Bambrick, James (Joe) (1905–83), association footballer, was born 3 November 1905 at 20 Buckingham St., Belfast, son of Henry Bambrick, trunk-maker, and Elizabeth Bambrick (née Henning). After several years with local sides Rockville, Ulster Rangers, and Bridgemount, he joined (1926) Glentoran, an Irish League club. The following year he signed for Linfield where he enjoyed great success, scoring a record 94 goals (50 in the League) in the 1929–30 season, including all four in the club's 4–3 IFA cup-final win. Although slightly built for a centre forward, he was strong and well balanced, with superb positional sense and an ability to score improvised goals that inspired the popular saying ‘Head, heel, or toe, slip it to Joe’. On 1 February 1930 he performed his most noteworthy feat by getting six goals for Northern Ireland against Wales at Celtic Park, Belfast – a British international record that still stands.
Signed by Chelsea (December 1934), he scored 33 times in 59 first-division appearances for the club before his transfer to Walsall (1937). He returned to Linfield just after the outbreak of the second world war and continued to play with the club till 1946. After retiring as a player he was employed by Linfield as a coach and later as a scout. During 1929–38 he won 11 caps for Northern Ireland and scored 12 international goals, a record that stood till 1992. His nine goals in representative games for the Irish League remain unsurpassed. It is estimated that he may have scored as many as 900 first-class goals throughout his career. A popular figure among supporters of all Belfast clubs, he lived most of his life in the Roden St. area, Donegall Rd. He died 13 October 1983 in Belfast; he never married.