Whitburn, County Durham born left back Jack Young played local football for Whitburn Villa in 1912, before joining South Shields in 1913. He also played for Southern League Southend United in 1914, where he played at outside left before his career was interrupted by the First World War.
Syd King, the manager of Second Division West Ham United signed Young for a fee of £600 in 1919. At the time Young was still a winger but King decided to convert him to left back. Young only made one appearance in the 1919-20 season, with his Football League debut coming in an end of season clash with Stockport County in May 1920, but he was a regular the following season in a team that included Syd Puddefoot, George Kay, Ted Hufton, Jack Tresadern, Vic Watson, Sid Bishop and Billy Brown.
West Ham United enjoyed an excellent FA Cup run in the 1922-23 season beating Hull City (3-2), Brighton & Hove Albion (1-0), Plymouth Argyle (2-0), Southampton (1-0) and Derby County (5-2) to reach the Final against Bolton Wanderers. The Final took place at Wembley Stadium, only four days after the stadium had been completed, and it became famous as “The White Horse Final” because of a mounted police horse which helped restore the crowd’s order.
The stadium had a capacity of 125,000 and so the Football Association did not consider making it an all-ticket match. After all, both teams only had an average attendance of around 20,000 for League games. However, it was rare for a club from London to make the FA Cup Final and supporters of other clubs in the city saw it as a North v South game. It is estimated that up to 300,000 people attempted to get into the ground. Over a thousand people were injured getting in and out of the stadium. When the game eventually got started in chaotic conditions, Joe Smith and David Jack scored in Bolton’s 2-0 victory over West Ham United, including Young in their line-up.
In their next game West Ham United beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 to ensure promotion to the First Division as runners up. Vic Watson was top scorer with 22 goals and Billy Moore added 15 more. Young played in 32 League and FA Cup games that season.
West Ham United finished in 13th place in their first season in the First Division with Young playing in 35 of the 42 League games during the campaign. However injuries and ill-health restricted his appearances the following season and he played the last of his 138 games for The Hammers against Leeds United on 19th September 1925. He scored 3 goals for West Ham in that time, and transferred to Queen’s Park Rangers in the 1926 close season.
Young made 91 appearances for Queen’s Park Rangers over the next 3 seasons scoring 12 goals, 10 from the penalty spot, before finishing his career at Accrington Stanley with 4 appearances in the autumn of 1929. He later worked as a scout for Liverpool, a club at the time managed by former West Ham team mate, George Kay.