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Jack Reynolds (footballer born 1869)

Personal information
Full nameJohn Reynolds
Date of birth21 February 1869
Place of birthBlackburn, England
Date of death12 March 1917(age 48)
Place of deathSheffield, England
Height1.62 m (5 ft 4 in)
Playing positionMidfielder/Forward

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John "Jack" Reynolds (21 February 1869 12 March 1917) was a footballer who played for, among others, West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa and Celtic. As an international he played five times for Ireland before it emerged that he was actually English and he subsequently played eight times for England. He is the only player, barring own goals, to score for and against England and is the only player to play for both Ireland and England. He won the FA Cup with West Bromwich Albion in 1892 and was a prominent member of the successful Aston Villa team of the 1890s, winning three English League titles and two FA Cups, including a double in 1897.

Reynolds was noted as a highly competitive player with some remarkable ball skills and exceptionally brilliant footwork. He was regarded as one of the great footballers of the 1890s and was one of the highest paid players of his generation. However he also gained a reputation for drinking and womanising and as result much of the money he earned disappeared. He fathered at least one illegitimate child and in 1899 he appeared in court for non-payment of child maintenance. His heavy drinking blighted his latter career and after brief spells at Celtic and then Southampton, he became a semi-professional journeyman. Towards the end of his life he worked as a miner in Sheffield and he died alone in a boarding house at the age of 48. Reynolds and his career have been the subject of several lectures, including one entitled How to play football, win friends and die young: The life of John Reynolds, given by Dr. Neal Garnham at the University of Ulster.

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