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Remembering Our Heroes: John “Jacky” Smith

9 November 2021

Ahead of Remembrance Day, we are taking a look at former Hull City players who served in the military during the First or Second World War...


Born into a coal mining family, John “Jacky” Smith joined Hull City from Hebburn Argyle in June 1905.

Due to an injury, Smith had to wait until late September to make his Tigers debut, featuring against Leeds City at 21-years-old. He quickly scored 23 goals for the reserves, including seven in one game against Driffield White Star, before becoming a regular first-team starter in January 1906.

Smith scored 31 league goals in 37 appearances in the 1907/08 season, including four goals in a 5-0 victory over Clapton Orient, and was chosen to represent the English Football League against their Scottish counterparts.

After a nasty injury at the start of the 1908/09 season, his goalscoring form continued the following season and once again topped the English and European charts with 32 league goals.

In November 1910, Smith joined First Division side Sheffield United and later went on to represent Nottingham Forest, Nelson, York City, Hebburn Argyle and Heckmondwike.

He enlisted into the war effort in 1915, initially with the East Yorkshire Regiment before transferring to the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in September 1916 to prepare for the Somme Offensive, where he lost his life on 17th October 1916. His passing is recorded at the Loos Memorial near Lens in Northern France.


Thanks goes to On Cloud Seven for providing information and images.

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