Former Saints Player Jim Kerray Passes Away
12th November 2021
We are sad to report the passing of former Saints player Jim Kerray, a striker who found the back of the net regularly in his two seasons at Muirton Park.
Born in Stirling, Jim came to Perth relatively late in a successful career which began in Fife in 1957 at the age of 22 with Raith Rovers where he enjoyed a productive couple of seasons before a move to Fife neighbours Dunfermline Athletic. At East End Park he played under Jock Stein who he later stated as being the man he learned most from in the game which helped him to enjoy a modest coaching career after his retrial at the age of 34.
With over 30 goals in a short period of time at the two Fife clubs, Jim’s talent had not gone unnoticed and in 1960 he was enticed south by Huddersfield Town and after just over a year in Yorkshire, and after he had scored both goals in a Terriers win over Newcastle United, the Tyneside club took him to St James Park. He is fondly remembered by Geordies for his goals in Tyne/Wear derbies including an equaliser in a match in which Brian Clough had netted for the Wearsiders.
1964 brought a return to Scotland and a second spell with Dunfermline Athletic and when he finished season 1963/64 as their top scorer, St Johnstone paid £6,250 for his services. It proved to be a wise investment as he continued his regular goalscoring exploits over the next two seasons.
His Saints debut came in August 1964 against St Mirren and just a few weeks later he netted the first of what would prove to be 23 goals for Saints in a 2-0 win over Dundee United. A further ten league goals followed which was a decent return for a struggling Saints side who finished 13th in the 18-team Division One.
The following season, 1965/66 again proved to be a struggle for Saints but Jim still did his part with 11 goals ahead of his final match – a Scottish Cup defeat to Rangers at Ibrox. Short spells with Stirling Albion and Falkirk followed before he ended his professional career.
Interestingly, while with Albion, Jim took part in a ground-breaking summer football tour of Athens, Tehran and Tokyo, playing the Japanese national football team in the Tokyo Olympic stadium that had played host to the games two years earlier in 1964.
The draw of family took Jim back to Huddersfield in 1969 where he worked at ICI Paints Division whilst still playing semi-professional football for Buxton Town and when he finally hung up his boots, he became a coach and manager for local football teams in various Yorkshire and Huddersfield district leagues.
The thoughts of everyone at McDiarmid Park are with Jim’ family at this sad time.