John Talbut’s story

John Talbut
John Talbut

Wow, what a response to my appeal for information regarding young South Shields High School lad J.Talbut.

No sooner had his photo appeared in the Gazette’s new Time of our Lives nostalgia page, than the phone started ringing and the emails began to come through.

“I remember when he was 12 or 13, he was well over six foot tall.”

Apparently, young John, or as he was more commonly known, young Jackie, was quite a footballer.

In fact, the photograph was probably taken to mark the fact that he had just been selected to play for England in a schoolboy international match.

Harry Peasland, who was in the same year as Jackie at the High School, remembers him, and the occasion of his calling-up to play for his country.

“It was in 1956, and it was a big thing when we were at school,” recalls 74-year-old Harry, who lives in Marsden Road, South Shields.

Mr Peasland said both Jackie and fellow schoolmate Ronnie Fenton were selected for the England squad.

However, Ronnie developed appendicitis before the game, and was unable to play.

Jackie though went on to play for England – after which he became a professional footballer, signing initially for Burnley. His first game for the Clarets was on December 26, 1958, away to Leicester. The Foxes were again the opposition when Jackie made his last appearance for Burnley on November 5, 1966.

Records show that he then moved to West Brom for a reported transfer fee of £32,000, quite a lot of money in those days.

He then moved overseas to play for KV Mechelen, in Belgium, where it is thought he retired.

“The last I heard of Jackie was that he was running a bar in Belgium,” added Mr Peasland.

“In his younger days he played for both the High School and the town boys team, I think at centre half.

“I remember when he was 12 or 13, he was well over six foot tall. When he and Ronnie got called up, the story was in the papers, especially how Ronnie got appendicitis.”

The response to the photo, along with another of a football team, generated so much interest, that I will be featuring more of your memories about Jackie and other young South Shields’ footballers next week. So watch out for it.