McDonald Jack Image 1 Southampton 1952

McDonald Jack Image 1 Southampton 1952


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Maltby, West Riding of Yorkshire born outside right Jack McDonald joined Wolverhampton Wanderers as a trainee in May 1937, aged 15. Shortly after his 17th birthday, in September 1938, he signed professional papers before going on to make two appearances for Wolves in the First Division, making his Football League debut against Chelsea in April 1939.

In May 1939, McDonald was transferred to Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic, but the Second World War broke out and normal football was suspended before he made his debut. During the War, he made guest appearances for a whole host of clubs, including Bristol City, Cardiff City, Manchester United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Bromwich Albion, York City and Southampton.

At the end of the War, he returned to Bournemouth and soon made a name for himself as a goal-scoring left winger, scoring 38 goals in 88 appearances, top scoring in 1946-47 and second top scoring the next season. In 1948, Bournemouth finished as runners-up, but missed out on the only promotion spot available. (It was to be nearly 40 years before The Cherries eventually reached the Second Division.)

McDonald’s form soon attracted the attention of bigger teams, and in June 1948 he moved to London to join Fulham for a fee of £12,000. At the time of his transfer, Fulham’s manager Jack Peart commented in the club’s year book:

“For the present season 1948-9, we have made a few additions to our playing staff. No doubt chief interest will be focused on Jack McDonald, whose transfer we have secured from the Bournemouth and Boscombe Club in spite of very strong competition. I am certain Jack will prove a great acquisition.”

McDonald only missed one match in the 1948-49 season, scoring nine goals. His crosses assisted the other forwards, including Arthur Rowley, who scored 19, and Bob Thomas, who was top scorer with 23, as the club claimed the Second Division Championship by one point ahead of West Bromwich Albion and long-time leaders, Southampton. In the First Division, McDonald’s form was not so prolific and he eventually lost his place to Northern Ireland international Johnny Campbell, making only five appearances in each of the 1950-51 and 1951-52 seasons.

Having scored 20 goals in 78 appearances for Fulham, in August 1952 he was signed by Southampton as a replacement for Tom Lowder who was out with appendicitis. McDonald made his debut for The Saints in the opening match of the 1952-53 season and scored four goals in the first eight matches before a sudden loss of form led to the recall of Lowder following his return to health. In a match against Bury at The Dell on 20th September, McDonald took a penalty; the first attempt was kicked straight at Jimmy Kirk in the Bury goal and he then lofted the rebound over the bar. McDonald spent most of the rest of the season relegated to the reserves, although he was tried at centre-forward for four matches near the end of the season, with no conspicuous success.

In the summer of 1953, McDonald was transfer-listed and sold to Southend United in May 1953 for a fee of £800 after 4 goals in 16 appearances. He scored 6 times in 28 appearances for Southend but he retired from League football in 1955 and returned to live in Bournemouth, where he obtained employment as a P.E. teacher, joining non league Weymouth.

Whilst playing for Weymouth, then in the Southern League, McDonald returned to The Dell in December 1956 for an FA Cup match; his team put up a gallant fight, only going down 3-2, with Southampton’s Jimmy Shields being sent off following a foul on the Weymouth goalkeeper. (This match was the first time Cup football had been played at the Dell under floodlights). He finished his career at Poole Town whom he joined in 1957.


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