Weddle Jack Image 6 Blackburn Rovers 1938

Weddle Jack Image 6 Blackburn Rovers 1938


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Fatfield, County Durham born centre forward Jack Weddle began his football career with Fatfield Albion in 1923 and after a trial with Middlesbrough in 1924 joined First Division Portsmouth in 1927, making his Football League debut against Burnley in February 1928, scoring the winner in a 1-0 victory. He scored 9 goals that season to help Pompey narrowly avoid the drop as they finished 20th, and 11 goals in 1928-29, as they again finished 20th, but the club made it to the 1929 FA Cup Final, the first in Pompey’s history, Weddle having scored 3 goals in earlier rounds, where they were beaten 2-0 by Bolton Wanderers at Wembley.

Weddle’s first hat-trick for Portsmouth came in a 7-1 thrashing of Burnley in January 1930, he was an ever present in 1929-30 scoring 21 goals as Pompey finished 13th. He only missed 19 games in eight seasons, and managed over 20 goals in each of the first six of those. He scored 7 goals on the way to Wembley for the 1934 FA Cup Final, including a hat-trick in the FA Cup semi final win over Leicester City at St Andrews, Birmingham, however they were again beaten at Wembley, this time by two late Fred Tilson goals as Manchester City came back from a goal down to take the Cup to Maine Road.

In all he scored 6 hat-tricks for Portsmouth, and finished as their leading goalscorer in 7 of his 11 seasons at the club, scoring 184 goals in 396 appearances before losing his place in 1937 and moving to Blackburn Rovers in the summer of 1938. In his first season at Rovers he was an ever present scoring 18 goals as Blackburn won the Second Division Championship, but the Second World War intervened after 52 appearances in September 1939.

He continued to play for Blackburn in wartime football before his playing retirement during the War, after which he became a coach at Ewood Park, where he remained for many years. He was the coach during the legendary FA Cup Final in 1960, when Dave Whelan broke his left shin. It was rumoured that Weddle helped Whelan to receive his compensation money, with which he then went on to build up his JJB sports retailing empire. Jack Weddle is remembered with fondness, such as his legendary words to Whelan before that 1960 match, when Whelan was so nervous he inquired as to where his shin pads were, to which Jack Weddle replied, ‘You’ve got ’em on, you daft bugger!’ His goals total, at the time a club record for Portsmouth, is now just behind Peter Harris’ 194 goal total scored between 1946 and 1960.

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