Ormskirk, Lancashire born outside left Jack Pears began his football career with Westhead St James, playing for Skelmersdale United in 1925 and Burscough Rangers in 1926 before joining Liverpool on amateur forms, spending 1927-28 at Anfield without making a first team appearance. Pears then turned professional with Third Division (North) club Rotherham United, signing for them in the 1928 close season, and he made his Football League debut at Bradford City that August, scoring The Millers’ goal in an 11-1 defeat, which to this day is the club’s record defeat.
After 7 goals in 22 appearances, Pears joined Accrington Stanley in the summer of 1929 and did well enough, scoring 8 goals in 21 appearances for them, to be noticed by Second Division club Oldham Athletic, who signed him in the 1930 close season. Initially a fringe player, playing only 4 matches in his debut season, he broke into the first team on a regular basis from October 1931 and was a regular goalscorer for The Latics, scoring a hat-trick in a 6-1 win over Chesterfield in March 1932 and a further treble in a 5-0 win over Notts County in April 1933.
As they approached the final stretch of a campaign that ended in their promotion as Second Division runners up, Pears was signed by Preston North End in March 1934 after 34 goals in 97 appearances for Oldham Athletic, and he scored twice in wins before the season end, 5 of his 7 matches on the run in being won. Pears also scored twice more for The Lambs in the top flight in wins over Tottenham Hotspur and Huddersfield Town, but after 11 matches, which proved his only outings in the First Division, he lost his place in Preston’s line up that October and was sold to Second Division club Sheffield United that November “at a good fee”, but he struggled to establish himself despite scoring a brace on his debut in a 5-1 win over Newcastle United, and having lost his place in January 1936 played only once more before the season end, being sold to Swansea Town after 4 goals in 15 appearances for The Blades.
He had two seasons at The Vetch Field and his second season was the busiest of his career, with 39 matches played, but after 9 goals in 59 appearances he transferred to Hull City in the 1937 close season, and he scored a hat-trick for The Tigers in a 10-1 thrashing of Southport in January 1938, a club record that lasted only exactly a year, with Carlisle beaten 11-1 the next January which is still Hull City’s largest margin of victory. Pears scored 11 goals in 35 matches during a single season at Anlaby Road, returning to Lancashire to join Rochdale in the 1938 close season, however he failed to get into Dale’s first eleven in 1938-39 and was released to join non league club Mossley later in 1938, his career then being ended by the outbreak of the Second World War the following year.
NB in the image he sits on the left with Oldham Athletic teammate Billy Thomas.