Southampton born goalkeeper Jim Goodchild signed for his home town professional club from St Paul’s Athletic in September 1909 after two trial matches, being initially understudy to Tom Burrows. He made his Southampton debut at home to Reading in the last game of the Southern League season in May 1910. He made only four further appearances in the 1910-11 season and was released at the end of the season as “surplus to requirements”. He then obtained employment in Southampton Docks before First Division Manchester City were alerted to his availability by Jimmy Yates, who was now Southampton’s scout, making his Citizens debut in an FA Cup tie at Preston North End in January 1912. Although he managed 17 appearances before the season end and played 27 times the following campaign, he spent the last two seasons before the First World War in the reserves as understudy to Walter Smith, playing only 3 more times for the first team before the suspension of peacetime football.
Described as “safe rather than brilliant”, Goodchild became a regular in City’s first team after the War, and was ever present as City finished runners up in the League Championship in 1920-21. In following seasons he often shared goalkeeping duties with (principally) the likes of James Mitchell, appearing over 200 times for City between 1912 and 1927, including playing on the losing side in the 1926 FA Cup Final against Bolton Wanderers at Wembley. He also made over 100 appearances in War League matches during the First World War in addition to his total of 216 appearances for City in all official first team matches.
He joined non league Guildford City in 1927, retiring from the professional game aged 35, and later joined Stoneham Nomads in 1928.
NB in the photograph from a match against Arsenal in September 1920, Goodchild prepares to catch a cross under the challenge of Arsenal’s forward Freddie Groves. It’s uncertain whether this was taken in the 2-1 defeat at Highbury or the 3-1 victory at Maine Road a week later.