Alloa, Clackmannanshire born outside left Bob Jack began his career with Alloa Athletic, making his debut at the age of 15 and turning professional in 1893 and also represented Fifeshire. He moved to First Division Bolton Wanderers in 1895, making his Football League debut at Small Heath (Birmingham City) that September. He was Bolton’s leading scorer in the 1896-97 season with 11 goals and was considered one of the fastest wingers in the country. Although they were relegated in 1899, he helped them to an immediate return to the top flight as they finished Second Division runners up in 1899-1900. He made a total for 125 appearances for the club, scoring 29 goals.
However following a serious ankle injury he left Bolton in August 1901 and joined local rivals Preston North End. He spent just one season with Preston, scoring 6 goals in 25 appearances, before joining Glossop the following summer. After a further 6 goals in 32 appearances for The Hillmen he moved to Plymouth Argyle, becoming the club’s first professional footballer in 1903. He made his Argyle debut in September 1903 against West Ham United in the Western League. In 1904–05, the club’s handbook described him as “our famous flier, probably last season was the best in the player’s history” He went on to make 105 appearances for Argyle scoring 8 times.
Following the departure of Frank Brettell, Jack became player-manager of Plymouth Argyle in 1905, and in 1905-06 he led the club to third in the Western League and fifth in the Southern League but left the club in the summer after a disagreement with the board to take up the position of player-manager at Southend United. In his first two seasons with Southend they won the Southern League Second Division title, gaining election to the Southern League First Division in 1908.
He retired as a player at the end of the 1909-10 season and re-joined Plymouth Argyle as manager, turning out once more for the first team as a player in December 1910. During the next 28 seasons with Jack in charge, he guided Argyle to the Southern League Championship in 1913 and into the Football League in 1920. In their first season in the League they finished 11th in the Third Division (South), but incredibly finished runners-up in all of the next six seasons at a time when only the Champions were promoted, followed by a third in 1927-28 and fourth place in 1928-29. They finally clinched the Third Division (South) Championship and promotion in the 1929-30 season, thereafter remaining a Second Division club. In total, he took charge of 1,093 matches for The Pilgrims through to his retirement in May 1938. Not surprisingly Jack is Argyle’s most successful and longest-serving manager.
Despite being Scottish, Jack represented England at bowls for several years, including being Captain. He won the English Bowling Association Singles Championship in 1926.
His son, David played for Plymouth, Bolton, Arsenal and England and among many other achievements scored the first ever goal at Wembley Stadium in the 1923 FA Cup Final. In addition to David, Rollo Jack also played professionally for Plymouth, Bolton Wanderers and others.