Few players in Everton’s history have made so great an impression in so short a period as Scottish defender Jimmy Galt. His Everton first-team career effectively lasted just eight months and 36 appearances, but in that short time he captained the club to its second League Championship.
A FORMER Scotland international, Galt came to Goodison with almost a decade’s worth of trophy-studded experience at Glasgow Rangers. A former left half who had converted to centre back, he came ‘into English football with a splendid reputation, which he earned whilst with the Rangers across the border’, recorded the Football Echo of his £1250 transfer. ‘He has been chosen to captain the “Blues” and much will be expected of him. May hopes be fully realised.’ Galt quickly met those expectations, making, reported the Liverpool Post and Mercury ‘a pleasing debut’ against Tottenham Hotspur. ‘He exhibited much good judgment and fed his forwards capitally.’ Another correspondent wrote of his leadership skills, saying that he was a player that ‘generalled his forces with much skill’.
The 1914/15 season would be one of the closest on record, with just eighteen points separating the top and bottom clubs at the season’s end and three points dividing the top eight teams. Everton’s strengths lay in the amazing goals tally of striker Bobby Parker and its miserly defence. Galt played his part in this.
The First World War hung over Everton’s triumphant season and after the league was abandoned Galt scarcely appeared in wartime matches. Times were evidently hard during these years. In February 1919 Galt wrote to the Everton board concerning his ‘present status’. The minuted response suggests that he was after more money: ‘Resolved that he cannot be paid more than the amount stipulated by the League for players taking part in matches, & that we cannot undertake to find him employment.’
Now in his mid-thirties and with his top-class playing career presumed to be over, Galt had returned to Glasgow. The Everton board, however, retained his playing registration and sought £500 for it. It probably scuppered a move to Kilmarnock in his native Ayrshire. Galt tried to have his playing registration freed by the club, but for 18 months they refused to relent. Finally on 28 September 1920 they gave Galt the free transfer he sought and he joined Third Lanark.
ON LEAVING football he went into business with his former Rangers team-mate Jimmy Gordon and ran a series of billiards halls. He was offered the position of Everton’s Scotland scout in early 1935 but declined. Later that year he passed away.