bar and snooker table were and after the game there would always be a crowd of people in there having a drink and a laugh. "Us kids were older by the time of the '67 final so we no longer got forced to go and watch him, but we still went anyway. My sister's hero was Rodney Marsh and watching Dad in the same team as him was amazing. "He found the football did take its toll on him but he never complained and was very highly thought of by the manager Alec Stock. "When dad was playing for Hillingdon Borough in 1969, they beat Luton Town in the second round of the FA Cup. "Luton were being managed by Stock and he told dad before the game that if Hillingdon won he would eat his famous Trilby hat. "After the game, Dad saved it from being eaten by claiming it for himself and he always kept it as a memento." Langley joined Fulham from Brighton for £12,000 in 1957 and was with them when his second call up to the England team came in 1958 which saw him head to Wembley for the first time. On that occasion England won 2-1 against Portugal with both goals scored by Bobby Charlton. After eight years with Fulham Jim joined QPR and was in the 1966-67 team which clinched both the third division title and the League Cup. In March this year the club marked the 40th anniversary of that triumph and Peter went along to represent his father who was too ill to attend. "Dad meant a lot to the club for what he helped them achieve and it was wonderful to be there and hear everyone pay tribute to him," Peter said.

This is Local London - Fan pays tribute to footballer - By Tristan Kirk

A Hillingdon Borough FC fan has paid tribute to a footballer and manager who "always came when the bugle called". Jim Langley, 78, died on Sunday, December 9, after an illustrious playing career for Fulham, Queens Park Rangers, Brentford, Leeds United, Brighton, Hayes, and Borough. Jim had four spells at his local team, playing 138 games as a player and managing them on three occasions. Mike Hunter, who has supported Borough for 46 years, said: "We called Jim Langley back in times of need, and he always helped the club out." Jim won three England caps, and played up against Sir Stanley Matthews in the Stoke player's last ever game. He became the oldest player to appear in a competitive Wembley final, losing 3-2 with Borough in the 1971 FA Trophy final, and as manager he won the Middlesex Charity Cup Winners in 1978. Mr Hunter, 74, remembers admiring Jim's sportsmanship and trademark tackle. He said: "These days it might be frowned on, but Jim's sliding tackle was legendary. But I never once knew him hurt anybody, he had a marvellous temperament." Jim continued to support his local side, close to his home in Pear Tree Avenue, Yiewsley, long after he retired from management, and worked as a steward for the club. Mr Hunter said: "He was a smashing bloke. He was the kind of guy who when his team lost 6-0, he would leave the field with his arm round the player who had given him a good thrashing." Mark Lazarus, who played with Jim at QPR when they won the League Cup in 1967, was devastated to hear of his death. He said: "Jim was the best. Nothing was too much trouble for him, he would help anyone out and he would do it with a smile on his face." Jim died of a heart attack last Sunday at his home, aged 78. His funeral is being held tomorrow, at Breakspear Crematorium, in Breakspear Road, Ruislip at 2.15pm. It will be followed by a wake at Borough's ground in Breakspear Road, and Jim's family have said anyone is welcome to attend.


It is with great sadness that Queens Park Rangers Football Club has learned of the passing of former player Jim Langley. Jim, who played in our 1967 League Cup Final triumph over West Bromwich Albion, died suddenly following a heart attack in the early hours of Sunday morning. Having joined QPR in the apparent 'twilight' of his career from Fulham at the age of 36 in July 1965, Jim shared in one of the Club's most glorious seasons. The talented full-back was an ever-present in his first season with the R's and the following year was a key member of the side which won the League Cup and Third Previously with Yiewsley, Hayes, Brentford, Leeds United and Brighton before his switch to Fulham, Jim left Rangers shortly after our '67 success to manage Hillingdon Borough. He made almost 650 League appearances overall and was only the second full-back to score 50 League goals. Jim also won England 'B' and Football League representative honours. Jim's funeral takes place at Breakspear Crematorium, Ruislip on Friday 21st December at 2.15pm. A wake will follow at Hillingdon Borough FC, which is located next to the Crematorium. His son, Peter, said: "Anyone who would like to come along to the funeral and/or wake are more than welcome." If you would like to send a message of condolence to Jim's family, you can do so by e-mailing Peter at theplaceforframes@fsmail.net The thoughts of the Club are with Jim's family and friends at this sad time.

FULHAM OFFICIAL SITE Jim Langley: 1929-2007

The Club is sad to learn that former Fulham defender Jim Langley passed away on Sunday 9th December, aged 78. Jim made a total of 356 appearances for Fulham between 1956 and 1965 scoring 33 times. A flamboyant left back with a wide range of tricks, such as overhead kicks, bicycle kicks, an enormous throw and a superb slide tackle helped make Langley a great favourite with the Fulham crowd. He appeared in both of Fulham’s FA Cup semi-finals of 1958 and 1962 and his impressive performances for the Club earned him three caps for England. In fact, he did not miss a game from February 1959 to November 1961. He made his international debut in a 4-0 win against Scotland in Glasgow in April 1958. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this time. A memorial service will be held at 2.15pm on Friday 21 December at Breakspear Crematorium, Breakspear Road, Ruislip, Midddlesex, HA4 7SJ which will be followed by a wake at Hillingdon Borough FC, located adjacent to the crematorium. If you require any further information or would like to send a tribute, please email Peter Langley

BRIGHTON OFFICIAL SITE Albion Legend Passes Away

Albion legend Jimmy Langley has sadly passed away at the age of 78 after suffering a heart attack on Sunday morning.Generally regarded as one of the club's finest ever players, Jimmy hailed from Middlesex and played for Guildford City in the Southern League before joining Albion from Leeds United in 1953 at the age of 24. Playing in the no. 3 shirt, he hardly missed a game in three-and-a-half seasons with the club and was captain for two years.Albion went very close to promotion from the Third Division (South) twice during that time, and their star left-back was selected to play for the England B team on three occasions. He also appeared for the Football League XI and went on tours to the West Indies and South Africa with the FA. After 178 appearances and 16 goals, Jimmy moved on to Fulham in February 1957 for £12,000, a big fee at the time. On 27th December 1958 he returned to the Hove with his new club and helped to pull in a record 36,747 spectators to the Goldstone Ground. After gaining three full England caps, Jimmy signed for QPR in 1965, helping them win the League Cup as a Third Division side two years later. He went on to become manager of Hillingdon Borough on several occasions, and also had a spell as trainer of Crystal Palace. He will be remembered by those that saw him as probably the best tackler they ever saw, a quality which earned him the nickname 'Rubber Legs'. Jimmy's funeral will take place at Breakspear Crematorium in Ruislip on Friday 21st December at 2.15pm. A wake will follow at Hillingdon Borough FC, which is next to the crematorium. His son, Peter, said, "Anyone who would like to come along to the funeral and/or wake are more than welcome." The thoughts of the club's directors, players and staff are with Jimmy's family and friends at this sad time.


I am saddened to report the death of Hillingdon Borough legend Jim Langley. Jim started his footballing career at Yiewsley before moving on to play for Leeds Utd, Brighton, Fulham, QPR and England, Jim returned to Hillingdon Borough in September 1967 as Player/Manager and led Boro through a golden era and a Wembley appearance in the FA Trophy Final of 1971. Our thoughts are with his family. His funeral will take place at Breakspear Crematorium, Ruislip on Friday 21st December 2.15 pm. A wake will follow at Hillingdon Borough FC and Jim's son Peter has said that anyone wishing to attend the funeral and or the wake are more than welcome. If you wish to send a message of condolence to Jim's family, you can do so by mailing Peter at theplaceforframes@fsmail.net and for all Hillingdon Borough supporters who followed us in the late 60's and early 70's you can leave your memories on our forum which will be forwarded directly to Peter. A minutes silence will take place prior to our match with Fleet Town this Saturday