|Full name||John Fitchett|
|Date of birth||1879|
|Place of birth||Chorlton-cum-Hardy, England|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Playing position||Full-back / Half-back|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
John Fitchett (c.1879 – fl.1938) was an English footballer who played at full-back or half-back for Bolton Wanderers, Southampton, Manchester United, Plymouth Argyle, Manchester City, Fulham and Exeter City.
Fitchett was born in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester and represented Manchester Schoolboys while playing his youth football with Talbot FC. In May 1897, he joined Bolton Wanderers where he remained for five years, making 76 appearances in The Football League. During his time with Bolton Wanderers he made three appearances for the Football League in representative matches against the Irish League in November 1899, November 1900 and November 1901, and also played in an unofficial international against Germany in 1901.
In the spring of 1902 he joined Manchester United for the first time but, before he could make a first-team appearance, he moved to the south coast to join Southampton of the Southern League in May 1902. At Southampton, he was used as cover for Samuel Meston at left-half and, although he played in five of the first six matches, he lost his place to Meston at the start of November and only made four further appearances, including one in the FA Cup defeat to Notts County. In his time at The Dell, Fitchett was known for his "energetic tackling and neat passing" as well as for his "over-elaboration".
He returned to Manchester United in March 1903 and made five appearances before the end of the 1902–03 season. His debut for United came on 21 March when he scored in a 5–1 defeat of Leicester City.
His stay at Bank Street was short-lived and in May 1903 he returned to the Southern League to join Plymouth Argyle, who were making their debut in the league. Fitchett was known to Argyle's manager Frank Brettell under whom he had played at Bolton Wanderers. At Bolton he had played alongside Bob Jack, who he persuaded to join Argyle for their debut league season. Jack was to go on to make over 100 appearances for Argyle as well as replacing Brettell as manager, a post he held until 1938. Primarily used as a left-back, Pritchett was a regular member of Argyle's first professional side, making 46 appearances in all competitions.
In June 1904, he once again returned to Manchester United although his second "debut" was not until January 1905. By the end of the season, he was a regular at left-back, but in the summer of 1905 he moved across the city to join Manchester City. His stay was very brief and in June 1905, he again returned to the Southern League to join Fulham. At Fulham, he was little used, making only three appearances before bringing his professional career to a close at the end of the 1905–06 season.
Following his retirement from professional football, Fitchett settled in Devon, becoming manager of the Vaudeville Theatre in Exeter. In February 1910, he briefly resumed his football career to assist Exeter City.
After World War I, Fitchett became manager of the New Palace Theatre in Union Street, Plymouth. After he retired as the theatre manager, he became the licensee of the Royal Sovereign public house in Union Street.
- ^a In total, Fitchett made 40 league appearances for Plymouth Argyle, of which 27 were in the Southern Football League and 13 in the Western League. As the Southampton club historians only include the Southern League appearances in their statistics, the same is done here for consistency.
- Holley & Chalk 1992, pp. 122–124.
- "John Fitchett". Player profile. Manchester United Info. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- Joyce 2004, p. 90.
- "Football League 3 – 1 Irish League". 11v11.com. Match played 11 November 1899. Retrieved 19 February 2013. Check date values in:
- "Irish League 2 – 4 Football League". 11v11.com. Match played 10 November 1900. Retrieved 19 February 2013. Check date values in:
- "Football League 9 – 0 Irish League". 11v11.com. Match played 9 November 1901. Retrieved 19 February 2013. Check date values in:
- "England 10 – 0 Germany". Unofficial international. 11v11.com. Match played 25 September 1901. Retrieved 19 February 2013. Check date values in:
- Chalk & Holley 1987, p. 33.
- "Jack Fitchett". Player profile. Greens on Screen. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
- "Robert Jack and the One That Got Away". The Plymouth Argyle Story Begins: 1903–1910. Greens on Screen. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- "Bob Jack". Player profile. Greens on Screen. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- Gill, Crispin (25 June 2007). "Memories of Union Street". Hold the Front Page. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- Moseley, Brian (26 May 2012). "Thomas Hoyle (c.1862–1932)". Who Was Who In Plymouth History (The Encyclopaedia of Plymouth History). plymouthdata.info. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
- Chalk, Gary; Holley, Duncan (1987). Saints – A complete record. Breedon Books. ISBN 0-907969-22-4.
- Holley, Duncan; Chalk, Gary (1992). The Alphabet of the Saints. ACL & Polar Publishing. ISBN 0-9514862-3-3.
- Joyce, Michael (2004). Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939. Nottingham: Tony Brown. ISBN 1-899468-67-6.