Jack Lambert (footballer)

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Jack Lambert
Personal information
Full name John Lambert
Date of birth (1902-05-22)22 May 1902
Place of birth Greasbrough, Yorkshire, England
Date of death 7 December 1940(1940-12-07) (aged 38)
Place of death Enfield, Middlesex, England
Playing position Centre forward
Youth career
Methley Perseverance
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1922 Rotherham County 1 (1)
1922–1925 Leeds United 1 (0)
1925–1926 Doncaster Rovers 44 (13)
1926–1933 Arsenal 143 (98)
1933–1935 Fulham 34 (4)
Total 223 (116)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

John "Jack" Lambert (22 May 1902 – 7 December 1940) was an English footballer.

A large and robust centre forward from Greasbrough, near Rotherham, Yorkshire, Lambert was turned down by Sheffield Wednesday after a trial, so started his career playing for Rotherham County in 1922. He soon made a move to Leeds United, but spent three years there with little success. He finally came to prominence after becoming a regular goalscorer for Doncaster Rovers, joining the side in January 1925. Playing in Yorkshire, he had attracted the attention of Herbert Chapman when the latter was manager of Huddersfield Town; when Chapman became Arsenal manager, needing a quality centre-forward, he signed Lambert for £2,000 in June 1926.

He made 16 appearances in his first season with the club, but only scored one goal. He also made 16 appearances in the 1927–28 season, but managed to score three times. He became a regular for the club towards the end of the 1929-30 season; scoring 18 times in only 20 league appearances.[1] He played in Arsenal's 2–1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday in the Charity Shield at Stamford Bridge in October 1930.[2]

The following season (1930-31) Lambert was even more successful, scoring 38 goals in just 34 games in the League, a club record at the time (which was later broken by Ted Drake) that included a total of seven hat-tricks; that season Arsenal won the First Division title for the first time in their history. Lambert continued to play for Arsenal over the next few years, scoring regularly (including five goals in a 9-2 defeat of Sheffield United, the most ever scored by an Arsenal player in a single home match); he helped Arsenal reach a third FA Cup final, a 2-1 loss to Newcastle United in 1931-32, and won a second First Division title in 1932-33, scoring 14 goals in 12 league appearances.

By now Lambert was over 30 and only a bit-part player (Ernie Coleman having led the front line through most of 1932-33), and the signing of Jimmy Dunne in September 1933 forced Lambert out of the side; his last game came on 13 September 1933 against West Bromwich Albion and he was sold in October 1933 to Fulham. In all he scored 109 goals in 161 games for the Gunners, a quite high ratio, but it wasn't enough for him ever to be selected for England.

Lambert played for two seasons for Fulham before retiring from playing in 1935. The following year he became coach of Margate (who at the time were Arsenal's "nursery" club) and returned to Arsenal in 1938 as a coach of the club's reserve side. He died at the age of 38, killed in a car accident in Enfield, Middlesex, on 7 December 1940.[3]


  1. ^ "Jack Lambert". Arsenal Player Database. Arsenal FC. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Fortune smiles on the Arsenal". Sheffield Independent. 8 October 1930. p. 10. Retrieved 22 March 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  3. ^ The Times digital archive 9 December 1940
  • Harris, Jeff (1995). Hogg, Tony, ed. Arsenal Who's Who. Independent UK Sports. ISBN 1-899429-03-4.