Fort, John (Jack)

Birth Date

13th April 1888

Birthplace

Leigh, Lancashire

Occupation

Full-Back

Biographical Text

Little did Exeter City know when they signed Fort from Atherton in the summer of 1911, that they were to acquire a player who would go on and play a game for England.

A relative unknown when he linked up with the Grecians, he had started his career with Plank Lane in Leigh, before moving to Atherton in 1910, where he featured in 37 Lancashire Combination matches.

Described as a compactly built full-back, Fort made his Exeter debut in a 1-4 home defeat against Swindon Town in a Southern League fixture.

He soon became City’s first choice right-back, and was a model of consistency throughout the 1912-13 and 1913-14.

Moving on to Millwall, he played in 250 Football League games for them, eventually leaving in 1930, but not before he had won an England cap nine years earlier.

Jack Fort also gained three England caps playing in trial internationals against the home countries. He holds two records at Millwall which are unlikely to be broken. He is the oldest player ever to have played for Millwall in a league match at 42 years of age and he is still Millwall's longest serving employee having joined from Exeter City in 1914 and staying on in various capacities until he died in 1965 a total of 51 years.

In 2014 an original musical called The Day We Played Brazil opened at The Northcott Theatre in Exeter about the 1914 Exeter City team who were the first football team to play Brazil. Devon born actor James Cotter played Jack Fort in the musical which sold out its run and played to the existing Exeter City team and some Exeter City legends as well as some of the families of the original players.

John died in 1965

Appearances

85

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