Flame-haired left back Wayne Jacobs was born in Sheffield and had broken into the Sheffield Wednesday first team early in the 1987/88 season, making his First Division debut in August 1987 against Oxford United. He had ten first team appearances under his belt when he signed for Hull City in March 1988, joining alongside Ken de Mange and Peter Barnes as manager Brian Horton sought to strengthen his squad after a season that had begun with a serious promotion challenge but had deteriorated into mid-table obscurity. When Horton was dismissed by chairman Don Robinson in April 1988 Wayne was rested by caretaker boss Tom Wilson, but when Eddie Gray took over the reins in 1988/89 Jacobs and Ray Daniel were used interchnageably as first choice left back, though Wayne was fully estabished as first choice from January 1989 onwards.
The 1989/90 season saw turmoil on the touchline as Colin Appleton returned to reprise his success at the club five years earlier, only to crash and burn within three months and be replaced by Stan Ternent. On the pitch, Jacobs was a constant presence in the first team, starting all 50 League and Cup games and scoring his first City goal in a December 1989 1-2 defeat at Leicester. Jacobs was injured early in the 1990/91 and was sharing the left back role with local youngster Les Thompson when Terry Dolan took over as City manager in February 1991. Jacobs missed the last two months of the season thanks to another injury, but re-established himself as City’s first choice left back under Dolan in the 1991/92 season. In January 1992 Wayne suffered a serious knee injury that kept him out of the first team for over a year. He was well on the road to recovery in the Spring of 1993 when Dolan, fearful that Wayne may never recover, terminated Jacobs’ contract, an act that raised much anger amongst the City faithful who regarded Wayne with warm affection and wanted to retain his talents and build on the 150 appearances he had amassed.
Dumped on the scrapheap by Terry Dolan – that was a tough thing for Wayne Jacobs to take. The course of his career after Hull City sometimes appeared to comprise a lengthy “screw you” to the taciturn ex-City manager. Buoyed by a new-found Christian faith, Wayne joined Rotherham United in the 1993 close season and missed only four league games all season as his return to full fitness was emphatically confirmed. In August 1994 he joined Bradford City and his arrival coincided with one of the most successful spells in the Bantams’ history. Wayne was a first team regular as Bradford won promotion to the second tier in May 1996 after play-off victory over Notts County. And three years later at the end of the 1998/99 season the Valley Parade side, guided by manager Paul Jewell, won promotion to the Premier League. Jacobs made 44 Premier League appearances in Bradford’s two seasons in the top flight, and stayed on for a further three seasons as the club drifted back into the third tier. He retired at the end of the 2004/05 season having made 565 senior appearances, 405 of which came after Terry Dolan jettisoned him thinking he would never play senior football again. Bad call, Terence.
Jacobs spent 2005/06 season playing Confernce football for Halifax Town, where he also assistant manager. This began a second career as footballing coach and number 2. He returned to Bradford City as assistant manager in 2007 under boss Stuart McCall, briefly took over as caretaker manager when McCall was dismissed in February 2010 then retained his assistant manager role under new manager (and ex-Tigers boss) Peter Taylor. His time at Bradford drew to a close in February 2011 when Taylor was dismissed. After several years pursuing other goals Jacobs returned to football management in 2018 working under manager Darren Moore, but that role drew to a close in March 2019 when Moore was relieved of his duties.
Outside of football Jacobs had a third career based around his Christian faith – he was founder and Chief Executive of the One In A Million charity, which worked extensively with disadvantaged children in the Bradford area and founded a free school.
Date/Place of Birth: 3 February 1969, Sheffield
Hull City First Game: 26 March 1988, Leicester City A (Division Two), 19 years, 52 days old
Hull City Final Game: 25 January 1992, Stoke City H (Division Three), 22 years, 356 days old
Sheffield Wednesday (1986-1988), Hull City (1988-1993), Rotherham United (1993-1994), Bradford City (1994-2005), Halifax Town (2005-2006)
Hull City Record
Career: 150 apps, 4 goalsWayne Jacobs
|1988/89||33 (0)||0||3 (0)||0||1 (0)||0||-||-||1 (0)||0|
|1989/90||46 (0)||3||1 (0)||0||2 (0)||0||-||-||1 (0)||0|
|1990/91||19 (0)||1||1 (0)||0||1 (0)||0||-||-||1 (0)||0|
|1991/92||23 (2)||0||3 (0)||0||3 (0)||0||-||-||3 (0)||0|