James McCambridge Player Profile

Player Details

  • Full Name: James 'Hoody' McCambridge
  • Born: September 24th, 1905 (Larne)
  • Died: May 15th, 1990 (Larne)
  • Position: Inside forward
  • Signed: June 2nd, 1928
  • First Manager: Selection Committee
  • Left Club: March 6th, 1930
  • Career Totals: 71 appearances, 47 goals
  • Also Played For: Bristol Rovers, Cardiff City, Cheltenham Town, Everton, Exeter City, Hartlepool United, Larne, Sheffield Wednesday


Playing History

Season Win % Draw % Loss %
1929-1930 27 17 0 0 59.3% 11.1% 29.6%
1928-1929 44 30 0 0 50.0% 22.7% 27.3%
Totals: 71 (0) 47


 Apps = First Team Appearances (Sub Appearances) | Gls = Goals
 GtGR = Goals to Games Ratio | W/D/L - Games won, drawn or lost as percentage of games played in
 Yel = Yellow Cards/Cautions | Red = Red Cards/Dismissals

 Recent First Team Starts
 15/02/30 Irish League vs. Glentoran (H) 2 - 1
 08/02/30 Semi final vs. Newry (N) 3 - 1
 25/01/30 Irish League vs. Distillery (H) 6 - 3
 22/01/30 Irish League vs. Larne (H) 3 - 1
 18/01/30 Irish League vs. Coleraine (A) 1 - 2

 Recent First Team Goals
 08/02/30 Semi final vs. Newry (N) 3 - 1
 25/01/30 Irish League vs. Distillery (H) 6 - 3
 18/01/30 Irish League vs. Coleraine (A) 1 - 2
 11/01/30 Quarter final vs. Belfast Celtic (A) 3 - 2
 28/12/29 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H) 7 - 1

 List of Goals Scored (click to expand)
 08/02/30 Semi final vs. Newry (N)  3 - 1
 25/01/30 Irish League vs. Distillery (H)  6 - 3
 18/01/30 Irish League vs. Coleraine (A)  1 - 2
 11/01/30 Quarter final vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  3 - 2
 11/01/30 Quarter final vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  3 - 2
 28/12/29 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H)  7 - 1
 28/12/29 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H)  7 - 1
 28/12/29 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H)  7 - 1
 26/12/29 Irish League vs. Linfield (A)  7 - 4
 26/12/29 Irish League vs. Linfield (A)  7 - 4
 26/12/29 Irish League vs. Linfield (A)  7 - 4
 25/12/29 Irish League vs. Ards (H)  1 - 3
 14/12/29 Irish League vs. Derry City (H)  4 - 0
 09/11/29 Irish League vs. Bangor (H)  4 - 0
 05/10/29 Irish League vs. Glenavon (H)  5 - 0
 28/09/29 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (A)  2 - 0
 21/08/29 Irish League vs. Portadown (H)  2 - 2
 15/05/29 vs. Glenavon (H)  4 - 1
 04/05/29 vs. Bangor (H)  8 - 2
 04/05/29 vs. Bangor (H)  8 - 2
 13/04/29 vs. Distillery (A)  3 - 0
 13/04/29 vs. Distillery (A)  3 - 0
 06/04/29 vs. Glentoran (H)  4 - 2
 02/04/29 vs. Cliftonville (A)  4 - 1
 30/03/29 Final vs. Belfast Celtic (N)  2 - 1
 02/03/29 vs. Portadown (A)  3 - 4
 23/02/29 Irish League vs. Portadown (H)  1 - 3
 09/02/29 Semi final vs. Coleraine (N)  3 - 0
 09/02/29 Semi final vs. Coleraine (N)  3 - 0
 29/12/28 Irish League vs. Distillery (A)  1 - 5
 26/12/28 Irish League vs. Glentoran (H)  3 - 0
 08/12/28 Irish League vs. Larne (H)  2 - 0
 01/12/28 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  2 - 3
 28/11/28 Round 1 - Replay vs. Glentoran (H)  2 - 1
 28/11/28 Round 1 - Replay vs. Glentoran (H)  2 - 1
 24/11/28 Round 1 vs. Glentoran (A)  3 - 3
 24/11/28 Round 1 vs. Glentoran (A)  3 - 3
 17/11/28 Irish League vs. Portadown (A)  5 - 3
 17/11/28 Irish League vs. Portadown (A)  5 - 3
 27/10/28 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A)  1 - 1
 20/10/28 Irish League vs. Linfield (H)  4 - 2
 20/10/28 Irish League vs. Linfield (H)  4 - 2
 06/10/28 Irish League vs. Distillery (H)  5 - 3
 15/09/28 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H)  4 - 0
 08/09/28 Irish League vs. Ards (A)  2 - 1
 01/09/28 Irish League vs. Coleraine (H)  3 - 3
 25/08/28 Irish League vs. Larne (A)  2 - 2

 List of Games Played (click to expand)
 15/02/30 Irish League vs. Glentoran (H)  2 - 1
 08/02/30 Semi final vs. Newry (N)  3 - 1
 25/01/30 Irish League vs. Distillery (H)  6 - 3
 22/01/30 Irish League vs. Larne (H)  3 - 1
 18/01/30 Irish League vs. Coleraine (A)  1 - 2
 11/01/30 Quarter final vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  3 - 2
 28/12/29 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H)  7 - 1
 26/12/29 Irish League vs. Linfield (A)  7 - 4
 25/12/29 Irish League vs. Ards (H)  1 - 3
 21/12/29 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  3 - 4
 14/12/29 Irish League vs. Derry City (H)  4 - 0
 07/12/29 Irish League vs. Newry (H)  3 - 0
 30/11/29 Round 1 vs. Derry City (A)  4 - 1
 23/11/29 Irish League vs. Portadown (A)  3 - 5
 16/11/29 Irish League vs. Glentoran (A)  2 - 1
 09/11/29 Irish League vs. Bangor (H)  4 - 0
 02/11/29 Irish League vs. Distillery (A)  1 - 3
 12/10/29 Irish League vs. Larne (A)  2 - 1
 05/10/29 Irish League vs. Glenavon (H)  5 - 0
 28/09/29 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (A)  2 - 0
 21/09/29 Irish League vs. Linfield (H)  1 - 4
 14/09/29 Irish League vs. Ards (A)  2 - 0
 07/09/29 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  1 - 1
 04/09/29 Round 1 vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  0 - 3
 31/08/29 Irish League vs. Derry City (A)  1 - 1
 24/08/29 Irish League vs. Newry (A)  0 - 2
 21/08/29 Irish League vs. Portadown (H)  2 - 2
 15/05/29 vs. Glenavon (H)  4 - 1
 11/05/29 vs. Linfield (A)  0 - 3
 04/05/29 vs. Bangor (H)  8 - 2
 27/04/29 vs. Queens Island (A)  3 - 3
 20/04/29 vs. Newry (H)  7 - 1
 13/04/29 vs. Distillery (A)  3 - 0
 06/04/29 vs. Glentoran (H)  4 - 2
 02/04/29 vs. Cliftonville (A)  4 - 1
 01/04/29 vs. Larne (H)  5 - 1
 30/03/29 Final vs. Belfast Celtic (N)  2 - 1
 16/03/29 vs. Ards (H)  3 - 0
 02/03/29 vs. Portadown (A)  3 - 4
 25/02/29 Irish League vs. Linfield (A)  0 - 6
 23/02/29 Irish League vs. Portadown (H)  1 - 3
 20/02/29 Quarter final vs. Linfield (H)  1 - 2
 16/02/29 vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  2 - 1
 09/02/29 Semi final vs. Coleraine (N)  3 - 0
 26/01/29 Irish League vs. Newry (H)  0 - 1
 19/01/29 Irish League vs. Glenavon (H)  2 - 2
 12/01/29 Quarter final vs. Broadway United (H)  4 - 1
 05/01/29 Irish League vs. Bangor (H)  1 - 2
 29/12/28 Irish League vs. Distillery (A)  1 - 5
 26/12/28 Irish League vs. Glentoran (H)  3 - 0
 25/12/28 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (A)  2 - 3
 22/12/28 Irish League vs. Ards (H)  4 - 2
 15/12/28 Irish League vs. Coleraine (A)  0 - 0
 08/12/28 Irish League vs. Larne (H)  2 - 0
 01/12/28 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  2 - 3
 28/11/28 Round 1 - Replay vs. Glentoran (H)  2 - 1
 24/11/28 Round 1 vs. Glentoran (A)  3 - 3
 17/11/28 Irish League vs. Portadown (A)  5 - 3
 10/11/28 Irish League vs. Queens Island (H)  7 - 3
 03/11/28 Irish League vs. Newry (A)  2 - 2
 27/10/28 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A)  1 - 1
 20/10/28 Irish League vs. Linfield (H)  4 - 2
 13/10/28 Irish League vs. Bangor (A)  2 - 2
 06/10/28 Irish League vs. Distillery (H)  5 - 3
 29/09/28 Irish League vs. Glentoran (A)  2 - 2
 15/09/28 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H)  4 - 0
 08/09/28 Irish League vs. Ards (A)  2 - 1
 05/09/28 Round 1 vs. Ards (A)  0 - 2
 01/09/28 Irish League vs. Coleraine (H)  3 - 3
 25/08/28 Irish League vs. Larne (A)  2 - 2
 22/08/28 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  0 - 3


Biography

One of the first superstars of Ballymena football – ‘Hoody’ McCambridge won the Irish Cup, was the club’s first full international and earned a big move to Everton in just 18 months at the Showgrounds.

It was far more humble beginnings in football for James McCambridge, who started his career in the junior leagues during his teenage years in his native Larne. Midway through the 1924/1925 season the 19-year-old was signed by intermediate club Larne Olympic (the successful Reserve team of Larne’s senior team). The following season (1925/1926) the versatile McCambridge made his senior bow with the Invermen, making nine appearances in the first team.

Despite the career that was to follow him, despite turning professional in his status - his third season (1926/1927) at the club was again spent predominantly in the Olympic side with only eight appearances in the Irish League with a Larne team that was challenging at the top end of the Irish League table.

It wasn’t until the breakthrough year of the 1927/1928 season in which ‘Hoody’ firmly established himself as a regular at the club, starting 42 games and scoring 15 goals in a season in which he played across the back line. With James starting as full-back, Larne missed the opportunity to lift the Irish Cup for the first time in their history, following defeat in a replay to intermediate club Willowfield at Windsor Park.

His eye for goal caught the eye of the recruiters for the newly elected Ballymena team in June 1928, who were carefully putting together a panel for the club’s debut season in the Irish League. Now deployed as an inside forward, James was one of the first eleven players to represent the town in senior football against Belfast Celtic in August 1928 and three days later had the honour of scoring the club’s first ever goal against his hometown club, Larne in a 2-2 draw.

The floodgates would open for McCambridge in the ‘Ballymena Babes’ team, as he formed a formidable bond with centre forward Jamie Shiels in attack, and would later be complimented by Scottish international winger Joe Cassidy as the Light Blues finished the 1928/1929 in a hugely respectable sixth position in the table. The crowning glory came when Ballymena sent shockwaves through the Irish football scene when the Braidmen defeated Belfast Celtic in the Irish Cup Final at Soltiude, with James scoring the second goal in a stunning 2-1 upset.

The Cup Final goal was undoubtedly the most important of his 30 goals for Ballymena in the 1928/1929 season as many onlookers both near and far were taking notice of this dynamic young team. By the following season, he was now on the radar of international selectors and was called into the Ireland team for the British International Championship win over Wales at Celtic Park, whilst Joe Bambrick stole the headlines with a remarkable six goals in the 7-0 win, Ballymena’s first ever full international had impressed and set the wheels in motion for a move into English football.

Shortly after his second international cap against Scotland a few weeks later, he sealed a £1,750 transfer to First Division club Everton. McCambridge returned to the Braid in April 1930 with his new team-mates for a friendly game as part of the transfer, which Ballymena won 2-1. His short but stellar stint at the Showgrounds will remain in club folklore forevermore, but in black and white it can be summed up in 71 appearances and 47 goals.

McCambridge’s endured a frustrating time at Goodison Park, as understudy to the legendary ‘Dixie’ Dean as Everton finished the 1929/1930 season bottom of the First Division and relegated to the second tier – just two years after winning the league! His football league bow (and only Everton appearance) came in September 1930 at the Toffees ran out comfortable 3-0 winners against Bradford City. Much of his game time came for the Everton second string in the central league.

James was on the move again in January 1931, with Cardiff City snapping up the 25-year-old to spearhead the fight against relegation from the Second Division. He made a blistering start in South Wales, scoring twice on his debut and bagged a total of nine goals in his first campaign, including a hattrick in a 3-2 home win over Stoke. He couldn’t prevent the Bluebirds from relegation, as he suffered relegation for the second successive occasion at the end of the 1930/1931 season.

The move had ignited the forward’s career, as despite Cardiff’s mid-table showing in the Third Division (South) campaign in 1931/1932, he won two further caps for Ireland and finished as the club’s top goalscorer with 28 goals – a then club record at Ninian Park. He continued his good form into the following 1932/33 season, with eleven goals in the first dozen games. ‘Hoody’ again finished the season as the club's top marksman, but his final tally of 16 illustrated a drop in form as the Welsh side finished in a disappointing 19th place (from 22) in the final standings.

There was growing speculation back home that in May 1933 that McCambridge was going to return to the Braid as player manager of Ballymena ahead of the 1933/1934 campaign but within days of the rumours making into the newspapers, he signed on with Bristol Rovers, also of the Third Division South – who were claimed to have beat off First Division clubs for James’ signature.

Tasked with firing Bristol Rovers to promotion to the Second Division, the now 28-years-old forward, with experience playing across the attacking line, produced another fine goalscoring season seen the Ireland international finish as Rovers’ top marksman with 17 goals in a respectable seventh place finish in the league.

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A joiner by trade, James was also a keen pigeon fancier and had also bred greyhounds. James McCambridge passed away in 1988, aged 83.

Career
(1925) Larne; (Jun 1928) Ballymena; (Mar 1930) Everton; (Jan 1931) Cardiff City; (May 1933) Bristol Rovers; (Sep 1935) Exeter City; (Jun 1936) Sheffield Wednesday; (Jun 1937) Hartlepool United; (Sep 1937) Cheltenham Town; (Oct 1938) Larne

Honours
(with Larne)
Irish Cup: (finalist) 1927/1928
(with Ballymena)
Irish Cup: (winner) 1928/1929
City Cup: (runner-up) 1928/1929

International Honours
Ireland (4 caps, 0 goals – 1930-1931)
Irish League (2 caps, 3 goals – 1929-1930)

Last updated: 30 August 2022



Debut

August 22nd, 1928
Belfast Celtic 3 - 0 Ballymena United

League (Irish League)


International Career (Northern Ireland)


Caps: 4

Goals: 0

International Debut: February 1st, 1930 v. Wales

Ballymena’s first ever full international cap, ‘Hoody’ McCambridge won the first of four Ireland caps in February 1930 against Wales in a legendary 7-0 victory, albeit Joe Bambrick stole the show with six of Ireland’s seven goals – James’ performance at inside forward was the catalyst for a transfer to Everton a few weeks later. McCambridge won two caps whilst at the Showgrounds and two more a year later having moved to Cardiff City, but was only on the winning side on the one occasion.


Timeline