1910 Jack Fitchett
Some sources mention that Jack Fitchett, formerly with Bolton Wanderers and Plymouth Argyle, “briefly resumed his football career to assist Exeter City in February 1910”. Whilst there is scant evidence of this it is clear that he was a theatre manager in Exeter at the time and had been involved in a novelty football match at St James’ Park.
He was born in Chorlton-Cum-Hardy around 1879 and represented Manchester Schoolboys while playing his youth football with Talbot FC. In May 1897 he joined Bolton Wanderers where he remained for five years making 76 appearances.
During his time with Bolton Wanderers he made three appearances for the Football League in representative matches against the Irish League In November 1899, November 1900 and November 1901, and also played in an unofficial international against Germany in 1901.
In the spring of 1902 he joined Manchester United for the first time but, without making a first-team appearance, soon moved to Southampton of the Southern League in May 1902 where he made 8 appearances. Returning to Manchester United he appeared in the Football League towards the end of 1902/03 games for Southampton. And, if 1902 and 1903 hadn’t been hectic enough, he was soon on the move again to Plymouth Argyle. Appearing in the Pilgrims’ first professional team in 1903/04, he was a regular first-teamer making 46 appearances before once again signing for Manchester United. Later switching to Manchester City he later appeared for Fulham.
During his youth he had also been an actor and a member of Exeter-born Fred Karno’s theatrical company. Remaining in contact with Karno, Jack Fitchett took over the management of the new Hippodrome Theatre in Exeter when the impresario converted it into a music hall in 1908. Whether or not the match was arranged for City’s benefit or to publicise the theatre, a game was organised between Fred Karno's XI and Exeter City in 1909 with Jack Fitchett playing for Karno’s team.
He later managed the New Palace Theatre in Union Street, Plymouth before taking over a nearby pub.
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