The Encylopedia of British Football

Jimmy Utterson

James (Jimmy) Utterson was born in Gateshead on 26th November 1914. A goalkeeper, he played for Glenavon in the Irish League. In 1934, Major Frank Buckley, the manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers, signed Utterson. Unfortunately, he only played in 12 games before he died from head injuries he had received in a game against Middlesbrough.

Two other goalkeepers, John Thomson and Jimmy Thorpe had also died from head injuries during this period and the Football Association decided to change the rules in order to give them more protection from forwards. Players were no longer allowed to raise their foot to a goalkeeper when he had control of the ball in his arms.