Crossley, Jackie

Birth Date

29th July 1922


Belfast, Northern Ireland



Biographical Text

Jackie Crossley from Belfast was a wartime guest player for Exeter City during 1944/45 when, as the situation eased, a number of games were organised to constitute the first football played by the club since 1939. Having played at various times for Cliftonville and Distillery, he appeared once for Reading in the Football League.

Jackie was reported as playing for Exeter City against the Royal Marines and Yeovil in February 1945.

A former player for Cliftonville in the Irish League, Jackie was stationed locally as a Chief Petty Officer in the Royal Navy and went on to appear for Portsmouth in the hastily-arranged interim league competitions during 1945/46. He then made a solitary Football League appearance for Reading when ‘official’ league football resumed in 1946 before, having married a young woman from Portsmouth, continuing to live in Hampshire until emigrating to the United States in 1955. His final football had been for Isle of Wight club Sandown in the Hampshire League.

Jackie died in November 2001.



Steven Crossley

Hello so good to see some more info on my father John ( Jackie ) Crossley ( I don't think his middle name was James and he was born in 1923 in July ( I think) not 2001 which you have at top of page. I did not grow up with him as my Mother divorced him mid 1950's. He was an Alcoholic, which may have affected his playing careeer ----.

Thanks again - it is hard to find any documents from those years especially from Portsmouth FC, just one mention in a program from the clubs jubilee year. I think he was the reserve in some of those games and didn't make the team sheet - and he must have been a 'fast' full back as he boxed Welterweight - 150 pounds or less and won the gold medal in 1945 as Combined Services Welterweight Champion and he was only 5'9" - very short for a full back, which is interesting as didn't know they played 'fast full back' in those days. 


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