A FORMER footballing hero who once put four goals past Everton during one game has died, aged 81, at his home in York.

James Jackson, known as Jimmy to an army of adoring Notts County fans in the 1950s, died on March 2 following a long struggle with heart problems.

His wife Judy, 71, will be among the friends and family at York Crematorium today for his funeral.

Mrs Jackson said that despite a varied and successful sporting life, her husband preferred a quiet life at the Haxby home which they shared.

She said: “His talent was noted while he was at school and he went straight into football when he left the RAF, after National Service.

“When I met him he never really told me about the football, but when I first went to Nottingham with him, where he lived, we stopped at a petrol station and people were coming out and saying “that’s Jimmy Jackson” and I ended up saying to him “who are you?”

“Back then he got £25 a game and he had to get a bus to get to the stadium.

“He was the first person on his street to get a car and his grandmother used to sit up all night looking out of the window because she was scared somebody was going to steal it.”

Mr Jackson scored 50 goals during two stints at Meadow Lane in the 1950s, broken by a period spent in Canada, where he had a successful but brief career as an ice hockey player. While playing for Notts County he came up against some of the greats, including the Charlton brothers, Bobby and Jackie, and Brian Clough.

His talent also saw him score four times against Everton, during a memorable 6-1 victory. After retiring from football, he moved to York in the early 1970s and took up a management role with the Mecca Group, spending part of his new career at their bingo hall in Fishergate.

It was during this time he met and married Judy, going on to have a son, James.

Mrs Jackson said: “He was a very quiet man. He liked to be at home. I think he had done so much he just liked to be at home.”