Jack’s Rugby League Career part one

We know that Jack played for the Hull FC youth team during his younger years, before he went to teacher training, however his senior rugby league career began when he was in York, as he signed in 1911 for York RL (now York City Knights).

Jack played six games for York, scoring four tries, one of the games was a testimonial game, so records may show he only played five games, referring to the competitive games he played in.

In 1912 Jack left York and returned home to Hull, many people expected him to sign for Hull KR, given his East Hull roots, and his father being a fan of the red and whites.

It came as a complete surprise when Jack signed for Hull FC, causing a public spat with the chairman of York RL, which forced Jack to publicly explain how his signing for the Black & Whites had come about.

Jack actually made his debut, at The Boulevard, on 5th September 1912, ironically against York in a 9-3 victory for the Airlie Birds.

In his debut season Jack suffered horrific luck as he twice broke his collar bone, and yet he still finished as the clubs top try-scorer, with an impressive 17 tries in 29 games.

At the time Hull FC, who had become the first team ever to lose three consecutive Challenge Cup Finals a few years earlier, were in the process of building a team capable of winning that most prestigious prize in rugby league.

Jack, and team captain, the Australian Herbert Gilbert, among others were seen as players who could make that dream happen, then in 1913, Hull paid an astonishing £600 for Billy Batten from Hunslet, it was thought he could be the final piece in the jigsaw.

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