Taggart Jack “Mit” Image 1 West Bromwich Albion 1895

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Description

Belfast born left half Jack ‘Mit’ Taggart played football for Dundonald & Belmont County Schools and in the Irish League with Belfast Distillery from July 1889 before transferring to Middlesbrough in April 1892. Still just twenty years-old, his methodical defensive play earned the attentions of one of the giants of the English game, West Bromwich Albion who signed him for £150 in March 1893, making his Football League debut against Derby County on 1st April. Noted for his ability to hit a ball into space, rather than hoof it upfield as was more normal for the backs of the day, Taggart played in West Brom’s 1895 FA Cup Final defeat by Aston Villa.

In 1896, West Brom survived relegation to Division Two by virtue of a test-match series. Wholesale changes were required and Taggart was released after 4 goals in 83 appearances for The Baggies. In May 1896 he moved to midland neighbours Walsall, who had just been elected to Division Two of the Football League. It was while with The Saddlers that he earned his only Ireland cap, in a 1-0 win over Wales at Grosvenor Park, Belfast in March 1899. That match marked the first selection of “Anglos” in an Irish eleven, with Taggart joined by Archie Goodall of Derby County, Tom Morrison of Burnley and John Hanna of the Royal Artillery.

In 1901 Walsall failed to gain re-election to the Football League after Taggart had scored once in 123 games during their League era and instead re-joined the Midland League for the following campaign. Taggart lasted a further two seasons in non-league football before he was forced to retire in March 1903 due to ill-health.

 

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