Writer: Peverell Green
Date:Monday February 4 2013
Argyle striker Jack Vidler is next on the list for Peverell Green's 'Where Are They Now' series.
JACK VIDLER - Born 13th June 1905 Portsmouth.
Christened as Horace Jack Vidler but known to everyone as Jack, he joined the club straight from the army with the usual signing on fee being used to buy him out. He made his debut on March 2nd 1929 in a 1-1 draw away to Southend with Raymond Bowden scoring for Argyle. He only made one other appearance in his debut season, against Luton at Kenilworth Road in a 2-2 draw with Frank Sloan and Jack Leslie scoring the Argyle goals.
1929-30 saw Jack get more first team football; he scored his first goal on September 21st in a 1-1 draw at home to Brighton. As the season progressed he got into his goalscoring stride, two against Luton in a 6-1 home win in November was followed up in a FA Cup second round replay with a hat trick against Watford in a 3-1 home win. Another hat trick came in the 4-0 home thrashing of QPR and he went one better when he got all four goals in a 4-1 beating of Norwich at Home Park.
In his first full season he made 31 appearances and scored 19 goals. Argyle finished as Champions of Division 3 South finishing up with 68 points with runners up Brentford seven points behind.
I don't know why but throughout his career Jack always seemed to have a good season and then followed it with a mediocre one by his standards, after his 19 goals in 1929-30 he only scored six in the following season although he only made 16 appearances, he did manage to score a hat trick at home to West Brom in a comprehensive 5-1 home win.
1931-32 saw Jack regularly playing first team football again and once again amongst the goals, a hat-trick at home on Boxing Day in the 5-1 hammering of Bury was followed up with another in January in the 8-1 destruction of Millwall at Home Park.
Other notable results that season included a 1-0 win at White Hart Lane over Spurs, the following Saturday 22,555 Argyle fans saw their team beat Man Utd 3-1, Southampton were thrashed 6-0 at the Dell, Spurs were soundly beaten 4-1 with Jack getting one of the goals and Manchester United were knocked out of the cup at Home Park 4-1, Jack again getting a goal.
The following two seasons were poor by Jack's standards, in 1932-33 he made 28 appearances scoring 8 goals this was followed by two goals from 12 appearances in 1933-34.
1934-35 saw Jack an ever present in the first team, playing in all 42 league matches and both FA Cup games with him scoring 21 in league games, a goal every other game throughout the season.
He scored yet another hat trick in the opening home game of the season with Argyle beating Hull 6-4 and scoring two goals in a match on three occasions, all at home, Southampton 4-0, Burnley 2-2 and Notts Forest 5-2.
The next season 1935-36, again saw Jack make only limited appearances, 22 and scoring 9 goals.
He started well, getting the first goal in a season opener at home to Man Utd in a 3-1 win with Arthur Eggleston getting the other two. United ended up as champions by one point from Charlton, Jack also scored against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the fourth round of the FA Cup in front of 53,704 fans, unfortunately it was Argyles only goal in a 4-1 defeat.
We did have the pleasure of playing Spurs in London on Christmas Day with the reverse fixture at Home Park on Boxing Day, Argyle won both games 2-1. Tottenham ended up fifth and Argyle seventh.
1936-37 saw Jack make 37 appearances scoring 14 goals, six of his goals came in the first four games, one in the opener in a 2-2 draw away to Fulham, two days later on August Bank Holiday Monday he got another in a 1-1 draw at Bradford City, two in the first home game of the season a 7-0 hammering of Doncaster Rovers and another two in a 4-4 draw at home to Bradford City.
With eleven of his goals coming by mid-December it was a lean second half of the season for him.
1937-38, with Jack now 32 he only managed to score four goals from 22 appearances, and it would have been obvious to him his days at Home Park were numbered.
The highlight of his season and possibly his career came on October 30th when he scored the second goal in a 2-0 home win over Sheffield United; it was his one hundredth goal, allowing him to join a very select club, with, at the time, only Sammy Black and Jack Leslie as the other members.
In the following season he was only called upon five times and scoring his last, and 103rd goal for the club, it came on January 28th in a 2-2 draw at home to Millwall, Harry Lane got the other Argyle goal. He made his final appearance a week later when Argyle lost 1-0 at home to Sheffield United.
At the end of the season with war imminent he was released after making 256 appearances scoring 103 goals.
The Football Association after being heavily criticised for continuing a league programme after the First World War was declared called off the forthcoming season after three games, with the South West Regional League being formed.
Jack by now had joined Bristol City who were also playing in the SW Regional League.
There were eight teams, Argyle, Bristol City and Rovers, Torquay, Newport, Swindon, Swansea and Cardiff, they played each other four times.
Jack returned to Home Park in both of the Argyle v City games, with neither games ending happily for the former Pilgrim, a 6-0 home win in October was followed up with a 10-3 thrashing in February. Argyle ended up as champions with Torquay in second place, they played their last game on June 8th away to Newport.
It was to be the last game Argyle would play until football started again in 1945. That season began with a 5-5 draw being played out at Southampton and a badly bomb damaged Home Park welcoming football back on September 1st.
Unfortunately Jack didn't live a long life, he died in 1953 aged 48.
The last years of his life are a bit of a mystery, even his exact date of death is uncertain, so if anyone can fill in the gaps it would be appreciated.
If you have any information on Jack please let us know by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Date:Monday February 4 2013
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