Mitton, Jack

Birth Date

7th November 1895


Cornholme, Lancashire



Biographical Text

Jack Mitton, Lancashire-born and signing from Bury in 1919, was a regular during Exeter City’s final Southern League season in 1919/20. Remaining with the club after its election to the Football League, he played in Exeter’s first-ever game in the competition against Brentford in August 1920 before joining Sunderland shortly afterwards for a sizable fee. His brother Jimmy also played for Exeter City.

Jack began his career with Brierfield before moving on to Burnley in 1914 and, once the war was over, appeared for Bury during the 1918/19 season. 

Signing for Exeter City in the summer of 1919, Jack made his debut at Southampton on 30 August 1919 and was an ever-present during the club's final season in the Southern League. Remaining with the club as it took up membership of the new Football League Division Three, he played in the opening fixture against Brentford on 28 August 1920 and kept his place as he passed fifty consecutive games since making his debut. Attracting the interest of other clubs, he made a final appearance against Southend United on 20 October 1920 before signing for Sunderland for a fee thought to be in the region of £2,000.  

Jack had 80 league outings (7 goals) for Sunderland before enjoying a fine spell with Wolverhampton Wanderers between 1924 and 1927 where he made a hundred league appearances whilst scoring six goals along the way. He then had a brief, less-successful spell with Southampton. 

Also a cricketer, Jack made two first-class appearances for Somerset in 1920 - against Cambridge University and Oxford University - in the summer between his Southern League and Football League appearances for the Grecians. 

Jack died in Norfolk on 5 August 1983. His brother Jimmy signed for Exeter City following Jack's departure and played for the club between 1921 and 1923.


A tribute to Jack Mitton's abilities appeared in the local press on 20 October 1920 under the heading 'John Mitton: An Appreciation.'

"John Mitton, Exeter City's brilliant left half back, was transferred to Sunderland at the conclusion of the Southend match. He was one of the Exeter club's ever-presents last season, and his magnificent displays in the red and white stripes attracted a great deal of attention. It is an open secret that the Grecians received several 4-figure offers for his transfer in the course of the winter, and not many Exonians then expected to see him in the ranks of the club again this season. He was induced to remain, however, until now, when having acquainted with the facts, he expressed his desire for change.

The amount of the transfer fee has not been disclosed, but that it is very high one goes without saying, and the general opinion is that £2000 has changed hands. Mitton is every inch a footballer, and tip-top men are not to be had for the asking, in present day football. Mr S. H. Thomas, the Exeter City secretary, has stated that the player was informed of the overtures made in regard to him during last season, as they occurred, and the decision had been left entirely with him, as the club felt they should not stand in the way of any player who wished to better himself.

Representatives of Sunderland came down to Exeter yesterday, watched Mitton's play in the match against Southend, and in the evening made a club a definite offer for his transfer. It was a considerable amount, and Mitton, on being informed of what had occurred, expressed his wish to throw in his lot with the First Division club. The directors, therefore, decided to accept the offer and the transfer was completed.

Mitton, who is 24 years of age, is a native of Cornholme, near Todmorden, Lancashire. He stands 5ft 11 ins, in his socks and weighs 12 stone. Prior to being signed on for Exeter by Mr Chadwick he assisted Padiham, Burnley and Bury. Known to his friends and admirers as Snowball on account of the colours of his "thatch" he will be much missed, but all followers of Exeter City will wish this popular and highly esteemed player the very best of luck in his new exalted sphere"


53 (Southern League 42; Football League 11)



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