JOHN JACKSON – FOOTBALLER
Tony Hill, who runs the Leeds United History website on www.ozwhitelufc.net.au in Australia contacted George McGrattan who runs the www.ArdrossanFootballClubs.net website.
He wanted information on a footballer called John Jackson who played for Leeds between 1913 and 1915. An extract from the enquiry is ‘Many sources have accepted the dates
of birth and death of the player as being for a John Bertram Jackson as 21 June 1893 at Dalry, Ayrshire and 8 August 1971 at Glasgow. There is no doubt that such a person
existed, but, in our opinion, it was not the John Jackson of Clyde and Leeds City fame!’
The name John Jackson was not one with which I was familiar so I did some internet research. I targeted a publication called The Scottish Referee, a football newspaper of the
late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As well as featuring prominent senior clubs, it also reported on the lower ranks. I found the following five references to John Jackson.
John Jackson: Scottish Referee: 16th July 1909
Irvine Meadow XI, on Friday evening secured the signature of John Jackson (Ardeer Thistle). Previous to joining Ardeer at the begining of last season, Jackson was for two years
with Irvine Victoria. The Hibs were angling for Jackson's services. He belongs to the Irvine district. This now completes Meadow's team for next season, and on "paper form" it is one
of the best in the shire.
John Jackson: Scottish Referee: 30th August 1909
CLYDE'S LATEST CAPTURE
Clyde have have brought off a distinct capture in signing on John Jackson of Ardeer Thistle. He has the reputation of being the smartest inside right in Ayrshire, and the Shawfield
directorate, I understand, have forestalled Liverpool in securing his signature. Jackson is only 19 years of age.
The above extracts state that Jackson belonged to the Irvine area and was nineteen years old, implying birth around 1890. He could not have played many games for Irvine Meadow
as he left six weeks after signing.
John Jackson: Scottish Referee: 1st October 1910
This clever inside forward has simply forced his way into the Clyde League team again, and on Saturday he exhibited dodging and placing of the highest order. Last season he was
in the running for honours, and with more experience he should graduate to the select band of Internationalists. Jackson is a gritty inside forward, cute on the ball, and not afraid to give or
take a charge. He was with Ardeer Thistle and Irvine Eleven, and it was from the ranks of the last-named that he signed for Shawfield. He has youth, pluck and cleverness - three attributes
- to commend him
John Jackson: Scottish Referee: 26th December 1913
John Jackson didn't exactly create a sensation for Leeds City last Saturday, but he played a quite serviable game.
Further affirmation of John Jackson’s year and place of birth was found in the book Football League Players’ Records 1888 to 1939. This lists the career records of all players who
appeared in at least one match in the English Football League between the stated years. John was noted to have been born in Irvine in 1890, earned an international cap with the
Scottish League and played for Clyde and Leeds City.
John Jackson Clyde Leeds 1
Extract from the Football League Players Records book.
John Jackson: Scottish Referee: 19th December 1913
Given this useful information, I thought it would be easy to find his birth certificate on the Scotland’s People website.
Unfortunately, this proved to be unsuccessful.
I checked the census returns of 1891 and 1901 but could not find a John Jackson with the target attributes.
I was therefore surprised to find him in the 1911 census when he lived in Irvine with occupation Professional Football Player. The extract is shown below and there are more details
on the next page.
John Jackson 1911 Census Irvine 1 rotated 90
John Jackson 1911 Census Irvine 1
John Jackson 1911 Census Irvine 2
John Jackson 1911 Census Irvine original ----------------------------------------------------------------Extract from the 1911 Census of Irvine
In summary, it appears that the John Jackson who played for Leeds was not John Bertram Jackson born on 21 June 1893 at Dalry. It is disappointing that I cannot find his birth
certificate but that might be due to inadequacy on my part.
Some of this information may have been known to Tony before his enquiry. Regardless, I hope that it is of use and helps in some way to answer his question.
George McGrattan 6 February 2019