Jim Baxter

An intimate portrayal of the personal and professional life of the renowned Scottish football legend Jim Baxter.

Broadcast on BBC ALBA in 2015. Winner of the Royal Television Society Scotland award for best sport film.

From Crossgates Primrose to Raith Rovers, Rangers, Sunderland, Nottingham Forest and Rangers again, Scottish international Jim led a lifestyle of riches and fame, forging close friendships with international superstars of the game such as Alfredo di Stéfano, Pele and Ference Puskás. Despite his phenomenal talent Jim’s football career was all but over by the time he was 30. His lifestyle had taken its toll on his fitness and ability.

This factual entertainment documentary is a personal look at the life of the popular Scottish character. Going beyond the magic on the pitch to understand the man behind the frequent newspaper headlines, this documentary uncovers a new portrayal of the man regarded as one of Scotland’s greatest ever football players, and indeed liveliest characters whose appeal transcended club divides.

The film features Jim’s own captivating and humorous testimony, match archive and drama, and interviews with the Scottish footballing figures that knew him best including Willie Henderson, Davie Wilson and Ian McMillan, as well Crossgates Primrose teammate Drew Telfer, Jim Thorburn and Denis Mochan from Raith Rovers, and Neil Martin from Sunderland. We also hear from best-selling author and Raith Rovers Director Val McDermid, whose father Jim was the Raith Rovers scout who catapulted him on the road to fame.

The narrative charts Jim’s story from his adoption as a baby, exploring his National Service career, his domestic and international football career, and then his battle for survival following liver transplant surgery not just once, but twice, before he finally, and tragically, succumbed to cancer at a young age.

The film features testimony from Jim’s doctor and his partner Norma.


Writer / Producer / Director: Margot McCuaig

Filmed: Neil MacConnell

Editor: Steven Meechan

Presenter: Alex O’Henley