Player profile

Jackie Sheldon

Jackie Sheldon

Birthdate: 11 February 1888
Birthplace: Clay Cross, England
Date of death: 19 March 1941
Other clubs: Nuneaton Town (1906-09), Manchester United (1909-13)
Bought from: Manchester United
Signed for LFC: £300, 26.11.1913
Liverpool debut: 29.11.1913
Last appearance: 16.04.1921
Debut goal: 06.12.1913
Last goal: 11.09.1920
Contract expiry: 1921
Win ratio: 44.9% W:66 D:36 L:45
Games/goals ratio: 7.35
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 2 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 129 / 17
Total LFC games/goals: 147 / 20

Player profile

Sheldon was a winger who joined Liverpool from Manchester United about a third of the way through the 1913/14 season as he couldn't get into United's first team because of superstar Billy Meredith. In his Liverpool debut season, he missed only three League fixtures once he had been introduced into the side at the end of November and also played in all eight FA Cup ties which saw Liverpool reach their first major final. But there was great disappointment for all concerned at the club after the single-goal defeat by Lancashire rivals Burnley at the old Crystal Palace ground. Sheldon was the smallest man in the team, but “a terror for his size." The Derby Daily Telegraph described him as *a red-haired Adonis from Derbyshire, whose neat, natty, and diminutive figure is the joy to his admirers, but a nightmare to his opponents on the field. Built on Fanny Walden lines, he is a regular “box o’ tricks,” full of strange swerves and graces, but does not overdo the fancy work. His wing play is the acme of precision, and his centre are the sort which bring goals."

In the 1914/15 season, the last full League season for four years, only Jimmy Nicholl made more appearances and only Fred Pagnam and Tom Miller scored more goals than Sheldon. His career at Liverpool will, however, always be tainted by the fact that he along with three Liverpool players; Tom Miller, Thomas Fairfoul, Bob Pursell and three United players was found guilty of fixing a game between Liverpool and Manchester United on Good Friday 1915. Sheldon, who was a former United player, was accused of being the go-between the United and Liverpool players. While in the army in France, Sheldon sent a letter to the Athletic News that was published on 10 April 1916, that proclaimed his innocence. “I emphatically state to you, as our best and fairest critic, that I am absolutely blameless in this scandal and am still open, as I have always been, to give any Red Cross Fund or any other charitable institution the sum of £20 if the FA or anyone else can bring forward any bookmaker or any other person with whom I have had a bet.” he wrote. In September 1916 Sheldon wanted to go to Anfield to watch Liverpool play Burnley. Even though he was banned he was granted free admittance as a wounded soldier but told to stay away from the dressing-rooms. When Sheldon testified in Enoch West’s case in 1917, who was one of the accused, he confessed to the court that he had convinced his teammates to play along and met with a trio of United players to decide the outcome of 2-0, with one goal scored either side of half-time. Liverpool teammate Fred Pagnam revealed that he had been offered £3 by Sheldon in a taxi en route to the match.

For his service to his country in the war Sheldon's life ban from the game was lifted and he had two more good years at Anfield when the war was over, missing just five and seven League fixtures respectively during those two seasons. Sheldon never played for Liverpool again after he broke his left leg in a collision with Harry Storer jr., the son of the old Liverpool 'keeper, against Derby County on 16 April 1921. After 25 minutes had been played “The most serious happening of the football season” took place," the Liverpool Echo reported. “Sheldon was on the half turn when tackled by Storer and beat his man first time, but Storer tackling a second time seemed to catch his man on the leg. There was an ominous crack, and every one of the 28,000 spectators feared a broken bone.”

Appearances per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 129 18 0 0 0 147
1913-1914 22 8 0 0 0 30
1914-1915 35 2 0 0 0 37
1919-1920 37 5 0 0 0 42
1920-1921 35 3 0 0 0 38

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

Total Opponent
9 Sheffield United
9 Aston Villa
8 Newcastle United
8 Manchester City
8 Burnley
7 Blackburn Rovers
7 Chelsea
7 Everton
7 Sunderland
7 WBA
7 Manchester United
7 Middlesbrough
6 Tottenham
5 Bradford City
5 Bradford Park Avenue
5 Preston North End
4 Bolton Wanderers
4 Oldham Athletic
4 Sheffield Wednesday
4 Notts County
3 Derby
3 Huddersfield Town
2 West Ham United
2 Barnsley
2 Arsenal
2 Gateshead
1 Gillingham
1 Birmingham City
1 Stockport County
1 QPR
1 Luton Town
Total Competition
129 League
18 FA Cup

Goals per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 17 3 0 0 0 20
1913-1914 5 1 0 0 0 6
1914-1915 10 0 0 0 0 10
1919-1920 1 2 0 0 0 3
1920-1921 1 0 0 0 0 1

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

Total Competition
17 League
3 FA Cup
Total Open play/Penalty
13 Open play
7 Penalty

Milestone Appearances

# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 29.11.1913 Tottenham Anfield League
50 09.01.1915 Stockport County Anfield FA Cup
100 21.02.1920 Birmingham Anfield FA Cup

Milestone Goals

# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 25 06.12.1913 Aston Villa Villa Park League

Related Articles

The Good Friday scandal

When Liverpool and Manchester United players conspired to fix their match at Old Trafford in United's favour!More

Other Clubs

Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Nuneaton Town 1906-1909 Birmingham Junior League N/A N/A N/A N/A
Manchester United 1910-1911 England First Division 5 0 5 0
Manchester United 1911-1912 England First Division 5 0 5 0
Manchester United 1912-1913 England First Division 16 1 16 1
Total 26 1 26 1
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