Hodthorpe, Whitwell, Derbyshire born goalkeeper Jack Brown played for local junior clubs Worksop Wesley and Netherton, initially he was a centre forward before switching because his side were short of a goalkeeper. In 1919 he signed for Worksop Town and played in a team that were Midland League Champions in the 1921-22 season and reached the third round of the FA Cup in that season and the following one. The third round tie in 1922-23 was against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, Brown had a superb game as Worksop held Tottenham to a 0-0 draw. Worksop’s directors requested that the replay be held at Tottenham’s ground again for financial reasons. Unfortunately Tottenham won the replay 9-0 but Brown had done enough to grab the attention of League clubs and he promptly signed for Second Division Sheffield Wednesday in February 1923 for a fee of £360.
Brown was signed by Wednesday as an understudy to long serving international keeper Teddy Davison who was by then 36 years old and reaching the end of his career. Brown made his Football League debut on 21st April 1923 at Coventry City, however that was his only match that season. Brown was almost released by the club at the start of the 1923-24 season but a broken arm for Davison ensured he was kept on the books. For the following two seasons Brown and Davison shared goalkeeping duties and it was not until the 1925-26 season that Brown became first choice. Brown was ever present in that season as The Owls won the Second Division Championship, one of his most telling contributions was a penalty save two minutes from time in a crucial away match with promotion rivals Chelsea in April 1926.
Brown’s good form earned a call up from the England team and he played his first international against Wales at Wrexham’s Racecourse Groundon 12th February 1927. This resulted in a 3-3 draw with Brown picking up a bad injury. He recovered from the injury and was called up again on 2nd April and played in a 5-2 victory against Scotland at Hampden Park with a reporter from the Athletic News saying, “Brown kept a splendid goal and in my opinion is in Sam Hardy’s class”. In all Brown played six times for England, never once finishing on the losing side, winning five and drawing one, he played his last international against Ireland at Windsor Park, Belfast in a 3-0 victory on 19th October 1929. He also represented The Football League twice.
Brown was ever present throughout Sheffield Wednesday’s League Championship winning side in 1928-29 and only missed one match the following season when they retained the League Championship. He played in Sheffield Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat by Arsenal in the Charity Shield at Stamford Bridge in October 1930. He remained first choice for the following seven seasons, although he did lose his place occasionally to Jack Breedon between 1930 and 1933.
He played in all six FA Cup ties as Wednesday won the FA Cup in 1935 and made some outstanding saves in the Final, a 3-2 win against West Bromwich Albion. Brown made his final appearance for Sheffield Wednesday on 20th March 1937 as the team were relegated back to Division Two. In total he made 509 appearances for The Owls in all competitions and is second on the list of appearance makers behind Andrew Wilson, he is one of only three players who have made over 500 appearances for the club. In September 1937 he was transferred to Hartlepools United but only played one game for The Monkey Hangers, a 3-1 defeat against Gateshead on 18th September. He then decided to retire from football at the age of 38.
NB in the image Brown appears with Sheffield Wednesday team mates Charlie Wilson, William Smith and Jack Allen.