Bootle, Lancashire born centre forward Jack Parkinson played for Hertford Albion in 1901 and Valkyrie in 1902. He joined First Division Champions Liverpool as an amateur in 1901-02, turning professional in October 1902 and making his Football League debut at Small Heath (Birmingham City) at their Muntz Street ground in October 1903, scoring in a 2-1 victory and scoring 6 times in 18 appearances in what was a relegation season for Liverpool. The following season he netted 21 times from just 23 appearances as Liverpool won the Second Division Championship at first time of asking. Unfortunately Parkinson broke his wrist in Liverpool’s opening game in the 1905-06 season at Woolwich Arsenal but returned in mid-March to contribute seven goals to The Reds’ victorious League Championship campaign run-in. Parkinson’s career continued to be curtailed by injuries but despite his difficulties his goals-per-game ratio remained exceptional with the exception of the 1908-09 season when he only scored four in 18 games.
Parkinson started the 1909-10 season with a bang and scored 11 goals in his first seven games including a hat-trick against Nottingham Forest in September, one goal in a 3-2 victory over Everton and a brace in a 3-2 win against Manchester United. The writer in the club’s programme from 13th November 1909 was excited with his progress: “The Bootle youth has improved beyond measure this season. Here again we are delighted to see the wholesome leaven of intelligence permeating his movements and some of his passes to the wing men are decidedly clever. He has also demonstrated a fondness for baffling the custodian with well-placed shots, and not relying entirely on force to gain goals.” Parkinson continued to terrorise defences scoring a hat-trick against Arsenal on New Year’s Day, and in April 1910 another four against the hapless Nottingham Forest defence in a 7-3 win at Anfield. He celebrated finishing the season as top scorer of the First Division as well as becoming the first Liverpool player since Sam Raybould in 1902-03 to score 30 goals in a season, with Liverpool finishing runners up in the League Championship.
Parkinson’s progress was also finally recognised by the England selectors as he made his international debut on 14th March 1910 against Wales at The Cardiff Arms Park. He won a further cap a month later playing in a 2-0 defeat to Scotland at Hampden Park. He also made 3 appearances for The Football League.
He scored another 43 in the top division over the next three seasons, finishing his Liverpool career having scored 128 goals in 222 appearances. However by 1913-14 he could no longer be sure of his place in the side and he signed for Second Division Bury in August 1914, scoring 3 times in 4 appearances for The Shakers in September 1914 before retirement.
NB this photograph from the match at Woolwich Arsenal on 2nd September 1905 shows the incident in which Parkinson broke his wrist, the ball going wide of the post, with Jimmy Ashcroft, Arsenal’s goalkeeper immediately behind Parkinson, looking over his shoulder in concern.