Barnard Castle, County Durham born left back Jimmy Welford began his football career with Barnard Castle in 1888 and played for Stockton in 1889, Bishop Auckland in 1890 and Birmingham St George’s in 1892 before joining First Division Aston Villa in 1893, for whom he made his Football League debut against Everton the same September. He soon formed a defensive partnership with Bob Chatt and at the end of his debut season Aston Villa had won their first League Championship, with Welford having made 19 appearances in the campaign.
In his second season, Aston Villa failed to retain their League title, finishing third, but made their way to the 1895 FA Cup Final, where a first minute Chatt goal was enough to beat West Bromwich Albion at The Crystal Palace. Welford then won League Championship medals in each of the next two seasons, however he only played 10 games of the Double winning 1896-97 season, losing his place in November 1896 to Albert Evans. He didn’t play in any of the FA Cup ties, and left Aston Villa to join Glasgow Celtic in May 1897 after one goal in 83 appearances.
At Celtic Welford made history when after Celtic’s 2-0 Scottish Cup Final defeat of Rangers in April 1899 he became the first Englishman to hold both English and Scottish Cup winners medals. He also won the Scottish League with Celtic in 1897-98 and made 44 appearances for The Celts. After a loan spell at Belfast Celtic in 1899 he joined Belfast Distillery in February 1900 before returning to Scotland in 1901 to join Hamilton Academical, for whom he played for a further two seasons before his retirement.
In cricket, Welford was a right-handed batsman who bowled right-arm fast. Welford made his debut for Durham in the 1895 Minor Counties Championship against Cheshire. He made five further appearances in that season for the County. He joined Warwickshire for the 1896 season, making his first class debut for The Bears in the County Championship against Surrey. He made 12 further first class appearances in 1896, the last of which came against Hampshire. In 13 first class appearances for Warwickshire, he scored 459 runs at an average of 21.85, with a high score of 118. This score, which was his only first-class century, came against Leicestershire. With the ball, he took 2 wickets at a bowling average of 90.00, with best figures of 1 for 13.