Walter Jack Clyde FC manager 1905 to 1909

Scottish Football Answers to Questions
Post Reply
bluedragon
Posts: 890
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:42 pm
Contact:

Walter Jack Clyde FC manager 1905 to 1909

Post by bluedragon » Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:26 am

With a West Bromwich Albion historian I am trying to establish the date of birth and death of Walter Jack who played for Albion in 1904. The dates are widely given as born on 17 November 1874 and died in May 1936.

I have already got help from “Scottish” and “Bristol Rovers” from the forum but this is now a wider appeal for help and especially to “Shawfield boy”.

Walter Jack is on John Litster’s pre-War disk playing for Grangemouth, Leith Athletic, Bristol Rovers and West Bromwich Albion. David has a biography of him as Clyde manager between 1905 and 1909 in “Gaffers”.

On the assumption that he was born in Scotland it has been impossible to find him with the widely published dates on the ScotlandsPeople website. John Litster’s disk has the name as “Walter Robert Jack” but again I can find no one of that name. However, all the information I have seen points to him coming from the Grangemouth area. However, even widening the search on ScotlandsPeople does not throw up any other possibilities.

I then tried another tack. John’s disk has an Archibald Jack from Grangemouth and from the same era. A check of the census records shows that Archibald had an older brother, Walter, born 11th January 1880 and died on 3rd December 1921. Is this my chap?

Well the dates would fit with his playing career but manager of Clyde at 25 years of age? That sounds very, very unlikely.

Both Archibald and Walter later worked in the docks at Grangemouth and Walter met an early death when he drowned in the sea lock at Grangemouth. I am checking the reports of the fatality but so far they do not refer to him as a former footballer. Again suggesting I may be on the wrong tack.

So at present unless Walter Jack was not born in Scotland this is my only lead. If anyone has any information that might unlock this I would be very grateful indeed.

leicester
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:22 pm
Contact:

Re: Walter Jack Clyde FC manager 1905 to 1909

Post by leicester » Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:23 pm

Just to muddy the waters slightly further on this, a para from the Western Daily Press of Tues 17th November 1903:

"The directors of the Bristol Rovers club have secured a new player in Walter Jack, who comes from Boness. His usual position is outside-right."
[And, indeed, there was a winger called Jack playing for Bo'ness earlier in that 1903/4 season].

While, from the Edinburgh Evening News of Fri 26th September 1902:
"The [Leith] Athletic have signed on W Jack, Grangemouth, who has been sought after by several First and Second Division teams, and is considered a capture. He will play outside-right tomorrow."

ScottishFA
Posts: 1123
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 2:21 pm
Location: Dunblane
Contact:

Re: Walter Jack Clyde FC manager 1905 to 1909

Post by ScottishFA » Sun Aug 24, 2014 3:41 pm

One way to identify him is by his home address. He played a couple of Scottish Cup ties for Leith in 1902/03 so would have been registered with the SFA. It is worth emailing the Scottish Football Museum (Info@scottishfootballmuseum.org.uk) and asking them to look up the cup register for that season and with a bit of luck his address will be given (sometimes clubs just say something like 'Grangemouth', though).

Once you have the address, you can cross-check against the 1901 census.

By the way, Walter Jack is listed as playing for Grange Rovers 1899-1901.

bluedragon
Posts: 890
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Walter Jack Clyde FC manager 1905 to 1909

Post by bluedragon » Sun Aug 24, 2014 4:17 pm

Thanks to you both for your quick responses with additional information and very helpful suggestion for further investigation. It is very much appreciated.

Scottish
Site Admin
Posts: 7665
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 4:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Walter Jack Clyde FC manager 1905 to 1909

Post by Scottish » Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:22 pm

My replies to blue dragon. He already has these but they may assist others when looking for info.

The Walter Jack who played for Leith Athletic, Bristol Rovers and West Bromwich Albion was definitely born in Grangemouth in either 1874 or 1875 (Litster and a West Brom history give the latter. It's impossible for me to keep detailed notes on every entry in the book as that would be another book by itself but as I've given the earlier year I must have seen that somewhere. Again, I don't put a definite year of death unless I've specifically seen it somewhere and preferably an obituary or news item. I think despite the Grangemouth connection yours might be a different one. Have you got a middle name? My one is Robert

My "GAFFERS" entry is:
JACK, Walter 1874-1936

Clyde Jul 1905-May 1909

Honours: Division Two Runner-Up 1905-06


Clyde gained entry to the top flight in 1906 after finishing runners-up in Division Two but gained their place by election, defeating Albion Rovers in a run-off for the second spot made available due to top flight expansion. Jack was only 30 when he became Clyde Manager and under him the Bully wee had a roller-coaster experience in the top division. After a middling start they dropped to second last, though topping the poll when it came to re-election. They improved to third in his last season.

After that the trail goes cold. I can't find him on the LMA website but that's not to say he didn't go and manage in England. The much better known David Jack doesn't appear either.

bluedragon
Posts: 890
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Walter Jack Clyde FC manager 1905 to 1909

Post by bluedragon » Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:53 pm

Once again thanks for all the help so far.

The Museum at Hampden was very helpful and gave me the following details from his SFA registration in 1902:

Walter Robert Jack
Born 1874 in Grangemouth
25 Marshall Street
Grangemouth

It is infuriating close!

1) The only possible Walter Jack that I have found on ScotlandsPeople was plain “Walter Jack” but his father’s forename was “Robert” so that might explain the new middle name?

2) In the 1901 Census – a year before the SFA registration – my Walter Jack is living at 53 Marshall Street, Grangemouth! Did he move up the road a year later?

I am fairly confident that there is only one Walter Jack in Grangemouth at that time. However, there is such a wide difference between the dates of birth and death I have found and those quoted in other sources – date of birth 1875 v 1880 and date of death 1936 v 1921.That is the stumbling block at the moment!

Anyway onwards and upwards!

Snuff
Posts: 543
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 8:55 am
Location: New Cumnock, Ayrshire
Contact:

Re: Walter Jack Clyde FC manager 1905 to 1909

Post by Snuff » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:41 am

bluedragon: - I am currently working on my own family's history.

With a view towards your dates of birth - 1875 or 1880: I have come across in my own family researches, several instances of child mortality, whereby a child would die below the age of five, with the mother already pregnant with another child, who, when born, is given the same name as the four-to-five-year-old who has just died.

This could explain the difference.
Snuff

bluedragon
Posts: 890
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Walter Jack Clyde FC manager 1905 to 1909

Post by bluedragon » Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:19 pm

Thanks For the advice Snuff. That could explain the differences.

In my haste and with all these dates flying around I made a mistake in my earlier post. The SFA record says:

Walter Robert Jack
Born in 1875 in Grangemouth
25 Marshall Street
Grangemouth

I am now trying to find a way to search the census records by address rather than name to see who was living at 53 'Marshall Street. Never mind it's keeping me off the streets!

Scottish
Site Admin
Posts: 7665
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 4:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Walter Jack Clyde FC manager 1905 to 1909

Post by Scottish » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:38 am

Just to concur with Snuff. I've found the same thing about infant mortality occurring several times, particularly in that era. Less so in the 20th century.

wurdsmiff
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:13 pm
Contact:

Re: Walter Jack Clyde FC manager 1905 to 1909

Post by wurdsmiff » Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:52 pm

Hi guys, Shawfield Boy asked me to do a bit of work on this, but I'm afraid its not entirely conclusive.
There is an assumption that our man was born in Scotland, and it seems a fair one. The SFA official address points to only one person who appears in the official records, but in none of these is he recorded as a footballer, or a manager.
Firstly, there were two alternative Walter Jacks who were born in 1870 and 1877 who disappear from the records after their births. Neither of these guys can be excluded from the search, but wherever they lived and died, it must have been outwith Scotland. There was a seaman called Walter Jack who lived in a boarding house in Portugal St Glasgow in 1905, he is a less likely candidate.
Only Walter Gibb Jack was born in Scotland (Cambusnethan) in 1874, he died in the same year and can be excluded.
There were no Walter Jacks who died in Scotland between 1900 and 1975 who fit the age range required, excepting our young potential manager from Grangemouth.
Walter Jack, (no middle name) was born on the 11th Jan 1880 in Lecropt, Perthshire, this is close to Bridge of Allan, and not far from the north bank of the Forth. His Parents were Robert a farm labourer, and his wife Helen Dick. He was the second of a family which eventually extended to at least 9 children. His brother Archibald was the 4th.
In the 1881 census, the family were in the Kincardine area, where Robert was recorded as a Ploughman.
In 1891, they had moved to 12 Zetland St, Grangemouth, where Robert had gained employment as a dock labourer. There are variations throughout the census returns on the places of birth of the children,this is common, and in part may be an effort to keep them together if the family became destitute. They would have been returned to the parish of their birth and put in the local poorhouse. No 13 was occupied by a family named Dick, ???a relative of Helen.
By 1901,The family were at 53 Marshall St Grangemouth. Walter was 21, and his place of birth is confirmed as Lecropt. He was working as a 'Moulder', as was his elder brother Andrew. Robert remained a dock labourer. The birthplaces recorded on the census for the children show that Robert and Helen moved about the Firth of Forth area a fair bit. Farm labouring meant you had to go where the work was.
In 1902, his mother died of heart disease, the address was 55 Marshall St.
in 1905, the valuation rolls show that Robert owned two properties in Marshall St Grangemouth. No 53 he rented out to a labourer named Archibald Cowan, whilst he owned and lived in No55, where Walter also paid him rent. Curiously no 57 was owned and occupied by a someone named Gardner Jack, but I haven't found a connection. Its possible that the SFA record has been misinterpreted, or mistyped. This is as close as we get to confirmation that we have the correct Walter.
By 1911, Walter is living in a boarding house on Grange St, Grangemouth, and is working as a dock labourer, Robert was by this time the foreman.
He died in the aforementioned drowning accident at Grangemouth Docks, unmarried, aged 41, on the 3rd December 1921. His address was 20 Middle St, while Robert reported the death and lived at 79 Dundas St.

wurdsmiff
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:13 pm
Contact:

Re: Walter Jack Clyde FC manager 1905 to 1909

Post by wurdsmiff » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:41 pm

Just to confirm that there was no birth of a Walter Jack in 1875. The nearest to it was the 1877 birth in Armadale, but this man disappears from the records.

bluedragon
Posts: 890
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Walter Jack Clyde FC manager 1905 to 1909

Post by bluedragon » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:00 pm

Wurdsmiff many thanks indeed that's great! Thank you also to Shawfield Boy for putting you on the case!

The further information you have provided really narrows it down to Walter Jack born 11th January 1880 died 3rd December 1921. You have gone deeper into the census records, etc. than myself but we have picked up the same trail. All the pieces fit together and although you say it is not entirely conclusive I am sure we have our man.

I suppose the doubts I have was in the report in the Falkirk Hearld of his sad death in a tragic accident there is no mention of him being a former footballer/manager. But maybe that should not be a surprise? The report goes into detail on the valiant efforts to save him and perhaps his former profession was not considered newsworthy. Indeed it does not even mention his job at the time of his death.

Thanks again!

wurdsmiff
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:13 pm
Contact:

Re: Walter Jack Clyde FC manager 1905 to 1909

Post by wurdsmiff » Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:19 pm

No problem. As an extra note, Walter would have been responsible for launching the career of Bill Struth of Rangers, who was appointed as trainer at Clyde in 1907. Given the credit Struth gets in his biographies for the improvement in Clyde's fortunes, it makes me wonder if the manager's job was a bit more administrative and less football orientated than their modern counterparts. In the squad pic of 1909-10, AS Maley appears as Sec. re manager, just to reinforce my point. http://www.clydefc.co.uk/images/history ... ze/2/3.jpg

bluedragon
Posts: 890
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Walter Jack Clyde FC manager 1905 to 1909

Post by bluedragon » Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:32 am

Once again many thanks for all the help on Walter Jack. I have now heard from Bristol Rovers, West Bromwich Albion and Clyde people and although we cannot prove it conclusively there appears to be agreement on his dates of birth and death. See the bottom of this post.

This is different from his SFA Registration details but there are some good ideas as why this may be so:

Walter Robert Jack - his father’s name was Robert – did he just add a middle name?
Born 1875 in Grangemouth – Snuff, Scottish and Wurdsmiff have suggestions for the inconsistencies
25, Marshall Street, Grangemouth – at the time the family were living in number 55 is this just a slip of the pen?

Mystery surrounds his return to Scotland and his association with Clyde FC. He did not play again at the age of just 25. He is shown in David’s book “Gaffers” as manager of Clyde FC from July 1905 to May 1909. However, I have found a newspaper report from the Evening Telegraph and Post on Friday 22 January 1908 that says “Alex. Maley has been appointed as manager of the Clyde FC.” A search of the British Newspaper Archive does not throw up Walter’s name as secretary or manager but managers were probably not as newsworthy as they are today so maybe I should not be surprised?

Details

Name Walter Jack
Place of birth Lecropt, Perthshire
Date of birth 11th January 1880
Place of death Grangemouth
Date of death 3rd December 1921

Playing career

Played for Grange Rovers 1899-1901
Signed for Leith Athletic in September 1902 (1902/03 season)
Played for Bo’ness (early part of 1903/04 season)
Signed for Bristol Rovers in November 1903 and played 11 Southern League games (6 goals) - debut v Fulham 21 November 1903 (1903/04 season)
Signed for West Bromwich Albion on 3rd May 1904 and played 25 Football League games (13 goals) (1904/05 season) - debut v Barnsley in September 1904

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 5 guests