You would think after supporting a team for over thirty years, I would be aware of the club’s history and heritage. Sure, I knew Carrick Rangers were formed in 1939 – it was on the club badge – and the heroics of the team of 1976 are written into football folklore. But how come until recently, I had never heard of Jimmy Crymble?
I had started researching for a book on the club’s history to tie in with its seventy-fifth anniversary. When I got up to the summer of 1951, I read that Jimmy Crymble scored twice on his debut in the opening game of that season. At that point, he was just an annotation in my notebook along with a host of other players.
With regular monotony over the rest of that season, his name cropped up as a consistent goalscorer, as Carrick secured the Amateur League. Crymble netted 50 times in just 41 appearances, a record yet to be beaten.
More Than A Battering Ram
Crymble was a strongly built man, not surprising as he was the town’s blacksmith. His physique made an ideal old-style centre-forward, but he was more than a battering ram. His footballing ability allowed him to be versatile, and he was equally adept at full-back. In the 1955/56 campaign, he started a game against Seapark at full-back, but was pushed up front when his team went 2-0 down. By the final whistle, his hat-trick had helped snatch a 4-4 draw.
In 1956/57, Crymble scored twice as Carrick won the McKelvey Cup, beating Brentwood 2nds.
In the 1957/58 season, Carrick’s first in the ‘B’ Division (Northern Ireland’s second tier at that time), Crymble looked set to beat his record haul as he scored a hatful in the opening months, including four hat-tricks and three four-timers. However, an injury two-thirds of the way through the campaign restricted his appearances as he finished with 48 goals.
Almost, But Not Quite
Crymble signed for Larne in the summer of 1958, but failed to hold down a regular place, returning for a short spell back at Carrick, scoring seven times in four starts (including two hat-tricks) before dropping down to the Amateur League.
Despite turning out at full-back for two seasons and missing a huge chunk of another through injury, Crymble remains the club’s record scorer with over 240 goals, and represented the club in four separate Divisions as the team progressed: Amateur League, Intermediate League, Alliance League and the ‘B’ Division.