Silkmen Legends: James “Big Jim” Goodwin

Welcome to a new series of articles which will feature the many Silkmen Legends who have all helped to make the club what it is today. Whether they be a former player, official or supporter, they have all played their part in creating special memories which will last a lifetime.

First up is a man who needs no introduction, in fact this site is named after him – the Legend that is James Wilfred Goodwin aka “Big Jim”.

Jim grew up in Wincle and when he was not out drinking the pubs dry spent most of his time helping out on his parent’s farm. This entailed early starts, manual labour and an advanced level of odour tolerance – characteristics which would serve him well in later life.

Initially, Jim found his love of football not through Macclesfield Town, but from the two Manchester clubs and during his early years would regularly go to OId Trafford one week and Maine Road the next.

This did not really change until he started school (how I would love a programme entitled “Big Jim’s Schooldays”), where he began to socialise with people who followed The Silkmen. These included the late great Alan Littler and fellow Legendary Silkmen fan Phil Gibbons. Slowly but surely Jim began to turn his back on our illustrious Manchester neighbours and made the Moss Rose his spiritual home.

Always looking to help out or lend a hand, Jim has held numerous roles within the club over a great many years. Most famously, Jim was a steward in the Star Lane End up until a few seasons ago where he successfully monitored people using the segregation gate joining on to London Road (affectionately known as “Jim’s Gate”), whilst also eating a pie and watching the game.

 

Big Jim Gate

Jim’s Gate

 

Throughout all the years Jim worked as a steward there was one particular afternoon which will never be forgotten and is firmly etched in Silkmen folklore. On a cold, wet day in the middle of December 2003, Macc faced the mighty Huddersfield Town at the Moss Rose with the odds firmly stacked against a home win. A large and vociferous away contingent filled the Moss Lane Terrace expecting to enjoy a pre-Christmas party at our expense.

However, that was not to be the case as The Silkmen served up a festive cracker by beating Yorkshire side 4-0 thanks to goals from Matthew Tipton, Chris Priest and a brace from John “I’ll turn up when I want a contract” Miles.

Understandably, the travelling away support were not amused by the scenes they were witnessing and as such, one young man took to the pitch to express his displeasure. Whilst everyone else just stared at the athletic looking hooligan, Jim flung open his pitch side gate and sprinted towards him. All sides of the ground erupted in delight as Jim hounded the individual around the pitch, until that is he slipped on the greasy turf and fell arse over tit. I am sure that I am not the only person present that afternoon who still has this image etched in to their mind – whenever anyone reminds me of it I imagine the scene being played in slow motion to the Black Beauty theme tune!

Jim also spent a good number of years on the SST Board and each Christmas donates a turkey for their raffle. He also contributed much to the board meetings and suggested numerous ideas which left fellow board members flabbergasted. One idea in particular concerned Macc building a new stadium. With the board discussing how this could come to fruition and who viable it would be, Jim astounded everyone by asking why we could not move the current ground!

 

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Jim celebrates his 60th birthday in the McIlroy Suite back in 2014

 

Apparently Jim has a mate who owns a lorry and it would not be difficult to transport the McIlroy Suite and Main Stand to another destination – thus saving a fortune on building work.

Despite Jim’s insistence that this was possible, the SST sadly did not follow up the offer, which I’m sure everyone will agree is a great shame!

Although is is now 62, Jim still travels the length and breadth of the country to follow his beloved Silkmen. A regular on Moose Tours, he is normally at the centre of all the light hearted banter which is a given on their coaches. There are too many anecdotes which we could mention here but one of my own personal favourites involved a trip to Gillingham in 2008.

After suffering a heavy defeat, the travelling fans were understandably downhearted as they boarded the coach ready for the long drive home. After the Silkmen’s display had been dissected in minute detail there then ensued a bit of a lull and a few passengers started to nod off. One of these was Andy Worth, who had knackered himself out by having a couple of shandys, singing louder than the PA system and strutting his camp dances up and down the away end.

It wasn’t long before Andy was flat out – and that was when Jim made his move. With the softness of a Russian ballerina, Jim slowly made his way over to Andy’s seat before turning round, dropping his trousers and forcing his big bare crack in to Andy’s face.

Let’s just say that Andy has never fallen asleep on a coach with Jim since – although sources have suggested that actually he secretly enjoyed it!

It is the characters that help to make this club what it is and Jim is certainly one of those – it is for this reason why he undoubtedly resides in the category of Silkmen Legend.

 

We will be adding to this section of the site on a regular basis, so check back soon for the next Silkmen Legend feature!

 

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