|Date Of Birth:||1899|
|Place Of Birth:||Wolverhampton|
|Debut:||23-Aug-31, League, (H) v. St James's Gate|
Goalkeeper John William Hampton had nine English League seasons to his credit when he answered Steve Wright’s call to take the ‘Dundalk ticket’ for the 1931-32 season. From 1922 to 1931 he had served at Wolverhampton (49 apps.), Derby County (12) and Preston (37), gaining a First Division Runner-up medal with Derby in the 1929-30 season.
During his five seasons at Wolverhampton on the first team panel and three at Derby County he was second choice keeper. At Division 2 Preston he stepped up to the number one spot for the 1930-31 term, missing just three mid-season games through injury. On his moving to Ireland, Preston retained his registration, quoting a £500 retention fee.
He gave an outstanding display in the early season President’s Cup final replay, when Dundalk’s first trophy was secured on the back of a 7-3 win over Shamrock Rovers.
In early January he suffered a broken bone in his hand while saving a penalty against Shamrock Rovers and was sidelined until the middle of March. However his return lasted one game—this time he wrenched knee ligaments.
Following his January injury, Ben Lewis was signed as cover and became the number 1 keeper for the following Championship-winning year. Released at the end of the season, Jack joined Drumcondra where he became player-manager and where he was joined by Albert Harrison, another ex-English League player released that year from the Athletic Grounds.
Jack stayed for two seasons and while there no honours at Drums, he had the pleasure of seeing two of his charges make their International debuts. Capped in a World Cup tie against Holland in April 1934, Paddy Byrne and Paddy Meehan were also the first Drumcondra players to be so honoured.
Before signing with Wolverhampton Wanderers in May 1920 Jack had played in the Birmingham and District League with Wellington Town (1917-19) and Oakengates Town (1919-20). After his two years at Drumcondra he returned to Wellington (they changed there name in 1969 to Telford United), where he became a fixture over his remaining years.
During the next three seasons when he made 80 appearances (69 Birmingham League, 6 FA Cup, 5 Shropshire Cup), he collected Birmingham League winners awards in both 1934-35 and 1935-36, and also a Shropshire Senior Cup medal. Retiring at the end of the 1936-37 term, he was on the coaching staff in the 1937-38 season when he made his last playing appearance, covering for players who did not turn up due to bad weather.
As well as working on the coaching and the ground staff, Jack ran a pub at Wellington town centre. He also spent a period as chairman of the supporters club. An old football injury, resulting from a kick in the kidney, came back to haunt him and he was only 38 years old when he died from kidney failure.
In spite of the fact that he played just 26 games with Dundalk, Jack’s displays during his single season at the Athletic Grounds earned him the 1956 supporters’ accolade as the best club keeper in its first 30 years membership of the League of Ireland.
1 Win: Presidents Cup 1931-32.