Town legend Jackie Little dies aged 95

JACKIE Little, who played in Ipswich Town's first-ever Football League match against Southend United at Portman Road on August 27, 1938, died in Ipswich Hospital on Monday aged 95.

JACKIE Little, who played in Ipswich Town's first-ever Football League match against Southend United at Portman Road on August 27, 1938, died in Ipswich Hospital on Monday aged 95.

A skilful forward, he made most of his 213 first team appearances for the club on the left-wing although he also played on the right-wing and at inside-forward. He scored 42 goals.

Born at Gateshead on May 17, 1912, he came to East Anglia as a young man and joined Ipswich Town, then an amateur club, from Needham Market in 1935-36 season.

He played eight matches in the Eastern Counties League and played in the FA Cup when Ipswich went out to Yarmouth Town in the first qualifying round after a replay in Norfolk.

He also appeared that season in the FA Cup and Suffolk Senior Cup in which Ipswich lost 4-1 to Lowestoft Town in the final at Bury St Edmunds.

In 1936-37 Ipswich Town turned professional winning the Southern League at the first attempt under manager Mick O'Brien. Little made only two league appearances that campaign scoring in a 3-1 win at home to Dartford.

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In 1937-38, the season that Scott Duncan arrived from Manchester United to manage Town, Little scored 11 goals in 28 appearances.

He was a regular in Town's first full season of league football and played in both the FA Cup third round ties against Aston Villa, the replay at Portman Road on Wednesday, January 11, 1939, attracting a crowd of 28,194.

Ipswich Town ceased operations during the war, when Little played occasional games for Norwich City and also for Bath City alongside the great Stan Mortensen of Blackpool and England fame.

Little returned to Ipswich and was a regular in the first full season after the war under Scott Duncan when Town finished sixth in Division Three South. He was a regular on the left-wing between 1947 and 1949.

His farewell appearance was in January 1950 away to Leyton Orient.

By that time players like Dai Rees, Vic Snell, Neil Myles, John Elsworthy, Sammy McCrory and Len Fletcher were emerging and Tommy Parker was well established at left-half.

Little's next task was to become coach and manager of Stowmarket Town. For many years he has lived in retirement in a house in Norwich Road, Ipswich.

He was the last link with the days when Captain 'Ivan' Cobbold, the Ipswich Town chairman, was a key figure in Ipswich Town becoming a professional club.

He leaves a widow Ellen, 91. Funeral details will be announced later.