James “Jamie” Haydock was born in Blackburn in 1873. Haydock trained as a teacher and played football for Borough Road College before joining Blackburn Rovers in 1890. Haydock, who worked as a school teacher at Furthergate School in Blackburn, made his debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 27th September, 1890. However, he did not become a regular in the side until the second half of the 1893-94 season. An outside right, he joined a forward line that included two English internationals, Harry Chippendale and Jimmy Whitehead. That season Blackburn finished in fourth place in the First Division.
In 1894 Rovers signed Patrick Gordon from Liverpool who quickly replaced Haydock in the team. This upset the supporters and one man wrote to the local newspaper and claimed “Gordon is scarcely worth his place in the team after all. The wiseacres on the Rovers’ committee think him a dashing outside right. But he is not. Haydock is the best they have had for a long time.” Gordon’s form was not good and Haydock eventually got his place back. Blackburn finished fifth. In May 1895 Gordon was sacked from the club for what was described as “refractory conduct” during a tour of Scotland. It was also stated that he refused to play for the reserve team after he was replaced by Haydock.
Jamie Haydock was chosen to play for England against Ireland in 1895. but unfortunately an injury prevented him from playing in the game. The 1895-96 season was a major disappointment. Playing with new signing Peter Turnbull, a centre forward with a good goal scoring record when he played for Glasgow Rangers, Bolton and Burnley, he only managed seven goals in 25 games for Blackburn. The all Scottish defence played well but the lack of goals resulted in the club finishing in eighth place in the League.
Bad health then forced Haydock into retirement in 1896. During his time at Blackburn Rovers, Haydock scored 27 goals in 79 games. Haydock never recovered and died at the age of 27 on 24th March 1900.
NB This image is from October 1895, probably the home game with Preston North End on October 12th which Blackburn won 3-0.