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Former Keeper Jackson Dies
Friday, 30th Dec 2022 14:12

Former Town keeper John Jackson died yesterday, aged 80.

Hammersmith-born Jackson joined the Blues from Millwall in the summer of 1981 and spent a year at the club as back-up to Paul Cooper with Laurie Sivell recovering from a knee operation.

Jackson, then aged 39, made only one senior appearance during his spell with Town in the April 1982 2-1 home victory over Manchester United at Portman Road with the Blues on their way to second in the First Division and received a standing ovation for his performance.

Manager Bobby Robson said: “We have paid him a year's salary to make those saves, but it was worth it!”

John Gidman put the visitors ahead in the 18th minute but John Wark netted on 36 and 75 to claim the points.

Jackson, who won England youth international caps and appeared for a Football League XI earlier in his career, found out he might be playing from Robson the previous day.

“I’ve been around too long to let nerves get the better of me,” he told the Town programme for the following home match.

“To be honest, I didn’t really expect to play but once it was confirmed I didn’t bother too much, I was just worried in case I made a terrible mistake which might cost us the game.

“When John Gidman beat me with that long-range shot I thought to myself, ‘Here we go. First touch and I’m picking the ball out of the net’.

“But after that the defence kept me well protected and I didn’t really have that much to do. I was pleased when I did have a save to make that I didn’t drop a clanger.”

He added: “Years from now I’ll look upon that game as one of the highlights of my career. Last summer I never expected to be joining Ipswich and although I’ve only played that one first-team game, I still regard it as quite a bonus.

“There aren’t many who can say they made their First Division debut at the age of 39. It’s really a bit of a fairytale!”

Having played youth football for Brentford and Crystal Palace it was with the Eagles where he made his breakthrough, going on to make 388 senior appearances between 1964 and 1973, 222 of them in consecutive games, and earning the nickname ‘Stonewall’.

Six years and 256 appearances with Leyton Orient followed in which he played in the 1978 FA Cup semi-final defeat to the Blues' Wembley opponents Arsenal - as well as loan stints in the US with the St Louis Stars and California Surf - before he moved on to Millwall in 1979.

Following his year with the Blues, Jackson joined Hereford United for one more season before retiring and working as keeper-coach at Brighton and also in golf, for a magazine and selling equipment, and for a spell as a courier for Lewes District Council.

Photo: Action Images

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Marinerspumaboots added 14:18 - Dec 30
RIP John. Remember that game well

Pendejo added 14:23 - Dec 30
If you are only ever going to play one top tier game then a win against Manure is the way to do it.


blueboy1981 added 16:01 - Dec 30
R.I.P. John Jackson.
A Very Good Keeper in his day.

runningout added 16:22 - Dec 30
Sad days RIP John Jackson

itfchorry added 16:30 - Dec 30
Was at the match - He made some great saves.

Top player for Crystal Palace

Thoughts with Family and friends

oldelsworthyfan added 16:51 - Dec 30
At that match I remember when Gidman's goal went in turning to my dad and saying 'Oh dear', but Jackson did ok after that and we gave him a round of applause at the end which he really seemed to appreciate with the broadest of smiles! He was a lot taller than Paul Cooper!

Ryorry added 19:54 - Dec 30
Sad news. Condolences to his family and friends.


churchmans81 added 20:28 - Dec 30
I was at the game too and seem to remember Utd equalising but a second after the refs whilst Le blew for full time. Have I got that right? RIP, John 🧤 ⚽️ 🥅

Linkboy13 added 14:04 - Dec 31
Pleased to know im not the only old fart to remember this game. When i heard we were signing John as emergency cover i thought my god he's way past his best but after a nervous start John never let us down. RIP Jacko.

Bazza8564 added 14:25 - Dec 31
Sad news indeed, he was a stalwart of the 70s with Palace and Millwall, and yes I was at that game in 82 as well. Such a shame we are losing players we grew up watching.
RIP Jacko, condolences to your family

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