Feebery, John (Jack) Henry
Jack Feebery, from a family of Nottinghamshire professional footballers, scored from the penalty spot in Exeter City's first ever Football League game against Brentford in August 1920. Having spent ten years with Bolton Wanderers either side of the Great War, he arrived at St James' Park as a relatively well-known footballer. An ever-present during 1920/21 there would have been disappointment when he left for Brighton and Hove Albion at the end of the season. He later played for Mid Rhondda United.
The Feebery family, from Hucknall in Nottinghamshire, was one of the largest families in English football history producing from one generation of brothers four first-team professional footballers and two reserves. Aside from Jack, the first-teamers were Albert (Coventry City and Crystal Palace), Alf (Notts County and Bristol Rovers) and Horace (Bolton Wanderers and Mansfield Town)
Jack started his career with local sides Hucknall and Bulwell White Star before signing for Bolton Wanderers in 1909. He stayed at Burnden Park for ten years making 180 league appearances (16 goals) either side of the First World War.
Signing for Exeter City in the summer of 1920 he arrived with a reputation of having a ferocious shot with tales of goalkeepers sustaining injury in attempting to thwart his efforts on goal. With excitement about the signing of the “penalty king”, the powerful defender made his debut against Brentford in the club's first-ever game in the Football League. Scoring from the spot he went on to play all 42 league games during the 1920/21 season. But not, it needs to be added, without a spot of drama when his wife was dragged from the Exeter Canal by City player Walter Wright after her boat overturned following an evening out at the Double Locks in September 1920.
Much to the consternation of the club's followers he surprisingly moved on after just one season when he joined Brighton and Hove Albion where he remained until 1924. He then appeared for Mid-Rhondda United before heading back to Nottinghamshire where he died in early 1960 at the age of 71.