James Thomas "Jim" Ward
(born 28 March 1865) was a part-time footballer
who was part of the Blackburn Olympic
team which won the FA Cup
in 1883, playing at left back
Born in Blackburn
, he was a cotton
machine operator by trade. He was part of a team of tradesmen and weavers who achieved a small level of success in the 1880s, backed by local iron foundry
owner Sid Yates and coached by former England
player Jack Hunter
. Their greatest success came when they overcame the dominance of local rivals, Blackburn Rovers
, and the amateur teams of southern England
to win the FA Cup
. In the final (against Old Etonians
played on 31 March 1883 at the Kennington Oval
) Ward, together with fellow full-back captain Albert Warburton and goalkeeper Thomas Hacking, were able to keep the Old Etonians forwards at bay thus allowing the fitter Olympics side to come from behind to claim the cup with a 2–1 victory after extra time. At the time of the final Ward was just 18 years old.
Ward continued to play for Olympic in the years after the Cup Final victory. He was selected for the England team
for the match played at Leamington Road
, Blackburn against Wales
on 14 March 1885, replacing Arthur Walters
at left back. The match resulted in a 1–1 draw.
He subsequently became a licensee in Blackburn, and he is believed to have died before 1900.