Jack Froggatt - Jolly Jack

jack froggatt pompey player
jack froggatt pompey player
Matt Clarke scored Pompey's winner against Bury Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 1-0 Bury: they said what?

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Jack Froggatt was one of the finest players ever to have worn the royal blue colours of Pompey.

Froggatt later formed part of the formidable trio of Scoular, Froggatt and Dickinson; the most powerful half-back line in immediate post-war football as Pompey won consecutive first division titles. His football career started at Fratton Park in 1945 while he was still in the RAF. The Sheffield-born winger had worked in his father’s butchers shop and signed for Pompey as a centre-half but managed to persuade manager Jack Tinn to play him as an outside-left. His family had strong football connections. His father had played for Sheffield Wednesday before the war and his second cousin, Redfern Froggatt, went on to play 434 games for Wednesday too. Jack crowned his Pompey debut in 1945 with a second-half goal at The Dell in a War League South match with Southampton and went on to become a regular goalscorer. He had alarming speed, excellent ball control and was very strong in the air, making him one of the most versatile players Pompey have ever had.

One of his most memorable games was in the run up to the league championship in April 1949 when he scored a hat-trick of headers in a 5-0 away win at St James’ Park in front of 60,000 Newcastle fans. Froggatt’s scoring and talented agility won him deserved England recognition and between 1949 and 1953 he won the unusual distinction of playing for his country in three different positions, scoring twice in 13 full caps. His dashing wing play changed to solid centre-half dominance and very few opposing players got passed big Jack.

In his last season for Pompey he switched back to the wing again as Dougie Reid inherited the number five jersey. Against his wishes he left Pompey for Leicester City in March 1954 and played 143 matches for them, scoring 18 goals, but returned to Portsmouth to start a career in the licensed trade which lasted 22 years. He kept the Manor House in Cosham, The Milton Arms near Fratton Park and a hotel in Partridge Green, West Sussex. Jack suddenly passed away, aged 71, in February 1993 but his name, synonymous with class and football, will never be forgotten by those who saw the great man play.

Pompey League Record:

279 appearances, 65 goals.