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Banner Hammers Logo theyflysohigh Swansea Town report JACKMAN Derek signature

On Good Friday 1951 Derek was called up for his last Football League game.  This was as the centre forward replacement for Bill Robinson. The bank holiday fixture at home to Swansea Town ended with the two sides sharing two goals. The local newspaper’s match report described his performance as Derek Jackman failed to reveal any of the promising form he had shown with the reserves. Not surprisingly, he didn’t retain his place for the following day’s away match at Coventry City. Strangely, it was Dick Walker’s turn to be recalled to the side as Bill Robinson’s replacement.


The team for the Swansea Town game: George Taylor, Steve Forde, Harry Kinsell, Derek Parker, Malcolm Allison, Tom Moroney, Harry Hooper, Jim Barrett Jnr, Derek Jackman, Gerry Gazzard, Terry Woodgate.

Derek Jackman (1927 - 2017)

by Roger Hillier


Players dream of scoring on debuts. In the case of Derek Jackman, a West Ham United inside forward from the early 1950s, this dream turned into reality as his claret and blue career got off to a flying start. For the Hammers he scored on his debuts for the 'A' team, the reserves and the first team, before progressing to make his Football League debut.


Derek Jackman signed for West Ham on August 11, 1948 from Crystal Palace for a reported signing-on fee of £500. Though he never made the Glaziers’ first team he made better progress with the Hammers where he made his Football League debut. During his three season tenure in east London Derek made eight Second Division appearances, and another in the Essex Professional Cup.


In his three claret and blue seasons, many of his team mates were well known Hammers from the early 1950s. These included: Ernie Gregory, Dick Walker, Eric Parsons, Bill Robinson, Norman Corbett, Derek Parker, the Irish internationals Danny McGowan, Tommy Moroney and Frank O’Farrell, and in his final season, the up and coming Harry Hooper.


Born: Colchester, Essex August 20, 1927, Derek Clive Jackman died November 21, 2017 aged 90.


Scoring Debuts & Football League Baptism

Within a few days of Jackman joining the Boleyn Ground club he was drafted into the second of the club’s pre-season practice matches 'Colours' versus 'Blues'.


For the 'Blues' facing the more experienced 'Colours' on August 14, 1948, the inside-right was a late replacement for Richard Dunn. Though a stained back muscle necessitated John 'Jackie' Wood replacing Jackman for the start of the second half.


On Saturday August 21, 1948, a day after his 21st birthday, he made his competitive debut in an Eastern Counties League fixture away to Harwich And Parkeston. Though West Ham lost, Derek marked the occasion with one of the goals. Johnson was the other claret and blue goal scorer.

48_08_14 Second Practice Match 48_08_21 Harwich & Parkeston v. WHU ECL - Back 48_08_21 Harwich & Parkeston v. WHU ECL

It was busy time for the raw recruit as two days later on Monday August 23, 1948 Derek was elevated to make his reserve team debut in the Football Combination fixture at home to Ipswich Town Reserves.


And it was another goal scoring debut performance as he netted in West Ham’s 4-1 win. The other goals courtesy of an Eddie Chapman brace and a solitary net from Johnny Carroll.

48_08_23 WHU v. Ipswich Town Reserves Crossed Hammer

West Ham United Reserves v. Ipswich Town Reserves

48-49 WHU v. Portsmouth Reserves

Match report January 15, 1949

West Ham Reserves 2- 2 Portsmouth Reserves

The West Ham United team that evening:

George Taylor, Ron Cater, Fred Kearns, Derek Parker, Keith Bradly, Frank O'Farrell, Terry Woodgate, Eddie Chapman, Johnny Carroll, Derek Jackman, Ken Bainbridge.


In 1948-49 Derek established himself as a regular reserve team player to make 23 Football Combination League appearances scoring four goals, and another three goals in his 11 Football Combination Cup games.  

48-49 WHU v. Huddersfield Town Friendly 48_11_08 WHU v. Dulwich Hamlet LFA Cup WHU 1948-49 49_03_05 WHU v. Blackburn Rovers

London Challenge Cup – Semi-Final Win & Goal

Crossed Hammer

Similar to his 'A' and reserve team debuts, he marked his introduction to the London Challenge Cup with another goal. On October 11, 1948 Derek scored one of West Ham’s two goals in their 2-1 first round victory over Kingstonian at Upton Park. The other net was by Frank O’Farrell.  


Later in October he played in the next round’s win over Queens Park Rangers. This was followed by a semi-final at home to Dulwich Hamlet on November 6, 1948. The 4-0 win swept West Ham to the final thanks to goals from Derek Jackman, Dick Walker, Eddie Chapman and Danny McGowan. Unfortunately, Derek wasn’t in the claret and blue eleven which won the cup by beating Chelsea in May 1949’s replayed final.

Scoring First Team Debut

Huddersfield Town Friendly

Jackman’s progress with the 'A' and reserve team didn’t go unnoticed, and on Saturday February 26 1949 manager Charlie Paynter handed Derek his first team debut. The Hammers’ early exit in the FA Cup meant a free Saturday in February. To fill the fixture gap a friendly was arranged against Division One opponents, Huddersfield Town.  


In a match reported as Huddersfield giving West Ham a lesson in positional play and accurate ground passing, the Hammers were defeated 5-1.  


With the Hammers losing 3-0 at half-time, Derek reduced the arrears with a goal four minutes into the second half. Despite the defeat, he’s performance was mentioned in dispatches with the match report including a sub-heading Jackman In Form and Feature of the early play after the interval was some good shooting by Jackman who in four minutes scored West Ham’s goal, crashed a shot against a post and then bought the ‘keeper to his knees with another drive.


Football League Debut


Match report February 26, 1949

West Ham United 1- 5 Huddersfield

A week after his goal scoring performance against The Terriers, Derek made his Football League debut against Blackburn Rovers at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday March 5. While he failed to make it a scoring baptism, the Hammers won 2-1, thanks to goals from Eric Parsons and Ken Wright.



November Football League Appearances


After making a positive contribution in his first season, Derek was retained on the playing staff ready for another season of Second Division football.


The first of his three league appearances was on Saturday November 12, 1949. The Hammers clocked a single goal win away at Ninian Park over Cardiff City.  One of Bill Robinson’s 23 league goals this season settled it.  


The Hammers team:  Ernie Gregory, Ernie Devlin, Fred Kearns, Derek Parker, Dick Walker, Danny McGowan, Eric Parsons, Gerry Gazzard, Bill Robinson, Derek Jackman, Ken Bainbridge.


The following week, the same eleven succumbed 2-0 to Blackburn Rovers at home. And seven days later winning form returned as the Hammers beat west Londoners, Brentford, 2-0. Again, the reliable Bill Robinson notched both nets.


By the close of 1949-50 season Derek had recorded four league appearances which included three wins and a single defeat. Significant competition for an inside forward position to support centre forward Bill Robinson, meant Derek had to wait until early in the following season for his next Second Division appearance.

Another London Challenge Cup Semi-Final

One year and one day after the previous season’s London Challenge Cup semi-final win over Dulwich Hamlet, the Irons had another LCC semi-final date.  But no final this season as their opponents Brentford scored the only goal of the Griffin Park tie.  

Jackman's Last Season


While still only 23-years of age, the 1950-51 season proved to be Jackman’s best in terms of first team appearances which would be his last with the Hammers. His four Second Division appearances plus a solitary Essex Professional Cup tie were spread over his final campaign. After early season league games in August and September, he had a six month wait for his final two first team appearances.


By now Derek had moved from inside forward to left half. And in his new position his season started well as new manager, Ted Fenton, included him in the season’s opening league fixture, a 3-3 draw with Hull City at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday August 19, 1950.

Final Division Two Appearance

March 1951

Released by West Ham at the end of 1950-51, Jackman stayed in Essex by signing for Southern League club, Chelmsford City.


The West Ham United Board meeting minutes record a £1,000 transfer fee.

Released to Join Chelmsford City

July 1951

Derek Jackman






Date of Birth:




Previous Club:




Joined Hammers




Hammers Appearances:




Colchester, Essex




August 20, 1927




Crystal Palace




August 1948




8       Football League

1       Essex Professional Cup


Tributes Billy Neville Lawrie Leslie Jackman small 0119 Blackburn Rovers 01 (H) 48-49 Retained list

The West Ham XI: Ernie Gregory, Ernie Devlin, Steve Forde, Norman Corbett, Dick Walker, Ron Cater, Bill Robinson, Ken Wright, Derek Jackman, Terry Woodgate.

Crossed Hammer

After a promising start to the new league campaign, the Hammers were challenging for a promotion place by the end of September.  But a winless October prompted Charlie Paynter to make team changes. This included moving Danny McGowan to half back to make room for Derek to join Bill Robinson and Gerry Gazzard in the forward line. The tactical switch worked as the Hammers won two of the three November league games Derek played.  

49_11_12 Cardiff City v. WHU 49_11_19 WHU v. Blackburn Rovers 49_11_26 Brentford v. WHU 0147 Cardiff City 01 (A) 49-50 Crossed Hammer

After appearing in three of the season’s opening five fixtures, he had to wait until March 1951 for what turned out to be his last couple of first team games. The first of these two recalls was as right half for the Essex Professional Cup semi-final tie away to Leyton Orient.


On Monday March 5, 1951 ninety-minutes and extra time couldn't seperate the Hammers and the O's as they played out a goalless draw at Brisbane Road. A game more notable as Malcolm Allison’s first team debut for the club.  


The West Ham team that evening was: George Taylor, Fred Kearns, Harry Kinsell, Derek Jackman, Malcolm Allison, Tom Moroney, Harry Hooper, Danny McGowan, Bill Robinson, Gerry Gazzard, Terry Woodgate.  


A week later and West Ham triumphed 6-1 in the Boleyn Ground replay. Southend United in turn were defeated at home in the end of season finale by 2 goals to nil.

1950-51 Team Group 02

Back row: Tommy Moroney, Derek Jackman, Peter Chiswick, Ernie Gregory, Peter Peters, George Taylor, Steve Forde,

Jack Yeomanson, Fred Kearns


Middle row: Ted Fenton, Norman Corbett, Andy Malcolm, Vic Niblett, Bill Robinson, Denis Howe, Eric Armstrong, Frank O’Farrell, Gerry Gazzard, Danny McGowan, Derek Parker, John Bond, Eric Parsons, Billy Moore


Front row: Don Wade, Ernie Devlin, Tommy Southren, Jim Barrett, Dick Walker, Eric Betts, Terry Woodgate, Albert Foan, Ron Cater

Crossed Hammer

Match report March 23, 1951

West Ham United 1- 1 Swansea Town