Little Jack Image 2 Crystal Palace 1922

Little Jack Image 2 Crystal Palace 1922


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Seaton Delavel, Northumberland born right back Jack Little had played for Clara Vale and Scotswood in the North East junior leagues before joining Second Division club Barnsley in 1908, making his Football League debut at Tottenham Hotspur that September. During his initial season he was a regular performer missing only 5 games but found it hard to get games over the next two seasons  and by the time he joined Southern League Crystal Palace in 1911 he had made 47 appearances for The Tykes.

However he didn’t make the Palace first team and moved to Croydon Common, for whom he played until the outbreak of the First World War making 123 appearances. During the War he guested for Arsenal before re-joining Southern League club Crystal Palace in 1919. He was ever present during both their last Southern League season and their first Football League season in 1920-21, playing in Palace’s first League match in a defeat at Merthyr Town, but they soon recovered and won the inaugural Third Division (South) Championship, and after he played 87 consecutive matches for Crystal Palace (before injury ended the run) he was presented with a cigarette lighter by the club to mark the feat.

He was a regular for another five seasons despite their relegation from the Second Division in 1925, making his final appearance in a 1-1 draw at Gillingham in April 1926, becoming the oldest player to appear in first team competitive football for the club at 41 years, 68 days old, before being released to join Kent League club Sittingbourne in the 1926 close season, by when he had made 261 appearances for Palace. He was later awarded a benefit match with Crystal Palace on 27th April 1927, when Palace beat Jack Little’s XI 2-0.

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