Date: 29th September 2014 at 10:02am
Written by:

The Where Are They Now series goes back to the late 1970s and early 1980s to take a look at the career of striker John Sims.

JOHN SIMS – Born 14th August 1952 Belper, Derbyshire.

John began his football career as an apprentice with his local club Derby County. He turned professional when he was eighteen in August 1970.
He made his league debut when he came on as an 86th minute substitute replacing David Nish in a 1-1 draw at home to Newcastle. He only made two other appearances for the club, although one was as a substitute in a European Cup semi-final against Juventus.
While at Derby he was loaned out on three occasions to gain more experience. In November 1973 he went to Luton, in September 1974 to Oxford and in January 1975 to Colchester.
With first team chances hard to come by at Derby in December 1975 he was sold to Notts County for £10,000.

In December 1978 Exeter manager and former Argyle player Bobby Saxton paid £12,000 to take John to St. James Park. He stayed less than a year at Exeter. When Bobby left Exeter to take over as manager at Home Park, it wasn’t long before he bought John for a second time, with his value now had increased to £22,500.

John made his Argyle debut on 31st October 1979 in a 1-1 draw at Oxford with Mike Trusson scoring the goal. He scored his first goal in the next home game, a 2-0 win over Swindon, with Mike Trusson again scoring.
In early December John scored the first goal in a 2-1 win at home to Barnsley with Kevin Hodges also scoring. His next goals came early in the New Year in Argyle’s biggest win of the season, 5-1 at home to Hull, with Jeff Cook and John both scoring twice and Chris Harrison adding the fifth.
His next goal was watched by the biggest home crowd of the season of 10,214 against local rivals Exeter, goals from John and David Kemp sent the majority of the crowd home happy. They both scored again in the next home game, a 4-1 win over Sheffield United, after Mike Trusson had scored the first goal, John and two goals from David Kemp made the game safe.
John scored his seventh goal of the season in the final game, a 1-0 win at Gillingham.

John continued to be a first team regular throughout the 1980-81 season, he scored his first goal in a 2-0 win at Newport with David Kemp scoring the second goal.
Two weeks later he again scored the first goal this time in a 2-1 win at home to Fulham with Brian Bason getting the other goal.
John’s next goal came in the Dockyard derby at Fratton Park with Argyle winning 3-1 thanks to goals from David Kemp (2) and John. After the fine away win at Portsmouth four days later Argyle played Barnsley at Home Park and lost by the same 3-1 score with John scoring a consolation goal, Barnsley did finish the season as runners-up and were promoted.

In the second round of the FA Cup, Oxford came to Home Park and were beaten 3-0 with goals from John, David Kemp and Donal Murphy setting up a third round clash at home to Charlton.
After scoring at Newport in September John also scored in the home game, a 3-2 win with Brian Johnson and Kevin Hodges also on the scoresheet.
In the next game John scored the goal in a 1-0 win at Gillingham. He scored his next goal in a 1-1 draw with local rivals Exeter at St. James Park. In the last game of the season a 2-1 defeat at Rotherham John scored the Argyle goal.

Argyle had a new manager for the 1981-82 season with Bobby Moncur arriving on 1st June to replace Bobby Saxton who left to take over at Blackburn, it certainly had a good effect on John. He scored his first goal on 18th August in a 2-1 League Cup defeat at Newport.
His first league goal came a month later in a 3-2 defeat at Bristol City with Kevin Hodges also scoring. With John scoring in the 5-1 win at home to Chester along with Jeff Cook and Colin Randell who both scored twice, it started a run of six goals in six games.
A week after the Chester rout he got the goal in a 1-0 win at Walsall and the following Tuesday got the third goal in a 3-1 win at home to Fulham after Jeff Cook had scored twice.
After a 0-0 draw at Pompey John scored in a 1-0 win at Newport to secure the points and then scored twice in a 4-2 win at home to Doncaster with Kevin Hodges and Jeff Cook also on the scoresheet.

It took three months for John to score another goal and then he scored in five successive games. He got the first goal in a 2-2 draw at Chesterfield with Jeff Cook also scoring. A week later John got both goals in a 3-2 defeat at Gillingham.
In the next game runners-up Carlisle came to Home Park and were beaten 1-0 with John scoring the goal. Two successive away games followed with Argyle winning them both, in the first, goals from John Uzzell, Kevin Hodges and John were enough to beat Chester 3-0 and the following Tuesday beat Fulham 3-1 with John, Leigh Cooper and Jeff Cook all scoring.
John kept up his record of scoring against Exeter when he got the decisive second goal in a 2-1 after Gordon Nisbet had scored the first.
The same two players teamed up again when they both scored against Wimbledon at Home Park in a 2-0 win.
In the next game, also at home John got the goal in a 1-1 draw with Huddersfield.
In a 2-2 draw at Doncaster the two leading goalscorers both added to their tally, John got the first and Jeff Cook scored his sixteenth and last goal of the season. John scored one more goal in the last away game a 3-2 win at Bristol Rovers he scored the second goal in between those scored by John Uzzell and Andy Rogers.
It was John’s nineteenth goal of the season in which he was an ever present playing in 46 league and nine cup games and was enough to see him finish as leading goalscorer.
As recognition for his effort over the season he was also awarded the Player of the Year trophy.

1982-83 soon saw John scoring goals, in the first round of the League Cup he scored twice in a 2-0 win at home to Bournemouth, unfortunately they lost the return leg 3-0 after extra time.
He scored his first in the league in mid-September in a 3-1 defeat at Sheffield United. He then scored the second goal in a 2-0 win at home to Bournemouth with Kevin Hodges scoring the first.
The next home game also finished 2-0 with goals from Jeff Cook and John ensuring Brentford went home pointless. John’s home scoring sequence continued in the next game, 2-1 against Oxford Mike McCartney and John getting the goals.

John just couldn’t stop scoring against Exeter and he got the second goal after Kevin Hodges had got the first in a 2-0 win in the first round of the FA Cup.
The next game a 2-1 win at home to Huddersfield was the first game John had missed after appearing in 117 consecutive games, he was replaced by Mike Carter who was making one of only six starts in his time at Home Park.
John returned for the next game and scored, in a 2-2 draw at Bristol Rovers in the second round of the FA Cup after Andy Rogers had got the first goal.
The following Saturday he returned to league action with both John and Andy Rogers scoring again in a 2-0 win at home to Gillingham.
In the last game of 1982 John scored twice in a 3-2 win at home to runners-up Cardiff with Mike Carter scoring his only Argyle goal.
It took John two months to score his next goal when he scored the third in a 3-1 win at home to Millwall with Dave Phillips scoring the other two.

On 1st April Exeter came to Home Park and ended up as the fools with John once again scoring against then in a 1-0 win.
In the last away game of the season John scored his fourteenth goal of the season in a 3-2 win at Wrexham with Andy Rogers getting the second and third goals.
John played his last game in a 1-0 defeat at home to Portsmouth, it was a game more remembered by the actions of the Pompey fans than the football played.
After making 185 appearances and scoring 49 goals he was released but stayed in the Westcountry when he signed for Torquay.

When he joined Torquay he became part of a select group of players who had represented all three Devon teams.
He didn’t stay long at Plainmoor as he signed for Exeter after only six months in February 1984 as new Torquay manager David Webb had to reduce his wage bill.
Strangely enough in November after eight months with Exeter he rejoined Torquay as a player coach under David Webb.
At the end of the season Webb departed to be replaced by John. He lasted only 33 days before he in turn was replaced.

He left Torquay and joined Saltash United. After Saltash he played for Waldon Athletic, staying with them until he retired from football.
After football John later ran a pub in Torquay.