Eddie Gray has paid tribute to Leeds United striker Jim Storrie, who has died at the age of 74 following a short illness.
The centre-forward, a member of the United side who took the field against Liverpool in the 1965 FA Cup final at Wembley, has been described by Gray as a ‘great goalscorer’ and ‘real character’, with the Scot scoring 67 goals in 156 games for United.
On the news of the passing of Storrie, two-times top-scorer for Leeds after joining for £15,650 from Airdrieonians in June 1962, Gray said: “It is very sad to hear. “Jim was a great goalscorer for Leeds in the old second division and scored a lot of goals to get us promoted and played in the ‘65 FA Cup final as well.
“Jim definitely played his part in the rise of Leeds and scored some vital goals. The likes of him and Ian Lawson, Alan Peacock and Albert Johanneson all made contributions and there was obviously Bobby (Collins) as well.
“He was a good lad, and a real character. On the pitch, he was a hard worker and a good pro.
“He wasn’t that big, but he was good in the air. A few Scottish players have been like that in the past such as Denis Law and Jimmy Millar, who was also never big, but great in the air and could leap. Jim was one of those and put himself about.”
In his debut season of 1962-63, Storrie was Leeds’ leading marksman, netting an impressive 25 goals in 38 Division Two games, with his haul including a hat-trick in the 3-0 triumph over Cardiff at Elland Road on April 27, 1963.
Leeds went onto lift the second division title the following campaign and in the club’s first season back in the top-flight in 1964-65, Storrie led the goalscoring charts for a second time after netting 16 goals in 37 appearances.
That season ended in a Wembley appearance and United narrowly missing out on the first division championship on goal difference, with the cup final a fateful one for Storrie, who was injured in the showpiece and failed to hit the heights again with Leeds.
Storrie netted 67 goals in 156 games in all competitions for Leeds before being returning to his native Scotland to Aberdeen, who signed him for £13,500 in February 1967.
He later played for Rotherham United, Portsmouth, St Mirren and Havant and Waterlooville, with managing St Johnstone and coaching at Airdrie during the seventies before he retired from football.
Gray also has fond memories of Storrie as a character with the wily Scot once handing him a lesson he did not forget and one he has recounted over the years during a cross-country run during their days at team-mates at Leeds in the early sixties under Don Revie.
Gray said: “Jim once caught me once with an old Scottish trick.
“We were doing a cross-country run and I was leading and it was twenty points for the winner and if you were running together, you would get twenty points each.
“But five yards from the line, Jim sprinted away from me!”