John Cecil “Jack” Robson was born at Bewicke Main village near Birtley in County Durham, a model village built adjacent to the Bewicke Main Colliery – the village was demolished shortly after the colliery closed in 1932. His father was a coal miner, as was Jack in his teenage years. Before he was 17 Robson played for Birtley in the Northern Alliance League and attracted the attention of First Division side Burnley, who gave him a trial in February 1932. With Burnley declining to sign Jack, he was instead signed by Hull City two days before his 17th birthday, the youngest a footballer could sign a professional contract. Robson served City’s reserves for nearly two years before he made his debut in faraway North London on Christmas Day 1924, replacing first choice outside left Alec Thom. This was to be Robson’s only senior game for City, who was released by the Tigers in April 1925.
Still only 19 years of age, Robson joined Division Three South side Reading in August 1925 and went straight into the Royals’ first team, scoring on his debut against Queens Park Rangers. He ended his first season at Elm Park with seven goals as Reading won the Division Three South title and Robson retained his first team place in the Second Division, netting eleven times as the Royals reached the FA Cup Semi Final where they lost 0-3 to Cardiff City at Wolves’ Molineux ground. Robson completed a third season at Reading and by the end of the 1927/28 season he had made 122 appearances for the club and scored 24 goals.
In June 1928 a substantial fee was paid by First Division side Derby County to sign Robson. He came into the Rams’ first team in October 1928 and scored four times but was out of the first eleven by the end of January 1929. He started only five games in the 1929/30 season – though scored in four of those games – and made just four and eight starts respectively during the following two seasons. In June 1932 Robson joined Southend United, having scored 10 times in 40 starts for Derby County. After six goals in 28 games for Southend he returned north and signed for Chester in August 1933, but was unable to break into the first team at Sealand Road and moved on the Rochdale three months later. After 10 goals in just 30 starts for Rochdale during the remainder of the 1933/34 season Robson was again impressing clubs from higher divisions and in July 1934 he joined Second Division side Oldham Athletic. He scored nine goals in 38 starts in his first season at Oldham but in his second season he moved into the half back line and managed only four starts. He stopped playing at the end of the 1935/36 season, bringing to a close a senior career that spanned 13 years and comprised 59 goals in 260 starts.
Aftre football he returned to Hull, having married a Hull girl in 1930, and by 1939 he was licensee of the Paragon Hotel on Paragon Street, which later became the Hull Cheese pub. By 1942 he had taken over the Duke of Cumberland Hotel in Ferriby, later in life he moved to Derbyshire and died in Ashbourne at the end of 1966.
Date/Place of Birth: 24 March 1906, Birtley
Hull City First Game: 25 December 1924, Clapton Orient A (Division Two), 18 years, 276 days old
Hull City Final Game: 25 December 1924, Clapton Orient A (Division Two), 18 years, 276 days old
Birtley, Hull City (1923-1925), Reading (1925-1928), Derby County (1928-1932), Southend United (1932-1933), Chester (1933), Rochdale (1933-1934), Oldham Athetic (1934-1936)
Hull City Record
Career: 1 apps, 0 goalsJack Robson