|Place Of Birth:||Belfast|
|Date Of Death:||Oct 11 1974|
|Place Of Death:||Belfast|
|Debut:||20-Nov-60, League, (h) Cork Celtic, 2-2|
November 20th 1960 was a red-letter day in the history of Dundalk FC. Jimmy Hasty, a one-armed centre forward from Belfast, made his debut in a League game against Cork Celtic at Oriel Park, scored once and brought gasps of astonishment at his football skills. His ability to ghost past defenders was greeted with disbelief. Nor was he just a scorer—he was the general of every attack, holding the ball until executing perfect passes to his colleagues.
He scored once on his debut and over the next month the Dundalk forward line helped themselves to 24 goals in 5 League victories. By December 18th when Dundalk visited Milltown, thousands packed the ground to see the ‘one-armed bandit’ when he scored twice and made two other goals in a 4-2 victory over Shamrock Rovers.
For such a big man (a touch above 6ft 1in) he had great balance and had an incredible first touch. According to Cork Celtic centre-half John Coughlan he had the ability to stun the ball or deflect it accurately with any part of his anatomy—head, chest, thighs, knee or feet.
Everywhere he played it was the same—everyone wanted to see this ‘will-o-the-wisp’ with the deadly sharpshooter’s skills that left defenders floundering in his wake. Throughout the rest of that first season he filled every ground in the League of Ireland. Attempts to mark him out of the game were doomed to failure—he could create goals and space for others.
His scoring exploits with Newry Town had attracted the attention of Dundalk. After a scouting mission to Newry, three directors signed him to the consternation of the rest of the board when they heard afterwards that their colleagues had signed a one-armed centre forward.
But one of the trio, Jim Malone, had supreme confidence in the new signing and gained the board’s approval by offering to assume the financial commitment involved if their judgement proved wrong. Over six seasons, when Jimmy scored 103 goals, Jim Malone’s confidence was justified many times over.
He was regularly side lined with injuries over the next two seasons but the goals continued to flow and in 1962-63 he played a key role when the club filled a 30-year gap when it took the League Championship. His understanding with inside partners, Francie Callan and Dermot Cross, was critical to the League triumph.
In the following season he was at his brilliant best for Dundalk’s visit to Zurich for the second leg European Cup tie, trailing 3-0 from the home leg. He fed Dermot Cross to reduce the deficit, scored the second and appeared to tie the match until his 15-yard strike beat everything except the crossbar. The 2-1 match victory was the first time an Irish team had been victorious in a European Cup game and the first Irish away victory in any European competition.
An injury free 1963-64 saw Jimmy cut loose when his 35 goals included 18 in the League, sharing the title of League of Ireland Marksman of the year with Eddie Bailham (Shamrock Rovers) and Johnny Kingston (Cork Hibernians). He rounded off the year in style when scoring twice against Shamrock Rovers in the semi-final of the Top Four Cup and again in the 2-0 final replay victory over Limerick.
Over his last two seasons he was rarely fully match fit and, lacking support, his goal count went south. Released at the end of 1965-66 to go to Drogheda, in his last year he became the fourth member of the Dundalk Centurion’s Club joining Eddie Carroll, Joey Donnelly and Joe Martin with more than 100 club goals.
At the age of fourteen and on his first day at work, his arm was mangled in a milling machine, resulting in the arm being amputated, leaving a short stump, which on the football field he learned to use to good effect. In the air he became deadly—he would lie across his marker, with the stump leaning on his opponent’s shoulder. Defenders couldn’t get off the ground and all that referees could see was an empty sleeve flapping around!
Jimmy’s early football was with St Joseph’s playing in the Down and Connor League and he also played Minor and Junior football with his local club Bowhill in Belfast. From Junior ranks he went to Islandmagee and later Newry Town, then in the B Division of the Irish League.
Two goals on his Newry debut in mid October 1959 in a 6-0 defeat of Derry City Reserves was just a taste of what was to follow. By season’s end he had scored 38 League goals, leading Newry to their first ever ‘B’ League Championship success.
For the following season, he continued this form—in a 6-2 victory over Queens in early October he scored a hat-trick and ‘made’ the other three. He delivered thirteen goals in his last five Newry games, four of them in his final game before coming to Dundalk during a 5-1 defeat of Crusaders Reserves on November 12th 1960. With Newry for a little over a calendar year, from Oct 1959 to mid-Nov 1960, he was credited with 55 goals and he created as many more.
Tragically, in the winter of 1974 he became an innocent victim of the sectarian troubles in Northern Ireland. At the age of 35 he was murdered as he walked to work on the streets of Belfast by loyalist paramilitaries in a tit for tat killing.
In December 1974 the Dundalk club hosted a benefit game for his family, when a Dave Bacuzzi Dublin Selection played a Dundalk-Drogheda team and the thousands who turned out reflected the regard for one of the most popular and most exciting players ever to wear the Dundalk shirt.
What They Said About Him
“One of the neatest passers of the ball I have ever seen. He controls the ball like a tennis ball and his passes are low—always carpet level—and dead accurate. General of the attack, holding every ball until his men were in position, he was everywhere, will-o-the wisp, so that they never had him covered, and he was in like a flash on every chance.” Dundalk Democrat
5 Wins: League 1962-63; Top Four Cup 1963-64; Leinster Cup 1960-61; 2 Presidents Cup 1963-64, 1964-65.
5 Runners Up: League and Shield 1963-64; Casey Cup 1962-63; 2 Leinster Cup 1961-62, 1964-65.
Player of the Year 1964-65
Joint League of Ireland leading scorer (18) 1963-64
1960-61, 1962-63, 1963-64