Easington, Lancashire born centre forward Jimmy Trotter played junior football for Parsons Turbine Works after the end of the First World War before joining Second Division Bury in 1919, making his Football League debut against Port Vale in December 1919. After two years with The Shakers, scoring 20 goals in 50 appearances, he joined Second Division Sheffield Wednesday in February 1922, scoring on his Owls debut against Wolves in a 3-1 victory. Initially a fringe player, he broke into the first team with regularity from October 1924, and marked his potential with all five goals in a demolition of Portsmouth that December. The following season his 38 goal haul, including 4 goals against Preston, 5 against Stockport and a hat-trick against Darlington fired Wednesday to the Second Division Championship, and he went one better in 1926-27 as his 39 goals in his first season in the top flight, a haul which included hat-tricks against Everton, Sunderland and Arsenal.
His rate of scoring dropped off somewhat in 1927-28 however with a mere 16 goals in 30 games which saw him lose his mantle as the club’s leading goalscorer to Mark Hooper. After only a single goal in 6 appearances during Wednesday’s 1928-29 League Championship triumph, not playing at all in 1929-30 as Wednesday retained the title, he was sold to Torquay United in June 1930 where he once again took the mantle with 28 goals in 1930-31, a haul which included hat-tricks against Walsall and Queen’s Park Rangers. After 39 goals in 61 appearances for the Devon club he joined Watford in December 1931 for £375, where despite a debut goal a cartilage injury ended Trotter’s career and 4 games were all Watford got for their money.
Trotter had originally joined Charlton as a trainer twenty two years in July 1934 earlier under Jimmy Seed, but after Seed’s sacking he was appointed manager in September 1956, although he was unable to prevent relegation that season in 1957. The following season saw an extraordinary match against Huddersfield Town at The Valley on 21st December 1957. Charlton played most of the match with 10 men after their captain Derek Ufton was injured, and Huddersfield were leading 5-1 with just 27 minutes remaining. At that point, Johnny Summers began an extraordinary passage of play in which he scored five goals and assisted with two others to allow Charlton to win 7-6. Huddersfield became the first, and still the only, team to score six goals in an English Football League match – or indeed any other professional football match – and still be on the losing side.
Trotter came close to taking the Addicks back into the top flight that season, but lost 4-3 to Blackburn Rovers on the final day of the season, when a draw would have seen Charlton promoted. The remaining seasons under Trotter’s charge saw finishes of eighth, seventh and tenth before he was fired in October 1961 after just one victory in twelve games. He also acted for many years as England’s trainer and magic sponge man.