Jimmy Kirkwood

Jimmy Kirkwood is a former field hockey player from Northern Ireland who represented both Ireland and Great Britain at the international level. He represented Great Britain at the 1988 Summer Olympics when they won the gold medal. He also represented Ireland at the 1990 Men's Hockey World Cup. Kirkwood was also an Ireland cricket international.

Related Biography: Adrian Dunbar


James William "Jimmy" Kirkwood was born on February 12, 1962, in Lisburn, United Kingdom. Jimmy Kirkwood was a fantastic all-around athlete. Tall and fair-haired, he is best known as a hockey player: a multi-cap right midfielder and Olympic Gold Medalist who was also versatile enough to win caps in the indoor game. He was, however, a fantastic cricket player. His rise from school, club, and age group rank to a total Irish cap in 1983 seemed - and was - unavoidable. However, once on the national team, he only showed flashes of the true talent that had propelled him there, but there's little doubt that if hockey hadn't taken such a toll on his time, he would have earned many more than his three caps, demonstrating to all why he reached them. Despite having received excellent coaching at school, he readily admitted that he owed a great deal to his club, particularly the professional John Solanky, formerly East Africa and Glamorgan, and Dermot Monteith. Jimmy was described as "possibly Lisburn's best player" by Dermot in his memoirs. He also mentioned that his multi-talented sporting skills included playing out-half for Friends' in the Ulster School Cup!

Early Career

Jimmy earned three Irish Schools caps due to his educational achievements, three of which were against Wales. On his Park Avenue debut in 1978, he was bowled out for 11 in the first innings by a Welsh assault that included future England fast bowler Greg Thomas and later Glamorgan stalwart Steve Barwick. As Ireland sought runs for a declaration in the second innings, Jimmy hit a fast 25 before running out, evading Barwick's grasp (4-53). Jimmy and Ivan McMichael put on a quick 75 for the fifth wicket, but Ireland couldn't get Wales out. In 1979, Jimmy was praised for his fielding but did little with the bat, while the weather ruined the 1980 match. It was abandoned with Ireland on 48-1 after being reduced from a two-day game to a 40-over game. Jimmy had opened and was 24*. He also played against England at Bristol, where the hosts' poor batting resulted in a draw in the first match. Jimmy, who started the game, had a total of 29 runs in his only inning.

He was also a standout at the U19 interprovincial level. His batting became increasingly dominant during his three years with the Ulster Country XI, culminating in a brilliant performance in the 1981 competition. He set up a comprehensive victory by winning the toss against Ulster Town at Portadown and smashing a scorching 161 out of 226-4. The visitors were then defeated for 126 by Paul McCrum. He was also commended for his contributions to the 1979 and 1981 U-19 international competitions. Jimmy was one of the competition's triumphs the previous year, playing in Canada under the captaincy of Brian Gilmore, with his wicket-keeping being superb. This was never more evident than in Ireland's tight loss to Bermuda in the final. He was struck on the inside knee early in the innings and had to retire, but he returned to keep the wicket and did a great job despite being in many agonies. He captained the team in the Netherlands in 1981. Ireland won four of their six games, and his leadership was lauded.

Career and Net Worth

In his cricket career, Jimmy Kirkwood was a right-hand batsman. His last games were in 1986, playing for the Ulster country team in the Senior Inter-Provincial Tournament. He competed in the Guinness Cup during 1982, 1983, and 1984 events. At the 1990 World Cup, in a match between Canada versus Ireland, Jimmy Kirkwood was involved in an accident when a follow-through severely hit him from a player named Nick Sandhu, which wounded him badly. The Canadian player, Sandhu, was controlling the ball at the time of the event. His cheekbone had severe fractures because of the injury. The wound needed fifteen stitches because the damage was too serious.

After being omitted from the Great Britain squad for the 1992 Olympics, Jimmy Kirkwood opted to play for Ireland, but they failed to qualify for Barcelona. In Men's Hockey, he played three games during the 1998 Summer Olympics, and he got through the Group B and Final standings. The result for his team a gold medal for the first rank. He also played for YMCA and Lisnagarvey. At the 1998 Seoul Games, Jimmy Kirkwood did not play in a complete match but came on as a replacement against South Korea and India; as a forward with the Lisnagarvey Club, he was capped 48 times by Ireland and played 31 times for Great Britain. After leaving the sports scene, Kirkwood became a wealthy businessman.

Quick Facts
Profession: Actor, Director, Writer
Date of Birth: 12-02-1962
Birth Sign: Aquarius
Birth Place: Northern Ireland
Marital Status: Divorced
Ex. Wife: Carol Kirkwood
Net Worth 2021: 5 million
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Last Modified: Feb 19 2023
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