Jack Howe
Jack Howe
Jack Howe
● Jack Howe, 1938 (PTP)

born in England

John Robert Howe was born on Thursday, 7th October, 1915, in Hartlepool, County Durham.

The 5' 11 (12st 10lbs) defender temporarily transferred to Donald Turner's Thistle in September, 1943, from his parent club, Derby County.

Aged 27, he made his debut appearance on Saturday, 18th September, 1943, in a 4-0 win at home to Albion Rovers in the Southern League.

There were no goals for Jack during his spell with Thistle.

He played his last game for the club on Saturday, 6th November, 1943, in a 3-1 win at home to Hibernian in the Southern League, having appeared as a Jag on 6 occasions.

His club-list included Wingate United, Hartlepools United, Derby County, Heart of Midlothian, Falkirk, Third Lanark, Aberdeen, St Mirren, Partick Thistle, Huddersfield Town, King's Lynn and Wisbech Town.

Jack died on Sunday, 5th April, 1987, in Hartlepool, County Durham, aged 71.

Bio Extra

Defender Jack was described as β€œbeing able to kick a ball equally hard and accurately with either foot”. It was also claimed that he β€œnever shirked a tackle”. He made his name as a Derby County player, where he is still revered as a great, but he temporarily joined a number of Scottish clubs during his World War 2 service, including Thistle. Over the course of several weeks in the autumn of 1943, he played in 6 Southern League matches for the Jags, as well as the 3-0 Glasgow Cup defeat to Rangers. The 5-4 win over Celtic at Parkhead in October would have been a memorable one for him!

Jack started his senior career at Hartlepools United in 1934 and moved to Derby County in 1936. He stayed with the Rams until 1950, making more than 250 first class appearances for the club. In-between times, Jack joined the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders early in the war, and played as a guest for Heart of Midlothian, Falkirk, Third Lanark, Aberdeen and St Mirren, as well as the Jags. Jack played for the Scottish League in a match against a British Army side, and served in India. When demobbed, he played in the 1945/46 FA Cup Final as a winner with Derby County, when they beat Charlton Athletic 4-1 in front of 98,000 at Wembley. In 1948, Jack was capped for England against Italy (when he was 32 years old), and gained further caps against Scotland and Ireland.

He subsequently spent just over a season with Huddersfield Town, before joining King's Lynn (known colloquially for a while as Lynns Town) in August 1951. He served as both a player and a manager for 4 seasons. With the Linnets, Jack had great success in the Eastern Counties League; they finished as runners-up in 1952-53, and were champions the following season. Jack, described as a tremendous tower of strength at centre half that campaign, was an ever-present until an injury curtailed his appearances from March onwards. It was thought he'd signed as player-manager of Long Sutton Town in August 1955, but negotiations broke down and he signed instead as a player for Wisbech Town of the Midland League the following month, with whom he retired as a footballer in his early 40s.

Interestingly, Jack was one of the first professional sportsmen to wear contact lenses. In his personal life, he was married to Eileen Howe and they had two children, Patricia and John. They had four grandchildren Susie, Rob, Steven and Leesa. His grandson, Steve Fletcher, also played professionally and is the record appearance holder with AFC Bournemouth.

On account of his service during WWII, Jack is included in our feature piece, The Partick Thistle returned β†’.


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