A tribute to Jacky Herron

In 1956 Jacky left Amble to sign for Leeds United preferring the Elland Road club to both Blackpool and Luton. After aonly a few days in Yorkshire the 18 year old became homesick and returned to his native North East. It was rumoured that Newcastle United were pondering a move for the promising youngster.

The youngster eventually joined Gateshead of the Football League Third Division North. After playing for the reserves in the North-Eastern and North Regional Leagues, he made his debut for the first team in early 1958. Starting inside left he starred in a 4-0 win over Darlington at Redheugh ParkDivision 3 North making a mark with creative play and was unlucky not to score himself.

He eventually switched from forward to centre half establishing himself as a lynchpin in Gateshead’s football league team and acting as their captain. Herron played for six years at the Redheugh Park side bridging a tumultuous period that saw them voted out of the Football League. Having played for Gateshead in the Northern Combination and North Regional League he played his final game for the club in a pulsating FA Cup game at Carlisle. Gateshead lost by the odd goal in seven in front of 12,720 in Cumbria but it was to be Jacky’s last game for the side.

Herron, who requested to be released from his contract, joined the Colliers on 9th January 1964 signing for Davy Davidson’s side, despite interest from elsewhere. He went straight into the squad for their friendly trip to East Fife. 

He served the Colliers with distinction in the North EasternLeague and the North Regional League with the Colliers finishing 3rd, 6th, 4th and 5th. In the 1966-67 season he lifted the Northumberland Senior Cup helping the Colliers to a 3-1 win over holders North Shields scoring a goal in the process.

Jacky was captain of the side when they entered the newly founded Northern Premier League in 1968. Despite a strong start, the Colliers had a poor run and ended up finishing in 18thplace, resigning at the end of the season. As it were the league was too strong at the time with teams like Wigan Athletic, Morecambe, Macclesfield, Boston United, and Altrincham.

In 1969 following Ashington’s resignation from the Northern Premier League, Jacky, then a collier at the Big E, decided to call time on his semi-pro football career. He continued to play for local sides including the Universal Social club for some time afterwards.

An all-round Sportsman Herron also turned out for Bomarsund Cricket Club and played a key role in their magnificent Haig Cup victory in 1974 taking a wicket in the final. Bomarsund were crowned kings of village cricket at Edgebaston beating Collingham by three wickets in the national competition.

Jacky sadly passed away on 3rd July this year aged 85.