Jack Lambert

Jack Lambert

John (Jack) Lambert was born in Greasborough on 22nd May 1902. He wanted desperately to be a professional footballer but he was turned down by Sheffield Wednesday after a trial in 1921. He joined Leeds United but he only played in one game for the club.

in 1924 Lambert joined Doncaster Rovers in the Third Division North and over the next 12 months he scored 13 goals in 44 league games. Although this was not fantastic form, Leslie Knighton, the manager of Arsenal, agreed to pay £2,000 for his services in January 1925.

Lambert initially struggled to get into the first-team and he did not make his league debut until the beginning of the following season against Bolton Wanderers on 6th September 1926.

Lambert scored only one goal in 16 appearances that season and was not selected for the FA Cup Final against Cardiff City. Over the next two seasons he was reserve centre-forward to Jimmy Brain and only scored 4 goals in 22 appearances. When he appeared in the first-team he was often barracked by the crowd. Herbert Chapman was furious and proposed that barrackers should be thrown out of the ground if they did not respond to an appeal for fairness over the loud-speaker."

Herbert Chapman gave Lambert another opportunity to show him what he could do by giving him a good run in the 1929-30 season. He joined a forward line that included Cliff Bastin, Alex James, David Jack and Joe Hulme. Lambert did well and scored 18 goals in 20 appearances. This included three hat-tricks in games against Grimsby Town, Everton and Sheffield United. However, Arsenal only finished in 14th place that season.

Arsenal did much better in the FA Cup and beat Birmingham City (1-0), Middlesbrough (2-0), West Ham United (3-0) and Hull City (1-0) to reach the final against Chapman's old club, Huddersfield Town. Arsenal won the game 2-0 with goals from Lambert and Alex James.

The following season Arsenal won their first ever First Division Championship with a record 66 points. The Gunners only lost four games that season. Jack Lambert was top-scorer with 38 goals. This included seven hat-tricks against Middlesbrough (home and away), Grimsby Town, Birmingham City, Bolton Wanderers, Leicester City and Sunderland.

Alex James was injured for a large part of the 1931-32 season and this was a major factor in Arsenal losing the title by two points to Everton. However, Lambert remained in good form scoring 22 goals in 36 games, including a hat-trick in Arsenal's 6-0 win over Liverpool.

Arsenal won the First Division by four points in the 1932-33 season. Lambert only played in 12 games that season but he still scored 14 goals. This included five in a 9-2 win over Sheffield United. However, Herbert Chapman seemed to have lost confidence in Lambert and frustrated by his lack of first-team opportunities, he agreed to be transferred to Fulham for £2,500 in October 1933. He had scored 109 league and cup goals in 159 appearances for the club.

Lambert only scored 4 goals in 34 games for his new club before moving to Margate in the Southern League in January 1936. Two years later he returned to Arsenal to coach the "A" team.

Jack Lambert was killed in a road accident in London during the Second World War in December 1940.