Walsall Born Walsall Players 4 Jack Bridgett
Posted on September 26, 2014
Born Walsall 10th April 1929
West Bromwich Albion.
Blakenall 2 times.
Jack went to school at Wolverhampton Road School, Walsall. He played on the left wing around the Black Country junior football scene. He joined West Bromwich Albion as a Professional in May 1947 although he had been playing for them as an amateur. He was never lucky with injuries, suffering two broken ankles playing in Services football for Western Command. After being demobbed he suffered a leg break, in two places. He was signed by Harry Hibbs the then Walsall manager, on a free transfer, in May 1950. He joined Walsall because he had not made it to The Albion’s first team. Jack played a couple of games for Walsall reserves as a centre forward and as centre half.
He made his debut in the first team, against Norwich City, as centre forward, in 1950. However the injury bug caught him again and he never finished the match. It was then not until the 1951-52 season that Jack became a regular first teamer, but once in he became very hard to remove! 1952-53 season, he was top scorer with the ball hitting the net 11 times. In 1953-54 season Jack was switched to play in defense where he was in great form until again he was hit by injury, this time a dislocated elbow, and his season ended in the march. He went on to play 108 League games for The Saddlers before he was released at the end of season 1954-55. He moved on to Worcester City after being replaced by Albert McPherson.
He played with Jimmy Dunn, Frank Hodgetts at Worcester, but still had the injury bug, this last time he collected a fractured skull, he reluctantly decide to retire. In 1958 he came out of retirement to play in the Welsh League for Abergavenny, but again the bug hit, this time a broken leg. This was to be his last footballing injury as he hung his boots up for good.
All through his career, he worked with youth clubs and junior football teams. He coach one in Little Bloxwich to a host of honours in their age group. Winning the Walsall F.A Botham cup, four times between 1967 and 1971.
He became manager of Blakenall football club leaving them after a short time but returning to manage for a second time during which he led them to win Walsall F A senior cup, four times. The Midland Combination title and reached the fifth round of the F A Vase competition.
Jack became chairman of the ex Walsall Players Assosciation and worked as an Education Welfare Officer with Walsall Borough Council, and upon the death of another great Bert Williams, this year, he accepted the role of President of the FPA at Walsall.
Snippet courtesy of David Evans.
Additional info on Jack Bridgett – In total he made 116 appearances for Walsall in all competitions scoring 18 goals. Looking back on his time at Fellows Park he said in 2014, “I was happy to play for Walsall and to wear the shirt. Wages were never an issue and I never asked for a rise. I just focused on my football.”