Outside right Jackie Mordue was born in Edmondsley, County Durham, and played for Sacriston United in 1904 and Spennymoor United in 1905 before being spotted by Second Division Barnsley. He joined the Oakwell club in October 1906, making his Football League debut the same month at Grimsby Town and played 26 games that season for The Tykes, scoring 12 goals. In April the same season he moved to London when he was sold to Woolwich Arsenal for £450, where he linked up with his brother-in-law, goalkeeper Jimmy Ashcroft. Mordue made his debut for Arsenal on 13th April 1907 and went on to play 28 games for Arsenal in thirteen months, scoring once against Everton in April 1908. Arsenal finished 7th and 14th in the League in the 1906-07 and 1907-08 seasons, and Mordue was considered one of the team’s best assets. However with Woolwich Arsenal in financial trouble, he was sold to Sunderland for £750, returning to his native north-east in May 1908.
He made his Sunderland debut on 9th September 1908 at Middlesbrough scoring in a 3-0 victory. He soon became a fixture at outside right, contributing some vital goals including one against Newcastle United in a 9-1 victory at St James’ Park on 5th December 1908. He went on to form an excellent partnership on the right wing with Charlie Buchan and Francis Cuggy, his 15 goals helping the club to win the League Championship in 1913. Sunderland narrowly missed out on The Double, losing the FA Cup Final 1-0 to Aston Villa, who themselves were runners-up in the League. Mordue had scored a penalty in the semi final replay victory over Burnley and played in the Final at The Crystal Palace. Mordue also became Sunderland’s main penalty taker, scoring 26 in total, reaching the age of 34 before he missed one in a competitive game.
Mordue made two England appearances, making his international debut against Ireland on 10th February 1912. In this match, he played alongside his Sunderland colleague George Holley as England ran out 6-1 victors. His second, and final England cap was also won against Ireland a year later. In the game Mordue was teamed up with his Sunderland colleagues Charlie Buchan and Francis Cuggy and although Buchan scored early in the game, England went down 2-1. Mordue also represented The Football League on three occasions between October 1908 and February 1912, playing once against each of the Scottish, Irish and Southern League representative teams.
During the First World War Mordue, who lost a brother at Gallipoli, served in the Royal Garrison Artillery, and after the War he resumed playing for Sunderland, but after the scoring 7 goals in 31 appearances in 1919-20, he left Sunderland in May 1920, having played 294 games in total, scoring 82 goals, being transferred to Middlesbrough, and spending two seasons at Ayresome Park where he scored once in 35 appearances before accepting the position of player-manager of Durham City from March 1923 to January 1924. His tenure in football management was brief and he scored once in 7 appearances for Durham, before joining non league Ryhope Colliery later that year.
Mordue was from a family of talented sportsmen, being noted for football and handball. Several family members played football for various clubs. Billy, Jack and Tom Mordue all played together in the Hartlepools United teams of the late 1920’s. Besides the Hartlepool Mordues, George Mordue played for Aldershot and Bradford City in the 1930’s, Jimmy Mordue played for Bradford Park Avenue in the 1940’s and another Billy Mordue played for Doncaster Rovers in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.