Jimmy Ruffell

Jimmy Ruffell
Jimmy Ruffell (English footballer).jpg
Personal information
Full name James William Ruffell[1]
Date of birth (1900-08-08)8 August 1900
Place of birth Doncaster, England
Date of death 6 September 1989(1989-09-06) (aged 89)
Place of death Bury St Edmunds, England
Height 5 ft 7 12 in (1.71 m)[2]
Playing position(s) Outside-left
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1920–1937 West Ham United 505 (159)
1937–1938 Aldershot 2 (1)
National team
1926–1929 England 6 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

James William Ruffell (8 August 1900 – 6 September 1989) was an English footballer who played as an outside-left. He made over 500 appearances in the Football League for West Ham United, and ended his career with a short spell at Aldershot.

Ruffell was born in Doncaster, but moved south at an early age. He played for Essex Road School, Manor Park, Fullers, Chadwell Heath United, Manor Park Albion, East Ham and Wall End United, before West Ham signed him from the works team of the Ilford Electricity Board in March 1920.[3] He made his League debut against Bury in December 1921.[4]

He was an ever-present during the 1924–25 season, and went on to make 548 senior appearances for the Hammers, a record that wasn't beaten until Bobby Moore surpassed it in 1973.[3] He scored a total of 166 goals, placing him third in the club's all-time records,[5] above many of West Ham's finest strikers despite his role on the left wing. He was the club's top scorer for the 1927–28 and 1934–35 seasons, although he didn't score a single goal during the 1921–22, 1932–33 and 1936–37 seasons.[3]

In 1923, he was part of the team that contested the first FA Cup Final to be staged at Wembley Stadium, known as The White Horse Final.[3]

In April 1926 he made his England international debut in a 1–0 defeat by Scotland in Manchester. He played for England on another five occasions,[6] but saw competition from the likes of Cliff Bastin, Eric Brook and Eric Houghton for the left-wing spot.[3]

Ruffell left the east London club in 1937. He joined Aldershot for a short spell, where he made two League appearances and played his final game against Port Vale.[3]

His brother Bill was also a professional footballer who had been on the books at West Ham and played League football for Nelson during the 1927–28 season.[3][1]


  1. ^ a b Joyce, Michael (2012) [2002]. Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939. Nottingham: SoccerData. p. 254. ISBN 978-1-905891-61-0.
  2. ^ "Jimmy Ruffell". England Football Online. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Hogg, Tony (2005). Who's Who of West Ham United. Profile Sports Media. p. 180. ISBN 1-903135-50-8.
  4. ^ Northcutt, John; Marsh, Steve (2015). West Ham United: The Complete Record. deCoubertin Books. pp. 110–111. ISBN 978-1-909245-27-3.
  5. ^ "Records and Honours: Most Goals (Total)". West Ham United F.C. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  6. ^ "England Player Profile: James Ruffell". englandfc.com. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2013.

External links