West Hartlepool born left back Jack Howe played junior football for West Hartlepool Expansion in 1932 and Wingate United in 1933 before joining hometown Third Division (North) club Hartlepools United in June 1934, making his Football League debut at Chester in September the same year. After 26 first team appearances he was signed by First Division club Derby County in March 1936. Standing six foot tall, Howe could kick a ball equally hard and accurately with either foot.
He was a first team regular until the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 when he joined The Cameron Highlanders and guested for Heart of Midlothian, Falkirk, Aberdeen, and St Mirren. He played for The Scottish League against the British Army and, after service in India, he was demobbed in time to earn an FA Cup winner’s medal as Derby County beat Charlton Athletic 4-1 at Wembley in the 1946 Final. Howe never shirked a tackle, was totally dominant and took over the Derby captaincy when Raich Carter went to Hull in 1948.
When Howe received the first of his three England caps, in a memorable 4-0 victory over Italy in Turin in May 1948, it was considered long overdue He won 2 further England caps over the next year against Ireland and Scotland. Howe, among Derby’s greatest defenders, was one of the first professional sportsmen to wear contact lenses, then joined Huddersfield Town in October 1949 after 2 goals (both penalties) in 257 appearances for The Rams. He made 30 appearances for Huddersfield, scoring another penalty, before joining non league King’s Lynn in 1951, thereafter playing for Long Sutton United. He was over 40 before he ended his career with Wisbech Town, whom he joined in 1955.