THE daughter of a former professional footballer has paid tribute to her dad who went from working down the pit to turning out for Manchester City.

Jimmy Pennington, who died on October 31, aged 84, began his playing career with Manchester City, for whom he made one league appearance.

Joining Crewe in 1960, Jimmy turned out 34 times in three seasons for the Railwaymen, scoring twice before a move to Blundell Park with Grimsby Town  followed where he caught the eye with eight goals during 89 outings between 1963 and 1965.

Leigh Journal: Jimmy Pennington in action Jimmy Pennington in action (Image: Lesley Pennington)

Jimmy had spells with Oldham and Rochdale before the Golborne-born player finished his playing career with Northwich Victoria.

Lesley Pennington, 44, said her dad was initially spotted playing locally by City goalkeeping legend Bert Trautmann who recommended the club sign the young winger who was working at Golborne Colliery.

Jimmy, who played on the wing, made his debut for City in April 1959 against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Manchester Senior Cup final, where he played against the late Sir Bobby Charlton, before making his league debut for City on Saturday, April 18 at Ewood Park against Blackburn Rovers.

"Lots of club were trying to buy from City but they kept saying no," said Lesley. "In the end Crewe came in for him but he had quite a lot of injuries there and it never quite took off for him. 

"Grimsby signed him and he ended up having a really good career. He really enjoyed playing there by the sea, He had no injuries there and was in the best form of his career.

"He was only five foot five so all the articles call him 'little' Jimmy Pennington."

Leigh Journal: Jimmy Pennington Jimmy Pennington (Image: Lesley Pennington)

On one infamous occasion in a game at Luton Town, Jimmy jumped into the crowd to apprehend a supporter who had thrown a coin at his team mate Ron Cockerill. 

But off the pitch Lesley remembers her dad as a modest man who didn't boast about his achievements. 

"He had quite a following at Grimsby but he used to go in through the side door to avoid all the fans," she said. "He was very humble and quiet.

"He would talk about his career and the players he played against and the grounds he played at - he was friends with old teammates like Alan Ball and Graham Taylor for instance."

Following his retirement, Jimmy worked for Iveco as a warehouse manager and cared for his beloved pigeons.

He is survived by his wife Barbara, two children and two grandchildren.