Forest Gate, London born centre half Jack Townrow won two caps for England’s schoolboy team, one of which came against Wales in 1915. In 1918 he joined non league Fairbairn House. He began his professional football career at the end of the First World War signing for Second Division Clapton Orient in August 1919. He made his Football League debut in a match at Fulham in September 1919. He remained with the club until February 1927, and scored 5 times in 265 appearances for them, missing very few matches after January 1923.
In April 1925 he won the first of his two international caps for England, in a 2-0 defeat to Scotland at Hampden Park, his second cap came in March 1926 as England lost 3-1 to Wales at Selhurst Park. Townrow is one of only two men capped by England at senior level while an Orient player, the other being Owen Williams.
He joined Second Division rivals Chelsea in February 1927 for £5,000, and went on to play 140 matches for The Pensioners in all competitions over the following five years, scoring 3 goals. He was a near ever present in their 1928-29 campaign missing only one match and then contributed to their promotion to the First Division in the 1929-30 season, when they finished runners up in the division. His playing career finished with one season at Bristol Rovers in the Third Division (South), signing for them in May 1932, where he played alongside his younger brother Frank but he only appeared 10 times for The Gas before retirement. Townrow was manager of Harrogate Town for a spell in the 1952-53 season.
His younger brother Frank played for Arsenal, Dundee, Bristol City and Bristol Rovers, as well as also being an England Schoolboy international.