Dockray, John

Birth Date

22nd July 1892





Biographical Text

John Dockray not only played for Exeter City either side of the First World War but he also played for the club’s first-team in both the Southern League and Football League. Originally from the Carlisle area he joined the club from Bury and, after finishing in football, spent the rest of his life in Exeter.        

After starting at Solway Star (whilst working as a ‘twister’ in a factory) and then playing for Carlisle United, John made his Football League debut with Bury in 1912 prior to signing for Exeter City in 1914.

With the Southern League continuing for a season after the outbreak of the Great War, he made his Grecians debut against Reading on 12 December 1914 and had made 23 appearances (scoring twice) before football was suspended at the end of the 1914/15 season. 

Returning to St James’ Park for City’s final Southern League season in 1919/20 and now known as the “Carlisle Express”, he was considered to be one of the best outside-lefts in the Southern League. Subsequently, missing just one game during the first post-war season, he was an obvious candidate to remain with the club as it embarked on its debut season in the new Third Division in 1920.

Appearing in the first match against Brentford on 28 August 1920, he was to play every game in 1920/21 and a further 99 over the following three seasons to finish on 205 league appearances in both competitions whilst scoring seventeen times along the way. Having enjoyed a joint benefit match with Jimmy Rigby in May 1923, he left the club a year later and played firstly for Bideford and then Friernhay.         

John Dockray died on 12 September 1939 at which time he was publican of the Kings Head in Exeter.


205 (Southern League 64; Football League 141)


17 (Southern League 5; Football League 12)



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