Club News

James Pithie

23rd January 2014

Highlight of brief Tynecastle career came in league victory over Rangers at Ibrox in 1947.

It is with great regret that we have to advise of the death of former player James Pithie, who passed away on Saturday 18 January, just before his 87th birthday.

"Jimmy" was born in Edinburgh and he developed his football prowess with Chesser United and Hutchison Vale Boys Club. He also played for the Army Scottish Division during his National Service with the Royal Scots toward the end of the Second World War.

Standing a powerful 6'1" tall, Jimmy was a natural centre-half who was signed in August 1945 and quickly farmed out to Newtongrange Star. He then signed a full professional contract in April 1946 and although Jimmy was still doing National Service, he was immediately called up by Hearts.

The big stopper became the cover man for Scottish internationalist Bob Baxter, who was also a coach at Tynecastle and who passed on his extensive defensive knowledge.

Jimmy made his debut on 19 October 1946 when Hearts lost 2-0 against Kilmarnock in the League Cup at Rugby Park. That season, he also played in four League games, two East of Scotland Shield matches and in a friendly against Chelsea. Jimmy's most memorable performance came on 7 April 1947 when Hearts recorded a fine 2-1 victory at Ibrox in a League match against Rangers.

Sadly, these proved to be his only appearances for his favourite club because Jimmy was in hospital at the start of season 1947-48, suffering from tuberculosis which he contracted while in the Army.

This cut short his football career and Jimmy was released in 1948. His genial personality helped him through this great disappointment and he remained a lifelong Hearts supporter and shareholder.

On HeartsTV today, Gary Locke and Gary Oliver meet the media at Riccarton ahead of the Premiership meeting with Ross County in Dingwall.