Jack was regarded as one of the finest footballers of the late Victorian era, playing for Spurs for 14 years and was skipper for 12. Described at the time as a player who would be admired by those who like brains over brawn.
Jack would become the first Hotspur to win a representative honour, and appeared in all the major games in our early history.
He is also credited with scoring the first known hat trick and later became the Club's President.
Jack had gone to the same local school as many of the founders and despite being a little older, a friend and is regarded as one of the founding figures. His parents were the landlords of the George and Vulture public house in the High Road and they then sent him away to boarding school. Thus he missed some of the side’s earliest adventures.
Julian Holland in his history says ‘Jull played when at home and was a great accession to the team and needless to say a great favourite.’ His first known appearance was in a friendly V Brownlow Rovers in October 1883, the first Spurs game to be reported in the Tottenham Weekly Herald which claims he ‘did good service for Hotspur.’
Jack appeared in all the major landmark games for the young Spurs. Our first ever cup game V St Albans in the London Senior Cup, October 1885 and the first game at Northumberland Park three years later. Then in 1892/3 it was our first venture in league competition with the Southern Alliance. The following season and our first game in the Amateur Cup and again the following year in 1894 the first FA Cup tie.
The commonly held date for him becoming the first Spurs player to win representative honours is February 1891 when he played for Middlesex away to Surrey. Although it appears he may have also played (or was at least chosen) for London Reserves prior to this in October 1888, see below. If he played and if so does London reserves count ? Either way he certainly was the first to win honours. He would later also represent both Tottenham District and London.
As a player he was described as ‘one of the finest and most fearless captains’ a versatile player who usually played at right back, he turned out in a number of positions. February 1884 saw him score the first ‘recorded’ hat trick for Hotspur as we beat Albion 3-0 and in 1889 he had became the first man to score five for Spurs as we beat Iona 10-0. In total it’s known he appeared in 159 games scoring 24 times, the actual figures will be much higher, his last goal coming in a cup tie with Chesham (1894).
He continued to turn out for Spurs until the end of the 1896-7 season and off the field he served on the committee and was part of the driving force that ensured Tottenham’s survival and growth during that period. He is named as one of the leading supporters for the clubs move from The Marshes to Northumberland Park. He was made Club President in 1895 two years before he stopped playing. He also enjoyed his ‘retirement’ by becoming a referee.
Jack had a brother, Thomas, who also played for Spurs, mostly as a reserve from 1893 and made a first team debut two years later while their father (Jack Snr.) appears in various references and is described as a ‘rare friend and staunch supporter’ of the club. Jack passed away in 1920 at just 53 years and received ‘a glowing’ obituary in the Weekly Herald.
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