|Debut:||14-Aug-60, City Cup, (a) Sligo Rovers, 3-2|
Left-winger Jimmy McDonnell, ex Ards and Crusaders, didn’t take long to get on the score sheet, finding the net on his Dundalk debut in the opening fixture of the 1960-61 season against Sligo Rovers in the Dublin City Cup.
During the League programme he switched places with Liam Munroe, going to the inside left slot. At this stage, newcomer Jimmy Hasty had taken over the mantle of main goal scorer—Jimmy and his inside right partner Victor Meldrum supplying the ammunition.
On St Stephen’s Day he collected a Leinster Cup medal when Hasty’s goal was enough to see the back of Drumcondra. McDonnell’s performances earned his selection on the left wing for two end of season fixtures with the League of Ireland against the Irish League—matching his September 1958 Irish League selection against the Scottish League when he had been with Crusaders. In the same month he was on the IFA XI that played the touring South Africa amateur XI.
With Ards in the 1956-57 season when Liam Munroe found the net 37 times, Jimmy had scored 15. A member of the following year’s Championship winning squad, pitching in another seven goals, he left at the end of that season for Crusaders, where he spent two terms before coming to Oriel Park. Before departing he added a County Antrim Shield memento to his collection when Crusaders defeated Linfield 2-0 in the replayed1959-60 final.
Although he opened his Ard’s goal-scoring account with a hat-trick in a September 1956 Ulster Cup game against Portadown, he became known to the fans as ‘One-Goal Jim’ because of his habit of scoring one goal per match.
While living in Sligo he took on the job of managing the local Rovers for the 1972-73 year but by January he had departed.
1 Win; Leinster Cup 1960-61
2 League of Ireland caps