History

Jack Harrow

The first player to make 300 appearances in a Chelsea shirt, Mitcham-born Jack Harrow’s service to the club he loved spanned a quarter of a century, from playing to coaching staff.

Arguably the best 50 quid Chelsea ever spent was handed to Croydon Common in March 1911 in return for his services.

Jack was smaller than the norm for a defender, but his speed of thought and movement, plus an intuitive reading of play, more than compensated the lack of inches. He played twice for England and also skippered the Pensioners for much of a career that straddled World War One and ended at 37.

Jack had started out in the game as a centre-forward and could be deadly from direct free-kicks and the penalty spot too, his total of 34 goals a handsome one for a back. Remember this was also the days before the offside calls were a topic of bar-room debate. ‘The new offside law killed full-back play,’ he said later. ‘In my day there was a certain amount of art in our game.’

After 334 games Jack joined the training staff at Stamford Bridge until 1938. He died in 1958.

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