Few might remember Jimmy Holmes from his days at Leicester City, but the former Republic of Ireland international played for the club in a season of promotion.Gordon Milne was in charge and had to find a player to cover in an emergency, went for Holmes who had just previously played in the NASL with Vancouver Whitecaps.
His biography “The Day My Dream Ended” tells a story of a young promising Dublin born who set his goal to become a professional footballer. He was approached by Manchester United but was convinced to join Gordon Milne and Coventry City.
Holmes became a key player at Coventry City and we will for always remember him in the Admiral, Coventry City jerseys’ during the 70’s, before he was sold for a big fee, £ 120 000, back in 1977. His career came short at Spurs after a leg fracture in an internatioal v. Bulgaria, and he never really bacame the same player again.
Despite his injury problems he was still selected for internationals and had a 10 year career with Republic of Ireland, ending in 1981, reaching 30 caps for his country. He mostly operated in a central defence or full back position.
He is to date the youngest Eire, ever international (at 17 years and 200 days), skilful full back Jimmy showed precocious class at Highfield Road, playing in a Youth Cup Final and winning the first of his 30 caps before making his League bow against Leicester in December 1971. then going on to atract numerous bids until Gordon Milne accepted Spurs’ six-figure fee.
Jimmy was out of football for a year and Johnny Giles then manager of Vancouver Whitecaps took a chance and gave him a contract. Gordon Milne, now in charge of Leicester City a brief non-contract agreement, playing twice for Leicester City in the 1982-83 promotion season.
After his time with Leicester he had short spells at Brentford, Torquay and Peterborough, before moving to non-league club Nuneaton Borough. After a two year spell, from 1985 to 1987, Holmes made a return to Leicester, but this time to play for Leicester United, a non-league club based in Leicester. LUFC was previously known as Enderby Town and excisted from 1900 to 1996, when the club was dissolved.
They move to Winchester Road in Blaby, made them change their names to Leicester United and reached their highest level, playing in the 6th tier of the division pyramid. Jimmy Holmes is one of few who have turned out for both Leicester City and Leicester United, others knowns are David Puttnam, Ally Mouchlen and Paul Fitzpatrick.
In the Autobiography of Jimmy Holmes, he describes life under and after his footballing days, becoming a police officer. During a testimonial game at Highfield Road, he was on duty, but one of the players who had been listed for the game never turned up and Holmes had to change from his police uniform and play, one of many special moments in this book about one former footballer and his life in the game.