Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
Leeds United/City Captains
Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games
Leeds United/City Reserves and Other Teams


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 ĎMany 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!í

The name John Jackson was not one with which I was familiar so I did some internet research and found some information on him. I found an extract from the 1911 census, shown below, that showed he was a twenty-two year old professional football player, born in Irvine around 1889.

This information should have made it easy to find Johnís birth certificate on Scotlandís People, the repository of all Scottish births, marriages and deaths since 1855. Unfortunately, an online search proved fruitless. In mid-April 2019, I visited Scotlandís People in Edinburgh and again was unable to find Johnís birth record although he and his parents and siblings were listed in the 1891, 1901 and 1911 censuses. I was, however, able to find his marriage certificate.

It shows that John Jackson and Mary McCrimmond on 2 October 1917 were married in Saint Maryís Church, Saltcoats by Father John Power. Both were dynamite factory workers with Nobelís Explosives Company in nearby Stevenston. It appears that John had retired from full-time football.

Saint Maryís Church, Saltcoats and John Power

I also found his parentsí marriage certificate.

John Jackson 1885 marriage 1 original

John Jackson 1885 marriage 1

It shows that John Jackson, a coal miner, married Roseann Madden, a mill worker, on 30 October 1885 in Saint Maryís Church, Irvine.

Most football documents that refer to John Jacksonís age suggest he was born around 1890 and his marriage certificate and the 1911 census extracts confirm this. The 1891 and 1901 censuses, however, suggest that he was born around 1885 so I searched for a child born to Roseann Madden and was delighted to find the certificate below.

John Jackson Madden birth 1885 1 original

John Jackson Madden birth 1885 1

It shows that John Jackson Madden was born on 5 September 1885, eight weeks before his parentsí marriage. It appears that while his father was not named on the certificate, Roseann identified him by giving her son the forenames John Jackson Ė which has proved very helpful for my research!

Incidentally, John was born at a street called Glasgow Vennel in Irvine, where a hundred years previously, the world-famous Scottish poet, Robert Burns, worked in a flax mill.

Glasgow Vennel, Irvine and Robert Burns

It is interesting to note that in his adult life, John was four or five years older than was claimed. Whether John was aware of his birth circumstances is not known. He gave his age as 28 when he married in 1917 suggesting that he was born in 1889 while he was actually born in 1885.

John Jackson 1917 marriage 1 original and John Jackson 1917 marriage 1

Hopefully, this research solves the mystery of John Jacksonís birth and is of some value.

George McGrattan

18 April 2019