Jackie Henderson

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For other people with the same name, see John Henderson.
Jackie Henderson
Personal information
Full name John Gillespie Henderson
Date of birth (1932-01-17)17 January 1932
Place of birth Glasgow, Scotland
Date of death 26 January 2005(2005-01-26) (aged 73)
Place of death Poole, Dorset, England
Playing position Centre forward, Inside forward, Winger
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1949–1958 Portsmouth 217 (70)
1958 Wolverhampton Wanderers 9 (3)
1958–1962 Arsenal 103 (29)
1962–1964 Fulham 45 (7)
Poole Town
Dorchester Town
National team
1953–1958 Scotland 7 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

John Gillespie "Jackie" Henderson (17 January 1932 – 26 January 2005) was a Scottish international footballer who played in the Football League for Portsmouth, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Arsenal and Fulham.

Club career[edit]

Henderson was born in Glasgow but signed for Portsmouth as a 17-year-old. After serving his National Service he made his Portsmouth debut against Sunderland in January 1951. Initially a centre forward, he also played deeper as an inside forward and left-winger. A physical player known for his pace and fast crosses and shots, he was a regular goalscorer for Pompey for seven years, which soon attracted the attention of the Scotland national side management.

Henderson had moved to Wolverhampton Wanderers in March 1958, but never really settled, making only nine appearances. Wolves won the First Division title that season but Henderson did not qualify for a medal. He began the following season still at Molineux, appearing in a handful of early games in what would be another championship-winning campaign.

Unable to hold down a first team place, he moved on to Arsenal in October 1958 for £30,000, and made his debut against West Bromwich Albion at Highbury on 4 October, where he scored twice in a thrilling 4–3 win. Injury marred his first season with the Gunners (though he still scored twelve times), but he returned to become a first-team regular in the 1959–60 and 1960–61 seasons. Although Arsenal finished third in the league in his first season, under George Swindin they were usually a mid-table side.

Swindin's tinkering with the Arsenal attacking line-up meant the versatile Henderson was unable to hold down any particular position in the side, and midway through the 1961–62 season Henderson was transferred to Fulham for £15,000. He had played 111 games for Arsenal in total, scoring 29 goals. In his first season Fulham reached the FA Cup semi-finals, only to lose narrowly to Burnley, and he helped keep the Cottagers up for two seasons. Henderson was a Fulham regular up until March 1963, when he broke his leg. Despite an attempted comeback, he was unsuccessful and retired from professional football in 1964. He continued to play for amateur sides, including Poole Town and Dorchester Town, until 1971.

After retiring from playing, he left the game completely and settled in Dorset, working for a local builders' merchant. He died in 2005, at the age of 73.

International career[edit]

Henderson made his international debut in a friendly at home to Sweden on 6 May 1953, which Scotland lost 2–1; it was the first of seven caps, which included being a member of Scotland's 22-man 1954 World Cup squad. Scotland decided to take only 13 of the 22 to the finals with Henderson staying at home on reserve with the likes of Bobby Combe and Jimmy Binning. Inside forward George Hamilton was also on reserve but travelled after Bobby Johnstone withdrew through injury. Henderson's only goal for Scotland came in a 3–1 win over Northern Ireland on 3 October 1953. His final cap for Scotland came against Northern Ireland on 5 November 1958, which Scotland drew 2–2.