|Full name||John Pickering|
|Date of birth||18 December 1908|
|Place of birth||High Green, Sheffield, England|
|Date of death||10 May 1977(aged 68)|
|Place of death||Bournemouth, England|
|Playing position||Inside left|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Pickering learned his football at Barnsley Grammar School and Mortomley St. Saviours from where he came directly to United at the age of 17, in 1925. He was a tall, long striding attacking player, and was instantly seen as a successor to Billy Gillespie at inside-forward. Jack was a part-time player, first working as a bookmaker and then an accountant.
He was a clever manipulator of the ball and a master of the long cross field pass which had been a feature of Sheffield United’s play in the 1890s. An intelligent player, he generally lay far back behind, directing his fellow forwards with discriminating passes.
Pickering became a regular first team player at the end of the 1920s as Gillespie's playing career wound down. Jack's ball control was excellent as was his passing. He played a thoughtful studied game, simple in essence, but he was also a fast runner and began to score splendid goals with hard shots often from around the edge of the six yard box.
He was chosen for the Football League side in 1932 and for the Rest against England in an international trial in March 1933. The Rest forward line played so well (winning 5-1) that they were all chosen to play Scotland at Hampden Park. Pickering received what turned out to be his only international cap for England in that match.
He possessed a strong shot and played in 39 matches in season 1935-36, scoring 17 goals as United reached the 1936 FA Cup Final. Pickering partnered striker Bobby Barclay in the final against Arsenal at Wembley Stadium, and both impressed with their stylish distribution and approach play. But it was not to be United’s day and they lost the match 1-0.
In season 1938-39, Pickering was partnered with Jimmy Hagan in possibly one of the Blades' most exciting teams of the 1900s. When World War II broke out, United were standing at the top of the First Division - the season was canceled after just three matches.
He played in Wartime matches for Sheffield United, and made eleven appearances in the team which won the League North title in season 1945-46. The first post-war season saw him make just one appearance and that was in the Championship decider against Stoke City. Pickering scored United's second goal that was to take the title to Liverpool with United finishing sixth in Division One.
In a career that spanned 23 seasons, he made his final appearance for Sheffield United against Portsmouth at Bramall Lane on 1 January 1948 when he was 39 years old. Overall, he made 367 (344 league) appearances and scored 110 goals (101 league) in all competitions, in a career exclusively with United.
References and notes
- "England players: Jack Pickering". englandfootballonline. 10 May 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- Young, Percy A. (1962). Football in Sheffield. ISBN 0-9506272-4-0
- Clarebrough, Denis. (1989) Sheffield United F.C., The First 100 years. ISBN 0-9508588-1-1
- Clarebrough, Denis. From The Past, Sheffield United matchday programme, 26 December 1986.
- Jack Pickering at Englandstats.com, Retrieved 4 October 2018
- England Match Details (accessed 19 December 2006)
Sheffield United Career
|Season||Division||League Apps||League Goals||FA Cup Apps||FA Cup Goals||Total Apps||Total Goals|
Note: Season 1939-40 was abandoned after 3 matches due to outbreak of World War II.
Pickering continued to make appearances in regional League and Cup competitions between 1939-46.