Edwin James Towers – Professional Footballer – 1954 to 1965 – R.I.P.

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Jim Towers was a prolific goal scoring forward in the lower reaches of the Football League for various clubs including Brentford, QPR and Aldershot, spanning the period from 1954 to 1965. His main role was in the Centre Forward/Inside Forward slot but he sometimes operated on the left wing. Although Jim was a supreme goal scoring icon for Brentford (club record of 153 goals in 262 league matches for the Bees), he was born locally and in his one season at Loftus Road, 1961/62, he made his mark by scoring 16 goals in 32 league and Cup games, playing in the QPR team that scored an incredible 111 goals and just missed out on promotion to Division 2.

He didn’t do “tap-ins” even when a few feet from the goal. Jim Towers had a thunderbolt of a shot and one classic example of this was in a Rangers away league match at Watford on the 23rd September, 1961, when he smashed in a goal and the ball hit the inside metal stanchion and rebounded nearly to the halfway line ! Alas, after being 2-0 up, Rangers let Watford score three times in the last 15 minutes and we lost 2-3.

At QPR FC when on the field of play, Jim was a very recognisable figure. He had a powerful build with a greased short hairstyle, sometimes sporting an old fashioned centre parting that gave the appearance of a pro-footballer from the 1930’s ! His attitude always seemed to me that of: “Let’s just get on with the game and score goals.” There was never any angry reaction when he was on the receiving end of crunching, foul tackles, no arguing with the ref and when he put the ball in the back of the net, there were no wild or outrageous celebrations.

I have often wondered why Jim’s goal scoring talents were not applied at a higher level of league football…but perhaps if it were not for so many promotion near misses by both Brentford and QPR combined during the 1957/62 era, they may well of been.

God Bless you Jim Towers – R.I.P.

Bernard Lambert (Kerrins)

Jim Towers was born on 15th April, 1933. The son of a bus driver, he was brought up at 92, Rayleigh Road, (which is now Lakeside Road I understand) London W14. He began his football career as a Youth player at Brentford and went on to make his league debut in the 1954-55 Season. He teamed up with George Francis and this deadly partnership became known as the ‘Terrible Twins’. He was transferred with George Francis to QPR for £8,000 in May 1961. This decision by the Brentford Board infuriated the fans and apparently, they tried to buy them back again, but the deal fell through. They had been Brentford’s leading goal scorers for no less than seven seasons.

Jim was sold to Millwall in August 1962 where he scored eight goals in 21 appearances. The following January he was on the move again, this time to Gillingham, where he scored six goals in eight appearances. His final move in league football was in July 1963 to Aldershot and he went on to score 15 goals in 32 appearances before joining Romford in the summer of 1964 and then finally Gravesend. At the end of his football career, he worked at Heathrow Airport for British Airways as a baggage handler for 25 years. Following a short illness, Jim sadly passed away on 16th September.

Rest In Peace Jim and God Bless.

Steve Russell

(The “Terrible Twins” are pictured above)



14 Responses to Edwin James Towers – Professional Footballer – 1954 to 1965 – R.I.P.

  1. ESSEXURS says:

    Great tribute Bernie. As I have said elsewhere it is a mark of the man that I thought he played for us more than one season. As you say ‘a real dust yourself down and get on with it’ footballer of the type rarely seen today.
    He is a sad loss to all of us and in particular to us old campaigners, Bernie.

  2. Kerrins says:

    Colin. I think Jim went slightly out of favour at Loftus Rd when we resigned Mark Lazarus in Feb 1962. Perhaps thats why he was only with QPR for the one Season.

    I have looked through my archives but I just cannot find a pic of Jim with the classic greased short back and sides hairstyle with the centre parting!

    Jim Towers..gone but not forgotten. Remembered Fondly by many in West London.

  3. larrysigny says:

    Thanks for the tribute.

    As a Bees fan, I remember Jim as one of ‘the greats’, and like Kerrins I remember the power of his shooting – my particular (often-told) favourite story is of a game against Bournemouth when Jim had a shot from well outside the penalty area. The keeper got his hand to it, and the power of the shot broke his wrist!

    Would that there were players like him still around to keep us old ‘uns happy.

  4. ESSEXURS says:

    Bernie,I will have a look in my Rs collection for a picture to keep you happy (..or not)!

  5. Finney says:

    R.I.P. Jim and that is some read he sounded one hell of a player.
    Thank you for what you done for our great club.

  6. Bees old un here.
    Great tribute Bernard, yep what a shot that man had!
    Most put out when he joined the Rangers (but we had probably seen his better years)although my dad (a Rangers fan) was delighted.
    My favourite mememory, among dozens, was a midweek fixture at Southampton. Finally the score came up on the old black and white TV in the pub. I thought I had seen 0-0 (not a bad result away to a good Saints team)……but no …..It was 0-6, and Big Jim scored FOUR, with George chipping in with his inevitable contribution.
    After scoring 4 goals he had to walk home to the Bush, after being dropped off at Brentford by the team coach, as the buses had stopped running by that time.
    How times have changed.
    Thanks for the memories Jim and RIP legend.
    Pete

  7. Geoff Buckingham says:

    I am a Brentford supporter, and am really delighted that you have given Big Jim this great tribute.
    I first followed the Bees in the late 1950′s and your description of him was so accurate. I believed he also rocked in a fair few goals against the yourselves, and I was at Loftus Road in October 1959 when he and his ‘terrible twin’ George Francis helped themselves to four goals in a 4-2 victory.For some years his prolific sharpshooting, and other attributes, got very close indeed to gaining promotion for both our clubs. On one ocassion he rattled in four goals in a 6-0 victory away to Southampton. Needless to say, we were very sad when Jim, together with George Francis and rugged wing-half George Bristow joined you just prior to season 1961/62. Jim’s first QPR goal was the season’s opener against…Brentford!
    I got to know Jim quite well in later life and he told me it was not easy for him to celebrate that goal. He also recalled, some seasons later, when playing for Millwall against Shrewsbury Town, the Den crowd politely applauded a Shreswbury goal! ” I thought that a bit strange” said Jim ” then I realised that the scorer was Arthur Rowley, and he had just broken the Football League goalscoring record. So I joined in the applause as well!”
    Jim explained that, in the earlier 1950′s after turning pro, it was tough to even get into the Brentford reserve team, as, back then, they even had International players turning out for them in the Football Combination.The competition certainly did him no harm, and he went on to became a goalscoring legend in West London. After quitting professional football, Jim still played for local Sunday sides, and in testimonial and Charity matches. I was lucky enough to play against him his last performance at Griffin Park, in 1983 when he represented Charity team Happy Wanderers, who also included the likes of ex Bees Peter Gelson, Gordon Phillips and Roger Cross, plus ex Fulham character Trevor ‘Tosh’ Chamberlain. Jim was in his mid 50′s by then, but, believe me, none of us could get the ruddy ball off him!
    A guy we will never forget, and , surely one of the hardest hitters of a ball we have seen from either BFC or QPR ?
    Thank you for helping us remember Jim. This is greatly appreciated…

  8. Rod Scales says:

    Jim was a true sporting hero with no malice he just got on with his job of scoring goals.
    I remember Jim and George from my early days as a Bees fan. They were prolific forwards and friendly to us when we went to watch them training.
    I guess that neither went to higher league teams because of the maximum wage. I have the pleasure to know George Francis and he tells of the time Billy Wright asked why he stayed at Brentford when he could have signed for Wolves. George replied that he was a southern lad and to uproot his family for no higher income just wasn’t worth it!

  9. Kerrins says:

    Smiffy superbee…Thanks for your comment. Yes he certainly had a Cannon ball of a shot. I wonder if he ever got on the 657 trolley bus to travel to any of those Brentford v QPR derby matches1 lol

    Geoff Buckingham….your post revived a lot of memories for me. I recall that 4-2 win by Brentford at Loftus Rd. What a crush in the Loftus Rd boys pen. It was the biggest crowd I had experienced at the time. The terrible twins ran riot that day but R’s got revenge in 61/62 and it was fate that Jim would score against his old club. Yep saw that one too. Thanks for all your comments about ye olde days a very interesting read.

    Rod Scales…I agree with you 100% Jim was a real sporting hero of his era. Thanks for your response.

  10. Neil Kaufman says:

    Hi

    Nice to see Rangers doing so well this season.

    Trying to obtain some stats on former QPR great PETER ANGELL for a book on Leyton Orient players and management.

    Would you have on file the following stats on his Rangers record:

    League Record: apps and goals(I have seen 417 apps and 37 goals and also 408 apps with 37 goals. (I think most of his goals came from penalties)

    FA CUP record apps and goals

    League Cup apps and goals

    Other cup matches: apps and goals

    Best wishes

    Neil Kaufman
    Honorary historian, Leyton Orient FC
    neilkaufman@tiscali.co.za

  11. Kerrins says:

    Hi Neil..I will see what info and personal anecdotes I can dig up.

    I will E Mail you.

  12. I watched Brentford from 1946 to 1958, then I left for USA.During that period the big attraction were Big Jim Jim and Georgie Francis.They were really a crowd attraction, especially Jim.I even followed Jim activity after I landed in Michigan. Sadly he passed away at a relatively young age.
    He is stil renmembered, iI use his name as my secret computer password, as I type it I reall one of his blasts into the net.

  13. Kerrins says:

    Thanks for your comment bvruian childs.

    Yes I remember in the late 1950′s Francis and Towers were a deadly combination for Brentford. Y’know the Bees had great opportunities to get promoted during that era..but just like the R’s in the Early 1960′s they always just missed out.

    Jim certainly had a Thunderbolt shot!It was sad indeed that he passed away a before his time.

    PS I recall in one Derby game at Loftus Rd in 1960 Francis and Towers ran riot against us and Brentford won 4-2.

  14. Kerrins says:

    PPS..R’s v Brentford was in fact the 1959/60 season.


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