Jordanstone (Alyth), Perthshire born left back Jimmy Sharp began his football career with Edengrove in 1897 and played for East Craigie in 1898 before joining Scottish League Dundee in 1899, where he made his Scottish League debut on the first day of the 1899-1900 season in a 3-1 home win over Clyde. He was a member of the Dark Blues team that finished as runners up in the Scottish Championship in 1902-03. His own form was recognised when he was twice selected to represent The Scottish League, firstly against the Irish League in a 3-0 victory at Dens Park in February 1902, and a year later in a 3-0 defeat to The Football League at Celtic Park in March 1903. He made his debut for Scotland in a 1-1 draw with Wales at Dens Park on 12th March 1904, captaining his country in the match, and indeed he is the last Dundee player to captain Scotland.
After 5 goals in 114 appearances for Dundee, he moved south to join Southern League Fulham in the 1904 close season, having a single season with the Craven Cottage club in what would be the first of three spells with Fulham. Sharp joined First Division Woolwich Arsenal in June 1905 and made his Football League debut against Liverpool that September, being a member of Arsenal’s teams that were beaten in both the 1906 and 1907 FA Cup semi finals.
In March and April 1907 he was recalled to the Scotland national team and played against Wales and England respectively, and in April 1908 he received his fourth cap in a 1-1 draw with England at Hampden. Immediately afterwards he was transferred to Glasgow Rangers for £400 after 5 goals, all penalties, in 116 appearances for The Gunners, making his debut for The Gers against Celtic on April 25th. But after 19 appearances for Rangers he returned to London just nine months later for £1,000 in January 1909, this time to re-join Fulham, by now a Football League club, where he won his fifth and final Scotland cap against Wales in Wrexham in March 1909.
Three years later, after 108 appearances, Sharp made the short move up the River Thames to Chelsea in November 1912 for a fee of £1,750 and retired from playing upon the suspension of peacetime football in May 1915 due to the onset of the First World War, after having made 64 appearances for The Pensioners, before finishing his playing career with a spell with Dundee Hibernian (now Dundee United), joining them in 1915.
Sharp moved back to Fulham in 1919, working as a trainer/coach but at the age of 39 made an unlikely playing comeback after Fulham’s inside left Harold Crockford missed the team bus to an away game at Bury. On April 17th 1920, Sharp stepped into the breach and remarkably scored in a 2-2 draw. It was his only goal for the club in the last of his 125 games. He later coached at Walsall and Cliftonville.
NB although published in 1912 when a Fulham player, this image appears to show Jimmy Sharp in a Rangers shirt i.e. the photograph would have been taken in 1908.