Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
Leeds United/City Captains
Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games
Leeds United/City Reserves and Other Teams

McCabe: James Joseph (Jim)

1948-1954 (Player Details)

Half Back

Born: Draperstown, Co. Londonderry: 17-09-1918

Debut: v Bradford Park Avenue (a): 13-03-1948

5’10” 11st 10lb (1951)

Born in Draperstown, Jimmy McCabe's family moved to the South Bank area of Middlesbrough when he was a youngster. He began playing football with local side South Bank St Peter’s, a team based round the local Catholic Church, which also gave the game Wilf Mannion. McCabe filled various positions but was at his best at wing-half. He played for Billingham Synthonia Juniors and then South Bank East End, before signing for Middlesborough in May 1937, but he had to wait until after the Second World War to make his debut. After Wartime service along with Wilf Mannion with the Green Howards, in France and the Middle East, and attaining the rank of sergeant, he resumed his career at Ayresome Park. The brilliant England International and McCabe had grown up together and had a long friendship which saw McCabe become best man at Mannion's wedding. McCabe quickly became noted as a gifted wing-half with real footballing quality, and able to perform with ease on either the left or right. Due to war service he played little football in the war years but managed two games in 1940-41, one goal in seventeen games in 1941-42, one game in 1944-45 and nine games in 1945-46 for Middlesbrough, and one game for Millwall in 1941-42. After the war he staked his claim for a regular first team place at Ayresome Park, making his debut in a 2-2 home draw with Liverpool on 9th October 1946 and he accumulated thirty-four appearances in the League and another eight in the F.A. Cup before he played his final game for Boro in a 0-0 home draw with Chelsea on 6th March 1948 before foresaking Division One to join Second Division Leeds United for £10,000 and Leeds also parted with goalkeeper John Hodgson, valued at £4,000, in part-exchange. He went straight into the Leeds team at Bradford Park Avenue on 13th March 1948, but he could not stop Leeds losing 1-3. Within months of joining Leeds, McCabe won the first of six Irish caps, making his International debut on 17th November 1948 in a 2-3 defeat by Scotland at Hampden Park. It was an omen for the rest of his International career as he took part in six defeats in the green shirt. However, while his International career, like so many other potential Internationals of that era was restricted due to the Second World War, it still lasted for five years. His second cap duly arrived on 9th March 1949 as Wales won 2-0 at Windsor Park, Belfast. His third was one to forget as England hammered the Irish 9-2 at Maine Road, Manchester on 6th November 1949 in a World Cup Qualifier, as Jack Rowley scored four and McCabe found himself at left-half because Danny Blanchflower had claimed the number four shirt. Indeed, he made it his own and it was more than a year before McCabe received his fourth cap and this time Wales won 2-1 at Windsor Park, Belfast on 7th March 1951 in a home championship match and he played in his preferred right-half position. His final two caps also came at Windsor Park, but the first being in the unfamiliar right-back position, on 15th April 1953 as Wales again won, this time by 3-2 in a home championship match, with ex-Leeds man Eddie McMorran getting both Irish goals, while John Charles got a brace for Wales, and finally there was a 3-1 win for Scotland on 3rd October 1953 in a World Cup Qualifying tie. He also took part in the 1953 Tour Of USA and Canada by the Northern Ireland F.A., but the games did not count as official Internationals. He stayed just over six seasons at Elland Road and was part of a side which consistently finished in the top-half of Division Two, without being able to make that push to promotion. Initially it looked as though McCabe had been bought to replace stalwart centre-half Tom Holley and his first games were in that position when Holley was injured, quickly reverting to the left half position when the stopper was fit. In 1948-49 he was a regular at wing half, alternating between left and right as required, but when Holley was injured and his long career ended, he again took on the pivot role for three games before the emergence of the young Welsh giant in the form of the great John Charles and McCabe happily reverted to his favoured wing half role. In 1949-50 he featured solely at right half as part of the McCabe-Charles-Burden half back line which saw United recover from a dismal early start to play some brilliant football and soar up the Second Division and have their then best FA Cup run ever before losing to the winners Arsenal in the Sixth Round at Highbury 1-0 and marginally fail to gain promotion in the fifth spot. Eric Kerfoot was starting to emerge and forced his way into the team at the start of the 1950-51 season, but McCabe fought his way back in and United solved the problem by reinstalling McCabe at right half, switching Kerfoot to left half and pushing captain Tommy Burden up to the inside forward position. A combination of injuries and the form of Kerfoot and Burden, saw McCabe restricted to a mere fourteen games in 1951-52, mostly at centre-half as Charles also spent most of the season sidelined by Army duty and injuries. The Kerfoot-Charles-Burden combination was together for the first dozen games in the 1952-53 campaign but as Charles was pushed up in a striking role McCabe was back in the first eleven at centre-half. Now well into his thirties, McCabe was in the Kerfoot-McCabe-Burden half back line that started 1953-54 with Charles up front, but time was catching up fast and with Jackie Marsden and Jack Charlton ready to step up McCabe left Leeds in May 1954, joining non-League Peterborough. He made his debut in a 1 - 1 home draw with Rotherham United Reserves on 21st August 1954 and score his first and only goal in a 2-0 home win over Mansfield Town Reserves on 11th April 1955. He played his final game in a 0-0 draw at Corby Town on 2nd May 1955 and had just the one season with the Posh scoring once in thirty-one League appearances in the Midland League and also playing one F.A. Cup tie and two friendlies before retiring at the end of the 1954-55 season. Later he returned to Teeside where he worked in the chemical industry at ICI Wilton. He died in Cleveland in July 1989.

League 1520
F.A. Cup 90