John Forsyth “Jackie” Crawford was an outside right who joined City in March 1920 from Jarrow Town. Like many of his contemporaries at Anlaby Road, Crawford came from the banks of River Tyne in the North East. He was born in Jarrow to a Scottish naval architect father and lived in South Shields and nearby Jarrow as a young man. By 15 Crawford was employed as a timekeeper in the shipyard of Palmer’s Shipbuilding in Jarrow – the human equivalent of a clocking-on machine. Palmer’s was a shipbuilding yard in Jarrow that went bust in 1933, causing hundreds of redundancies and precipitating the Jarrow March.
He played for Palmer’s Works as a teenager then joined the Merchant Navy during World War 1. After his release from wartime duties in 1919 Jackie played for Jarrow Town before signing for the Tigers in March 1920.
Though signed as an outside left, Crawford was soon converted to play at outside right by City manager David Menzies. In three full seasons at the Tigers Crawford was a first team regular contributing goals to his creative forward play. He was diminutive at 5 foot two but was full of tricks, could cut inside off the wing and could cross the ball effectively with both feet – quite a skillset!
In May 1923 First Division Chelsea paid £3,000 to sign Crawford, where he moved back to outside left. Crawford had eleven years at Stamford Bridge spent in the First and Second Divisions, making 308 league and cup appearances. In May 1934 Crawford joined Queens Park Rangers. Now 38 years old, he played for a further three years before taking a coaching role at QPR in 1927. By 1939 Crawford lived with his wife Henrietta and daughter Joan (who was born in Hull in 1923) in New Malden, South London, where he worked as a Metropolitan Police reserve. After the Second World War he helped Malden Town, his local Surrey Senior League team, on a voluntary basis. Crawford died on the 27th September 1975 in Epsom, south west London, the day after his 79th birthday.
In March 1931, at 34 years of age, Crawford was selected by the England international selectors to play a British Championship match against Scotland at Hampden Park. This was his only international honour.
Date/Place of Birth: 26 September 1896, Jarrow
Hull City First Game: 13 March 1920, Huddersfield Town A (Division Two), 23 years, 169 days old
Hull City Final Game: 5 May 1923, Coventry City A (Division Two), 26 years, 221 days old
Palmer’s Works, Jarrow Town (1919-1920), Hull City (1920-1923), Chelsea (1923-1934), Queens Park Rangers (1934-1937)
Hull City Record
Career: 134 apps, 13 goalsJackie Crawford