For a few seasons in the early 1890's, Jimmy Green was the star threequarter in the Pontypridd team, and scored the winning points when Pontypridd won at St. Helens, Swansea, for the first time, a feat only repeated on rare occasions since 1892!
This is Jimmy's story as reported in the local newspaper, the ‘Glamorgan Free Press,’ in 1893 :
Our Jimmy! No-one who has seen Jim at work or at home would think that he was the flower of the Pontypridd threequarters. He looks so meek and gentle, as Jimmy said, “What do they want to put me in the paper for?” Well, Jimmy, the ‘Free Press’ publishes a sketch of noted footballers in the district every week, and people - especially Welshmen, like to read about celebrities.
Mr. James Green was born at Torquay in April 1870, and attended - not very often - the national schools. He started playing football about five years ago when he joined the Torquay juniors. The first time he played he was placed at centre - threequarter, but was removed to the forwards for half a dozen before returning to the threequarters. He played for his club for three years and became vice-captain, until two years ago, James left the “Land of apple dumplings” and came to good old Pontypridd, and worked with Mr. James as a labourer. He had only been here three weeks when he was found a place in the Pontypridd reserve team, then under the captaincy of Jack Davies, as a wing threequarter.
His first match for them was against Ferndale. He scored a try and established himself as a favourite at once. In the match he showed the qualities of a good centre-threequarter, which Pontypridd were in need of. He dropped a goal in his second game against Pontyclun, and the following week he was picked to play for the first fifteen against Treorky. Playing in the centre he scored the converted try that gave Pontypridd victory. In all, from February until the end of the season he scored five tries and a dropped goal. When the Maritime and Pontypridd clubs amalgamated before the 1892-93 season, he was one of the few Pontypridd players to retain his place. In the Swansea match at St Helens, he did some clever things and dropped the goal that gave Pontypridd the game, and gained for himself the name of 'Our Jimmy,’ which has stuck with him ever since. On coming home the team was met at the station by a large crowd of enthusiastic supporters, and Jim, and the skipper, Ack Llewellin, were ‘shouldered’ through the town as far as the New Inn, in a torchlight procession, headed by a brass band. They both made grateful speeches from the wall of the Inn. Oh! They did have fun!
That year he was top scorer with twelve tries and a dropped goal. He also picked with four other Pontypridd players to play in the international trail match at Taff Vale Park, but was unable to play due to a knee injury. This season he is again in all his glory in the Ponty threequarters, and has played in every match and has scored eight tries and a dropped goal.
Jimmy Green will be 24 in April 1893. He is 5ft - 31/2 inches tall, and turns the scales at nine stone. He is a fast runner, and to show it has taken fourteen prizes, won in different parts of the country. He is very dodgy and tricky, and drops goals every time he gets a chance. James is well liked for his unassuming manner by all that frequent Taff Vale Park.
Good luck Jimmy, my boy, and better luck next time that you are chosen for Welsh trial match honours.
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Ponty ar ben eu digon - pencampwyr dwbwl Cymru. Pwy oedd yn serennu yn y gem fawr yn erbyn Llanelli? Ponty on top of the world - double champions of Welsh rugby. Who starred in the big win over Llanelli?