Crossley, John (James)

Birth Date

29th July 1922


Belfast, Northern Ireland



Biographical Text

The former Cliftonville player was a guest for Exeter City during the 1944-45 season, making his debut for the Grecians in a 6-2 win at Yeovil in February 1945.

He was stationed locally and was a Chief Petty Officer in the Royal Navy. He made his debut at St James Park against the Royal Marines on Saturday 17th February 1945.

He signed for Portsmouth in April 1945, with a number of clubs, including Exeter City and Lincoln City pursuing his signature. John played a total of  7 games for Pompey in the 1944/45 and 1945/46 seasons. 

He married a girl from Portsmouth and had 2 sons.

A little over year later in July 1946 he signed for Reading, where he played 1 game at full back. He also played for Distillery, in Northen Ireland.

In July 1954 as 31 year old he was signed by Sandown in the Hampshire league, as a player-coach. He played at centre-half for Sandown.

He emigrated to the USA in October 1955. 

John died on November 27th 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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