TRIBUTES have been paid to a record-breaking former Hartlepool United player who passed away aged 94.
Jack Price still holds the record for the fastest-ever goal scored for Pools, scoring just 12 seconds into a game Pools went on to win 6-1 over Rochdale, on the opening day of the 1948-49 season. He was also the only Hartlepool United player to turn out for the side before, during and after the Second World War.
Jack, of Aged Miners ‘Homes, Horden, died on April 18. In another blow for his family, his son John tragically died on April 22.
A Hartlepool United spokesman said: “Everyone at Hartlepool United was saddened to hear about Jack’s death and our thoughts are with his family and friends.
“Jack was a very talented footballer who had the distinction of being the only player to turn out in Pools colours before, during and after the war.
“He remains a record-holder having scored our fastest-ever goal after just 12 seconds – a record we imagine will stand for a long time and act as his legacy at The Vic.”
Shotton-born Jack played for Easington Juniors and then Blackhall Colliery Welfare (CW) and Horden CW before moving to Portsmouth in 1936. He was signed by Wolverhampton Wanderers the following summer, but failed to break into the league side and returned to the North-East.
The ex-miner joined Pools but once war was declared he saw service as a commando, while also breaking into double figures for Pools appearances. He joined York City for £250 in 1948, before later playing for Horden CW and Murton CW.
Billy Cook, 73, from Horden, knew Jack from working down Horden pit.
Billy, who ran Billy Cook Catering Services before retiring, said: “Jack was a lovely and happy-go-lucky fella, I knew him all my life.
“He used to have greyhounds and played the piano for the Horden Trust.
“As well as playing for Pools, he was also a keen runner and excelled in the 100-yard sprint, competing in the Powderhall Sprint in Scotland.”
Jack, who also ran a betting shop and was a good sprinter, leaves wife Betty, daughters Maureen and Susan, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. His funeral will take place at 10am on April 25 at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, Horden.