Darlington, County Durham born centre forward or inside leftJack Almond began his football career with hometown club Darlington and played for Bishop Auckland in 1895, from where he was signed by First Division club Sheffield United in 1896, making his Football League debut against Sunderland that September, Almond scoring in a 3-0 victory and making a significant contribution as they finished runners up in the First Division. Almond then scored 8 goals in 20 League matches in The Blades’ 1897-98 campaign as they won the League Championship, and also scored as United drew 1-1 with The Corinthians in the Sheriff of London Charity Shield match at The Crystal Palace in April 1898.
The following season Almond was less regular in The Blades’ League line up but played in all 6 Cup ties as Sheffield United won the FA Cup, Almond scoring United’s third goal in the Final at The Crystal Palace as they beat Derby County 4-1, despite a disappointing League campaign where they finished 16th. However they bounced back in 1899-1900 and Almond was an ever present at inside left as they again finished runners up in the League Championship.
Almond had one further season with Sheffield United but quit the club and professional football in 1901 to take over a pub in Gainford near his home town of Darlington. After a few months as a publican and playing for the local amateur side Gainford, he returned to senior football signing for Southern League club Millwall Athletic later in 1901 before returning to Yorkshire in 1903 for spells at Leeds City prior to their election to the Football League, Bradford City, where he spent 1904-05 on their books without making their first eleven, and Midland League club Doncaster Rovers. He later turned out for Doncaster GNER before his eventual retirement.
NB in the photograph he stands with Sheffield United team mate George Hedley (left) and it’s probable this was taken at The Crystal Palace before the FA Cup Final with Derby County in April 1899. Almond scored as Sheffield United won 4-1.