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Where Are They Now - Jack Chisholm

Where Are They Now - Jack Chisholm

It's back to the 1950s for this week's Where Are They Now chapter with Peverell Green taking a look at the career of Jack 'Jumbo' Chisholm.

JACK CHISHOLM - Born 9th October 1924 Edmonton, London.

Born Jack Richardson Chisholm but known to Argyle fans of the time as 'Jumbo' due to his large stature.

Jack started his football career as a seventeen year old with Tottenham Hotspur, but his early career was interrupted by the Second World War, he served as a guardsman until he was demobbed.
He returned to White Hart Lane but found it difficult to break into the first team, only making two appearances for them before being transferred to Brentford in 1947.

Jack soon became a regular in the Brentford team, in just over a season he made 49 appearances and scored his first league goal.
His commanding appearances led Jack to Jack being signed by Sheffield United who were playing in the First Division (Premiership).
Despite up move up in divisions he still made 21 appearances and added another goal to his tally.

The 1949-50 season saw Jack out of favour at Bramall Lane and when Argyle manager Jimmy Rae was looking for an imposing player to dominate the defence, and offered a club record of £14,000 Jack decided to move to the South West.
He made his debut on Christmas Eve 1949 in a 2-1 win at home to Chesterfield, with Maurice Tadman and Frank Squires scoring the Argyle goals in front of a 19,864 crowd.
Jack's commanding performances at centre half soon led to him being appointed team captain and in his first season made 23 appearances. Unfortunately Argyle finished 21st in the table and along with Bradford Park Avenue who finished one point behind both were relegated.

With the club back in Division 3 South for the first time since 1930 Jack was determined the stay wouldn't be a long one. He urged his players to a fourth place finish making 39 league and 4 cup appearances.

The 1951-52 season arrived with the Argyle fans hoping their team could improve on the previous season's fourth place.
They weren't to be disappointed, although the season didn't start that well with a 1-0 defeat at Leyton Orient; this was then followed by six successive wins.
Argyle were scoring goals for fun, by the time the season had ended George Dews had scored 25 goals and even this was bettered by Maurice Tadman who scored 27. Even Jack managed a goal; unfortunately it came in a rare defeat when they were beaten 3-1 at Northampton.
Argyle finished the season as runaway champions, five points clear of second placed Reading and managing to score 107 goals.

It would have been understandable if Argyle had settled for a season of consolidation on returning to Division 2 but Jack would have none of that, he again led by example with impressive defensive performances which saw Argyle beat current Premiership teams Southampton, Hull, Everton, Fulham, West Ham and Swansea.
Jack even managed to score another goal in a 2-2 draw with Notts County at Home Park; he scored the second after Gordon Astall had opened the scoring.

Argyle finished the season in fourth in the second tier of English football, still their highest ever finish.
It was around this time that Jack grew his now famous beard, although it's rare to see a photo of him without it, it was towards the end of his career before he became the only player in football to sport one.

Although still a first team regular by the 1953-54 season Jack's injuries were beginning to cause him a problem, in fact it was surprising he made it a professional sportsman, he lacked speed, agility and stamina, not helped by his liking for a drink, it was said he would often go to the Britannia for a drink before a game, turning up at the ground with just enough time to get changed into his kit and lead the team out.
What he did excel at was leadership, he inspired his team mates into action and his physical presence made him an important member of the team and a formidable tough tackling opponent.

Jack played his last game for the club April 26th 1954 in a 3-2 defeat at Stoke with Neil Langman and Paddy Radcliffe scoring for the Greens. Jack retired at the end of the season after making 188 appearances and scoring two goals.

Jack's contribution to Argyle's success was recognised when he was awarded a testimonial.
In May 1955 Argyle played a combined Spurs/West Brom team at Home Park, with Argyle winning 3-2 after goals from Arthur Morgan, George Wills and Jimmy Crawford made sure the crowd went hope happy.

As well as a footballer along with many others of his era, he was also a talented cricketer; he was a useful fast bowler.
In his youth he played for the MCC and even represented Middlesex on one occasion, playing alongside England stars Denis Compton and Bill Edrich.
He also played minor counties cricket for Bedfordshire and Devon.
Jack moved to Cornwall, managing Helston at football and playing cricket for St.Just.
He returned to Plymouth to run the Harvest Home pub, although this was fairly short lived as he proved to be too generous a host.
Jack then returned to the London area to manage Finchley before moving back to his birthplace, Edmonton to run a betting shop.

Unfortunately Jack's lifestyle wasn't conducive to a long life and he died on 24th August 1977 in Leytonstone aged just 52.

Jack's popularity with Argyle fans was apparent when in 2004 he was voted into the Argyle Hall of Fame and also into the Argyle Team of the Century.
His name even lives on inside Home Park where the hospitality suite is known as the Chisholm Lounge.



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Peverell Green
Date:Monday August 19 2013
Time: 9:53AM

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