Born in Sheffield, inside right Jimmy Gill began his senior football career at hometown First Division club Sheffield Wednesday in 1913, making his Football League debut at Chelsea on Christmas Day that year. He was a fringe player before the intervention of First World War, having made only 14 appearances by the time peacetime football was suspended in May 1915. He served with the Armed Forces during the War but after the conflict he returned to Hillsborough and was a first team regular in 1919-20, albeit his 8 goals were not enough to save Wednesday from relegation in 1920.
With the club suffering financial difficulties he was sold to Second Division club Cardiff City for £750 in the summer of 1920 after 10 goals in 43 appearances for Sheffield Wednesday and, scoring twice on his Cardiff debut in their inaugural League match, a 5-2 victory at Stockport County in August 1920, he was The Bluebirds’ top scorer in their first year in the Football League with 20 goals in the campaign as they gained immediate promotion to the First Division. He also played in their 1920 FA Cup semi final, a 0-0 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield, but he missed their replay defeat a few days later.
He was again the club’s top goalscorer in their first season in the top flight with 23 goals in the campaign and would go on to consistentley challenge for the award along with strike partner Len Davies during his five years at Ninian Park, Gill scoring a hat-trick in a win over Blackburn Rovers in January 1923. While at the club he also scored in their 1925 FA Cup semi final win over Blackburn Rovers at Meadown Lane, Nottingham, and played in the 1925 FA Cup Final, which they went on to lose 1-0 to Sheffield United at Wembley. Within two months of the start of following season, he left Cardiff to join Major Frank Buckley’s Second Division side Blackpool in October 1925 after 94 goals in 212 appearances for The Bluebirds.
He made a scoring debut for Blackpool the same month, in a 4-0 victory over Wolves at Bloomfield Road, netting the first goal. He made a further 15 appearances during their 1925-26 League campaign, scoring three more goals, but in March 1926 he was sold to Derby County, making his second scoring debut of the season, this time the only goal in a 1-0 win at Stoke City. He played 12 matches in the run in helping The Rams clinch promotion to the First Division, and was Derby’s joint League top scorer the next season (with Harry Bedford) firing 22 goals as Derby established themselves in the top flight ahead of what would become one of the most successful periods in the club’s history, his best career tally for League goals as he missed only two matches of the campaign.
Despite a hat-trick at Arsenal in February 1928 he only played 13 times the next season and left Derby in the summer of 1928 to join Third Division (South) club Crystal Palace after 35 goals in 66 appearances for The Rams. However at Palace he scored 3 times in 10 appearances through the autumn, losing his place in October, before joining Midland League club Scarborough in 1929, his final club before his eventual retirement.
NB although published after he had joined Cardiff City, he clearly wears a Sheffield Wednesday shirt.