Photo: Irish Football Association

In 1960, Jim Malone the chairmen of Dundalk FC (Ireland) told the board that he has scouted an extremely talented player.

He is tall, he is exciting and he is a centre forward. Just one minor detail, he has an arm less.

Jim kept on pitching for the man he had scouted, trying his utmost best to convince the board. Now it is difficult to say no to your chairmen but the board stood firm on their decision. They denied Jim Malone to bring the one-armed footballer at the club.

Little did they know, that Jim had already signed the player. The board was not pleased, but nonetheless Jimmy Hastings was now a Dundalk FC player! In 1960, Jim Malone the chairman of Dundalk FC (Ireland) told the board that he has scouted an extremely talented player.

He is tall, he is exciting and he is a center forward. Just one minor detail, he has an arm less.

Jim kept on pitching for the man he had scouted, trying his utmost best to convince the board. Now it is difficult to say no to your chairmen but the board stood firm on their decision. They denied Jim Malone to bring the one-armed footballer to the club.

Little did they know, that Jim had already signed the player. The board was not pleased, but nonetheless, Jimmy Hastings was now a Dundalk FC player!

There is a new striker in town!

on 20 November 1960, he made his debut in a home match at Oriel Park against Cork Celtic.

Now the excitement and curiosity before the match were enormous, the fans wanted to see how the one-armed player is going to play. It would be an understatement to say the stadium was jam-packed.

And so, the referee blew his whistle. Everyone’s eyes are on one man only. The one-armed wonder Jimmy Hastings.

He scored once and overall played a brilliant game. The crowd was astonished at what they witnessed.

An official record from the club states:

“His ability to ghost past defenders was greeted with disbelief. Nor was he just a scorer – he was the general of every attack, holding the ball until executing perfect passes to his colleagues.”

So, the career of one of the most overlooked and underrated footballers started in Ireland. He was a wonder that defied biology and apart from that, he was an outstanding football player.

The incident

Hasty was born in 1936 in sailor town, a multicultural dockland in north Belfast. He got his first mill job when he was 14 years old.

On the very first day of his work his left hand got stuck in machinery and it had to be amputated. This loss means he couldn’t work at the factory anymore so he diverted his attention to football again.

He played first in the junior leagues and then for Newry Town in Northern Ireland’s B division. Where Jim Malone signed him on the spot.

Hasty and Dundalk

Hasty scored goal after goal when in his first season, Dundalk moved up in the table. Many people would rush in to see this one-armed wonder that was Hastings. He signed autographs, socialized with his teammates and he was a tall handsome man.

Jim scored 103 goals in 6 seasons for Dundalk. He was often sidelined due to injuries.

Dundalk won their first league title after 30 years in 1963! Hasty grabbed other honors, such as sharing the League of Ireland top scorer of the year award, before retiring in the late 1960s.

Death in Belfast

In Belfast, the Troubles were erupting around him, but he forged a new life for himself: he married his childhood sweetheart, Margaret, had two kids, Paul and Martin, and obtained a job at a bookmaker.

On the morning of 11th October, 1974 Hastings was gunned down by two people.

It was a killing made to materialize a political stance. Jim Hastings died because of politics aged 38.

“It was to spread fear to the Catholic community by shooting a well-known character,” says Paul Hasty, who was two years old when he lost his father. “It was a message that everyone’s a target. I think they knew what they were doing.”

This was the incredible life of jimmy Hasting. the one-armed legend that got lost in the test of time.