England Football Online
Players Index Page Last Updated
16 August 2020

Jimmy Hagan

Sheffield United FC

1 appearance, 0 goals

P 1 W 0 D 1 L 0 F 0: A 0
50% successful


captain: none
minutes played:


Full name James Hagan
Born 21 January 1918 in Washington, county Durham [registered in Chester-le-Street, March 1918]. To Alfred and Catherine Hagan (née Dougherty)
Attended Usworth Colliery Intermediate School, Washington
notes According to Passenger Lists, James Hagan was one of numerous professional footballers (The FA Tourists of Canada) returning to the Port of Liverpool on 30 June 1950 from Montréal, Québec. He is aboard the Empress of Canada. His address is stated as 71 Holleythorpe Road in Sheffield.
Died 26 February 1998 in Sheffield, aged 80 years 36 days [registered in Sheffield, February 1998].
Height/Weight 5' 8", 10st. 10lbs [1949].


Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990] & FindMyPast.com

Biographies The Jimmy Hagan Story - Roger Barnard [The History Press Limited, 2007]

Jimmy Hagan is Sheffield United's best ever player, an inside forward who starred for the club - and for England - in the 1940s and 1950s before going on to success as a manager in both England and Portugal. Hagan was one of the stars of his day and appeared in star-studded England line-ups alongside the likes of Stanley Matthews and Tom Finney. Fans who remember watching Hagan may now be relatively few but he remains a legend at Bramall Lane, to the point that he actually has a statue there, unveiled by Portuguese legend Eusebio (who Hagan coached at Benfica) in 2001. - Psynopsis.

Club Career

Club(s) Derby County, transferred to Sheffield United FC on 3 November 1938
Club honours x
Individual honours x
Distinctions x


Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990].

England Career

Player number One of three who became 672nd players (673) to appear for England.
Position(s) Inside-right
Only match No. 241, 26 September 1948, Denmark 0 England 0, a friendly match at Idrætsparken, København, aged 30 years 249 days.
Major tournaments None
Team honours None
Individual honours England B (one appearance, 1947)
Distinctions Died seven days after George Male

Beyond England

x.  - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.x.


Jimmy Hagan - Career Statistics
Parties Apps comp. apps Mins. Goals goals ave.min comp. goals Capt. Disc.
4 1 0 90 0 0 min 0 none none
minutes are an approximation, due to the fact that many matches rarely stick to exactly ninety minutes long, allowing time for injuries and errors.


Jimmy Hagan - Match Record - All Matches - By Type of Match
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts % W/L
Away 1 0 1 0 0 0 =0 1 1 0.00 0.00 50.0 =0
All - Friendly 1 0 1 0 0 0 =0 1 1 0.00 0.00 50.0 =0

Match History
 Club: Sheffield United F.C. - one full appearance (90 min)

manager: Walter Winterbottom - one full appearance (90 min)  

Age 28
229 13 November 1946 - England 3 Wales 0, Maine Road, Manchester BC HW reserve
230 27 November 1946 - England 8 Netherlands 2, Leeds Road, Huddersfield Fr HW unused sub

Age 29
233 18 May 1947 - Switzerland 1 England 0, Hardturm Stadion, Zürich tour AL unused sub
1 b 21 May 1947 - Switzerland 0 England 0, Genève AD Start 8
234 25 May 1947 - Portugal 0 England 10, Estádio Nacional, Lisboa AW unused sub

Age 30
1 241 26 September 1948 - Denmark 0 England 0, Idrætsparken, København Fr AD Start 8


Jimmy Hagan was a most singular football man, quiet yet controversial, and one of the most unsung achievers of his era. As a player he exhibited ball skills which bordered on the magical yet he played only once for England in a full international. As a manager he knew startling success, most notably with the mighty Benfica of Portugal, but he upset many of his charges through his stern disciplinary approach and was less feted than contemporaries with comparatively modest records.

Hagan was born in the North-East into a footballing family, his father Alf having played for Newcastle, Cardiff and Tranmere after the First World War, and from his early days both his love of the game and his fiercely independent character were evident. Indeed, he gave up the chance to attend his local grammar school because football was not played there, and despite living between the soccer strongholds of Newcastle and Sunderland he signed amateur forms with Liverpool, then Derby County, with whom he turned professional in 1935.

Hagan had won England honours at schoolboy level, excelling as a scheming inside- forward, so much was expected of him. However, he could not agree with the manager George Jobey and in November 1938 he was sold to Sheffield United for pounds 2,500.

At Bramall Lane he blossomed, his fluent distribution, magnetic control and shrewd positional play inspiring the Blades to clinch promotion to the top flight at the end of his first season. Then came the Second World War, which devastated many soccer careers, but not Hagan's. He was picked for England in 16 wartime internationals (which didn't qualify for full appearances) and he performed brilliantly alongside stars such as Stanley Matthews, Tommy Lawton and Raich Carter.

After the conflict, when he rose to the rank of major in the Army's Physical Training Corps, Hagan was unfortunate that the likes of Carter, Wilf Mannion and Len Shackleton provided white-hot competition for England inside-forward berths, but still it was surprising that he was limited to one outing, a goalless draw against Denmark in September 1948.

Nevertheless he continued so majestically at club level that United were accused of being a one-man team, one photographer mocking up a picture of the Blades with 11 Jimmy Hagan heads, which rankled with some of his colleagues. Having collected a Second Division title medal with the club in 1953, as well as suffering demotion from the top flight in both 1949 and 1956, Hagan finished playing in 1958 who became the manager of Peterborough United.

The Posh, a dominant power in the Midland League, had long deserved elevation to Football League ranks, and they made it under Hagan in 1960. The rookie boss led them to the Fourth Division title at their first attempt, notching a League record of 134 goals that still stands today. Creditable consolidation in the Third followed, but Hagan was sacked in October 1962 after a bitter dispute with players, a scenario which would be echoed later.

In April 1963 he took over at First Division West Brom-wich Albion. He adhered to old-style puritanical virtues which did not sit easily with a new breed of footballer, recently freed from the iniquitous strictures of the archaic maximum wage system. Soon the players, led by the future England coach and Arsenal manager Don Howe, rebelled against what they claimed were boring training methods and a harsh, unapproachable attitude. It came to a head when 10 of his squad refused to train without tracksuit bottoms on a freezing day.

Meanwhile he was assembling an enterprising side which in 1965/66 finished sixth in the First Division and won the League Cup in a two-legged final against West Ham. However, after Albion lost the 1966/67 final to Third Division Queen's Park Rangers, he was dismissed.

There followed spells of working in a driving school and scouting for Manchester City before Hagan embarked on his greatest challenge. Benfica, one of the world's leading clubs, had hit a slump and wanted a tough English taskmaster and organiser. After being turned down by Sir Alf Ramsey, in March 1970 they astonished many observers by turning to Hagan.

It seemed like a desperate measure; in fact it was a stroke of inspiration. After provoking a minor revolution with his rigorous regime, he transformed the Eagles, leading them to title triumph in each of his three campaigns in Lisbon. Typically, he left after a dispute in 1973, going on to coach in Kuwait for two years before completing his career in Portugal. - The Independent obituary