Player profile

Jimmy Case

Jimmy Case

Birthdate: 18 May 1954
Birthplace: Allerton, Liverpool, England
Other clubs: Blue Union (1969-70), South Liverpool (1970-71), Brighton & Hove Albion (1981-85), Southampton (1985-91), Bournemouth (1991-92), Halifax Town (1992-93), Wrexham (1993), Wanneroo British (1993), Darlington (1993), Sittingbourne (1993), Brighton & Hove Albion (2 / 1993-95)
Bought from: South Liverpool
Signed for LFC: £500, 01.05.1973
Liverpool debut: 26.04.1975
Last appearance: 27.05.1981
Debut goal: 23.08.1975
Last goal: 24.01.1981
Contract expiry: 19.08.1981
Win ratio: 58.36% W:157 D:68 L:44
Games/goals ratio: 5.85
Honours: League Championship 1975/76, 1976/77, 1978/79, 1979/80; League Cup 1981; European Cup 1977, 1978, 1981; UEFA Cup 1976
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 19 / 3
LFC league games/goals: 186 / 23
Total LFC games/goals: 269 / 46

Player profile

A tough-tackling midfielder who took no prisoners Case was also renowned for his ferocious shooting ability, scoring more than a fair amount of goals for Liverpool. His credentials, however, were established locally when during a football game with coats as goalposts between the Garston Church Choir and the Allerton Scouts he gave the goalkeeper of the Choir a hefty kick when the score was 23-22. Case had proved his reputation as a winner, if not a bad loser. Even though his team lost, Case's legend was born. He already possessed a tremendous shooting power and when he was a eight-year-old he took the goal-kicks as no one in his team could kick as hard. Case learnt to survive on the football field while playing for dockers' club Blue Union in Garston at only 16 years of age facing regularly 30-somethings that showed the teenager no mercy. A year later he started playing for a non-league side South Liverpool where he was noticed by Liverpool scouts Tom Saunders and John Bennison. Case told about the beginnings of his glittering career at Liverpool. "They asked me to go for a two week trial at Liverpool. I took two weeks off work because I was an apprentice electrician as well. At the end of the two weeks they asked me to sign full-time, but I actually turned them down because I had done two years of my electrician's apprenticeship which is a four year term and I wanted to continue that which in the end I did. Liverpool took over my semi-professional contract at South Liverpool and I did that for two years until I was twenty, signed full-time pro and by the time I was just short of 21 years of age that's when I made my debut." Case was an instant success when he made his League debut at Anfield as a 20-year-old on the final day of the 1974/75 season against Queen's Park Rangers. He established himself the following season, making 39 appearances for the first team in all competitions and scoring 12 times, three of which came on a foggy December night on Merseyside as the Poles from Wroclaw were defeated in the UEFA Cup. Case also scored important goals in the quarter-final and the final of that competition and added a European winners' medal to the championship medal already secured at the end of his first full season as a first-team member. 

Case's long-range shooting became a feature of his game and many of the 46 goals he scored for the club came from distance, like the majestic turn and volley in the 1977 FA Cup final against Manchester United. He added another championship medal in his second full season and was also a member of the team who finally won the greatest prize of all, the European Cup, on that famous night in Rome. He would go on to win two more winners' medals in that tournament plus another two in the domestic championship. Case was a fierce competitor whose reputation preceded him and Manchester United and England captain Bryan Robson once remarked: "I won't say he was dirty but certainly the hardest opponent was Jimmy Case. He could certainly look after himself. He was very clever about it as well." Case certainly made an impression on his opponents. "The ball is there to be won," Case says. "It stems back to where you go to school. An eight-year-old is told by his sportmaster: 'If you hold back, you're the one who will get hurt.' I took them words on board, and let's put it this way, I never held back. Later on in life you get a reputation that you go into for 50-50, full blooded every day. After that you don't really need to get in, you just go towards it and if it's 50-50, he'll back off."

Although an integral part of the team by now missing only the last five games of the 1979/80 League campaign, many of Case's appearances the following season were as substitute after losing his place to Sammy Lee. Case admits contributing to his own downfall: "I left Liverpool when I was 28. I think it was just that - without being controversial - you get in a few scrapes, you're breathalysed and you're caught fighting in a hotel in Wales like me and Ray Kennedy were, and the club didn't look upon that too kindly." In the summer of 1981 he was transferred to Brighton & Hove Albion, with whom he returned to Anfield two years later and scored the goal which knocked his former club out of the FA Cup. He joined Southampton in his early 30's and continued playing League football to a high standard for several more seasons. Case had always been naturally fit. "I never looked after myself. You used to drink like a fish. When I trained I trained hard and drank when we were allowed to drink with the lads. Always enjoyed myself. I used to eat and still do eat whatever I want to eat. I've never had a problem that way." Case retired well into his 40's.

"We played with supreme confidence because we knew how good the fella was next us. I always considered myself - I know I get told different from time to time - as a bread and butter player. A fetcher and carrier to fill in the spaces on the right hand side and work hard. Then you had the flair players like Kenny Dalglish and Terry McDermott, but they couldn't play without us anyway."

Appearances per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 186 22 22 35 4 269
1974-1975 1 0 0 0 0 1
1975-1976 27 2 1 9 0 39
1976-1977 27 7 1 6 1 42
1977-1978 33 0 8 9 1 51
1978-1979 37 6 1 4 0 48
1979-1980 37 5 7 2 1 52
1980-1981 24 2 4 5 1 36

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

Total Opponent
15 Manchester United
14 Nottingham Forest
13 Arsenal
12 Everton
10 Manchester City
10 Tottenham
10 Norwich City
10 Coventry City
10 Middlesbrough
10 Ipswich Town
9 Derby
9 Leeds United
8 West Ham United
8 Wolves
7 Birmingham City
6 Bristol City
6 Aston Villa
5 Stoke City
5 Southampton
5 Leicester City
4 Bolton Wanderers
4 Crystal Palace
4 Chelsea
4 Newcastle United
4 Dyn. Dresden
3 Bruges
3 Gladbach
3 Brighton & Hove Albion
3 Burnley
2 Anderlecht
2 Sheffield United
2 Southend
2 Saint-Étienne
2 Zurich
2 Bayern Munich
2 Slask Wroclaw
2 Barcelona
2 Hamburg SV
2 Benfica
2 Tranmere Rovers
2 Dinamo Tbilisi
2 Bradford City
1 Aberdeen
1 CSKA Sofia
1 Chesterfield
1 Exeter City
1 Grimsby Town
1 Altrincham
1 Real Madrid
1 Crusaders
1 Carlisle United
1 Sunderland
1 Bury
1 Oldham Athletic
1 Hibernian
1 Wrexham
1 Blackburn Rovers
Total Started/substitutions
245 Started
30 On the bench
24 Substitute
27 Substituted
Total Competition
186 League
22 European Cup
22 FA Cup
22 League Cup
9 UEFA Cup
4 European Super Cup
4 Charity Shield

Goals per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 23 7 3 13 0 46
1974-1975 0 0 0 0 0 0
1975-1976 6 0 1 5 0 12
1976-1977 1 4 0 2 0 7
1977-1978 5 0 2 4 0 11
1978-1979 7 1 0 1 0 9
1979-1980 3 1 0 1 0 5
1980-1981 1 1 0 0 0 2

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

Total Started/substitutions
42 Started
4 Substitute
Total Competition
23 League
7 European Cup
7 FA Cup
5 UEFA Cup
3 League Cup
1 European Super Cup
Total Goal minute period
2 1-15 minutes
6 16-30 minutes
10 31-45 minutes
11 46-60 minutes
6 61-75 minutes
11 76-90 minutes
Total Open play/Penalty
46 Open play

Milestone Appearances

# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 26.04.1975 QPR Anfield League
50 18.12.1976 West Ham United Upton Park League
100 05.11.1977 Aston Villa Anfield League
150 11.11.1978 QPR Loftus Road League
200 30.10.1979 Exeter City Anfield League Cup
250 03.01.1981 Altrincham Anfield FA Cup

Milestone Goals

# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 68 23.08.1975 Tottenham Anfield League

Related Articles

Hard Case

Chris Wood reviews Hard Case: The Autobiography of Jimmy CaseMore

Jimmy Case - Wreaking havoc

LFChistory jumped at the opportunity of interviewing three-time European champion Jimmy Case. He had a glittering 6-year-career at Liverpool but started in humble surroundings.More

Case history

An article from 22 April 2000 in Southern Daily Echo.More

Liverpool show their mastery against defeatist opponents

The Times report on Liverpool - FC Zurich on 20.04.1977. More

Suitable Case for England

An article from the Liverpool Echo in October 1978.More

Related Quotes

I ended up finishing my career playing at Brighton and I was 41 and a half, and I left Liverpool when I was 27 or 28. I think it was just that - without being controversial - you get in a few scrapes, you're breathalysed and you're caught fighting in a hotel in Wales like me and Ray Kennedy were, and the club didn't look upon that too kindly.

I know it's different nowadays and you can get away with a little bit more, but Sammy Lee was being groomed into my spot and the manager said, would I like to talk to John Toshack, with a view to a move?

That was one instance, but I didn't want to go anywhere, so I said, "Yeah I'll talk to him," because there was no harm in talking, but within 6 months of that I was asked, would I like to talk to Brighton and you get that little feeling."

Jimmy Case in 2003

"If the game is a language, then Jimmy is undoubtedly a professor."

Jimmy Case’s manager at Southampton, Chris Nicholl, sums up Case's ability as a footballer.

"Fines, court appearances, jail... we were bad for each other. We had a bit of fun, but we did it at the right time. At hotels, when we asked for the room key, the receptionist would dive under the desk and say: ‘Not you two!’ Everyone has a pal, but Jim and I went deeper than that. If something went wrong, one of us sorted it out. It was a good friendship."

Ray Kennedy and Jimmy Case were a dangerous duo

"I won't say he was dirty but certainly the hardest opponent was Jimmy Case. He could certainly look after himself. He was very clever about it as well."

Bryan Robson asked who was the dirtiest opponent he had ever faced

"I had someone in the old Kemlyn Road stand saying: ‘Hey Jimmy, are you hungry?’ He’s got a pie in his hand. ‘Do you wanna’ a bite?’ I had a little bite before giving it back and then carried on’."

Jimmy Case had time to have a little snack while playing at Anfield

I was 16 when I started playing for the Blue Union. It was an eye opener. There I was, this skinny teenager coming up against 30-somethings who all wanted to kick lumps off me. It toughens you up. If you didn’t stand your ground you’d get stamped on. Growing up in that environment, you had to be tough to get through games. I took that with me to the professional game. I was never scared to get stuck in and remember Joe Fagan and Bob Paisley pulling me to one side at times telling me about the art of tackling and so on. As Brian Hall once said of me, I was probably the only winger in those days who would win a 50/50 with a full-back, come away with the ball and still manage to get a cross in.

Jimmy Case on his playing style

"Jimmy Case hit a shot over the bar to the kop. My hands were still stinging me when i got home. Pure powerhouse of a shot."

Kopite Jon Wilson on Case's thunderbolts

Other Clubs

Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
South Liverpool 1971-1972 Northern Premier League 12 1 12 1
Brighton & Hove Albion 1981-1982 England First Division 33 3 38 3
Brighton & Hove Albion 1982-1983 England First Division 35 3 44 7
Brighton & Hove Albion 1983-1984 England Second Division 35 4 39 4
Brighton & Hove Albion 1984-1985 England Second Division 24 0 28 0
Southampton 1984-1985 England First Division 10 1 10 1
Southampton 1985-1986 England First Division 36 2 51 2
Southampton 1986-1987 England First Division 39 3 49 5
Southampton 1987-1988 England First Division 38 0 40 0
Southampton 1988-1989 England First Division 34 0 42 1
Southampton 1989-1990 England First Division 33 3 43 3
Southampton 1990-1991 England First Division 25 1 32 2
Bournemouth 1991-1992 England Third Division 40 1 50 2
Halifax Town 1992-1993 England Third Division 21 2 23 2
Wrexham 1992-1993 England Third Division 4 0 4 0
Wanneroo British 1993-1994 Western Australia 4 0 4 0
Darlington 1993-1994 England Third Division 1 0 1 0
Sittingbourne 1993-1994 Southern Premier Division 5 0 5 0
Brighton & Hove Albion 1993-1994 England Second Division 21 0 21 0
Brighton & Hove Albion 1994-1995 England Second Division 9 0 10 0
Brighton & Hove Albion 1995-1996 England Second Division 2 0 2 0
Total 461 24 548 33