Jack David Image 9 Bolton Wanderers 1924

Jack David Image 9 Bolton Wanderers 1924


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Bolton born inside right David Bone Nightingale “DBN” Jack scored a century of goals for two top flight teams and is considered one of the finest players of his generation. He was also the first player to be transferred for a five figure transfer fee.

His father Bob had been a successful footballer with Bolton Wanderers among others and was the manager of Plymouth Argyle when young David was taken on at Plymouth (as was his brother Rollo, who subsequently followed him to Bolton), playing wartime football for them in 1918-19 (he also guested for Chelsea), and signed for them in 1919. His debut season was in the Southern League in 1919-20 but he was also selected for their first Football League fixture against Norwich City in August 1920. After 48 appearances and 15 goals for The Pilgrims, his father’s old club Bolton Wanderers (the town of David’s birth) signed him for £3,500 in December 1920.

Bolton finished 3rd in his first season and rarely finished outside the top 10 in his 8 years at the club. Jack scored more than 20 League goals in 4 of his 7 full seasons at Burnden Park forming a fantastic partnership with Joe Smith, but he will be particularly remembered for his two FA Cup Final wins, especially of course The White Horse Final, Wembley’s first, in 1923, when Bolton beat West Ham United 2-0, in which Jack scored the first goal and became the first player to score at Wembley in front of probably 200,000 spectators. He won the Cup again with Bolton in 1926 scoring the only goal of the game against Manchester City.

Between times England called him up in March 1924 and he won a further cap the next month, then 7 further caps between 1928 and 1932, scoring 5 times and captaining his country 4 times. He also represented The Football League on 5 occasions.

In October 1928 after 161 goals in 324 games Arsenal smashed the British transfer record to sign him, paying £10,980 for his services as a replacement for Charlie Buchan. He scored 25 goals in the 31 games he played that season and finished their top scorer. The following season he became the first player to win the FA Cup for two different clubs at Wembley as Arsenal beat Huddersfield 2-0. More success was to follow as Arsenal stormed to League Championship wins in 1931, 1933 and 1934, although this was to be his last season as age finally caught up with him and he retired to become manager of Southend United at the end of the season, having scored 124 goals for Arsenal in 208 games. He also turned out once for Southend United in an FA Cup tie at Crystal Palace in November 1936. He went on to manage Southend through to the outbreak of the Second World War, then Middlesbrough from November 1944 to April 1952 and Shelbourne from 1953 to 1955.

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