Newcastle-upon-Tyne born inside left Jimmy Stewart began his football career playing for Todd’s Nook in 1900 and Gateshead NER in 1901 from where he joined Sheffield Wednesday in May 1902, making his Football League debut against Grimsby Town in February 1903, his only appearance of the campaign which saw Wednesday crown League Champions. The following season he scored once in 10 appearances as Sheffield Wednesday once again won the League Championship, but it was from November 1904 that he truly established himself as a first team regular, ending 1904-05 with 13 goals including a hat-trick against Bury in a 4-0 win in January 1905. In April 1905 he played in a 2-1 victory over The Corinthians in the annual Sheriff of London Shield match.
He scored 22 goals as Wednesday came third in the League Championship in 1905-06, ending as the club’s top scorer, a haul which included 4 goals as Wednesday beat Wolves 5-1 on Boxing Day 1905.
The following season, he was part of the Wednesday team that reached the FA Cup Final against the previous year’s winners, Everton. In the match at The Crystal Palace Stadium on 20th April 1907 a mix-up in the Everton defence enabled Wednesday to take a 20th minute lead as Harry Chapman swung the ball into the goalmouth for Stewart to give it the final touch. Everton equalised through Jack Sharp in the closing minute of the first half, but with only four minutes of the match remaining, Andrew Wilson, the Wednesday centre forward, received the ball from a throw-in and hooked it across the goalmouth for George Simpson, his outside left, to head home one of the softest goals imaginable.
Stewart made his first appearance for England against Wales at Craven Cottage on 18th March 1907, scoring England’s goal in a 1-1 draw. His next England appearance was at his hometown ground, St James’ Park, also ended a 1-1 draw against Scotland on 6th April.
In August 1908, he moved back to Tyneside to join hometown club Newcastle United for a £1,000 transfer fee. During his six years at Wednesday he scored 59 goals in a total of 142 appearances. At St James’ Park he soon became one of the stars of “The Edwardian Masters”, as Newcastle were known at the time due to the superb attacking, flowing and skilful way they played. He was an integral part of the team, alongside fellow internationals Colin Veitch, Jock Rutherford, Jimmy Lawrence and Albert Shepherd, which won the League Championship in 1908-09, contributing 8 goals in 25 appearances.
In the FA Cup semi-final against Swindon Town at White Hart Lane on 26th March 1910, he scored the opening goal in a 2-0 victory but was unable to make the team for the Final against Barnsley, which Newcastle won after a replay, thus winning the Cup for the first time. In 1911, having again scored in their semi final win over he played in the losing side in the FA Cup Final against Bradford City in a match lost 1-0 in a replay at Old Trafford.
He made his third, and final England appearance against Scotland at Goodison Park on 1st April 1911 and again scored in a 1-1 draw. Peculiarly all three of his international appearances thus ended in 1-1 draws. He also appeared four times for The Football League between October 1909 and November 1910, playing twice against The Irish League and twice against The Southern League.
He continued to be a regular member of the Newcastle side until, after 53 goals in 138 appearances he was sold to Glasgow Rangers in the 1913 close season for £600 where he scored 13 goals in 21 appearances during a sing season at the club. In May 1914 he returned to his native north-east, and non-league football, with North Shields Athletic where he became player-manager.