Robert “Bob” Jack was Blues’ first ever manager following the club’s formation back in May 1906 and the Scotsman brought immediate success to the club in his role as player-manager.
Jack was born in Alloa in 1876 and prior to joining Southend, he had a playing career that saw him turn out for the likes of Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End and Plymouth Argyle.
Playing in the position of outside forward, Jack was Argyle’s first ever professional player and would go on to manage the side at Home Park before moving east to join Southend in 1906.
Following their formation, Southend began life in the Southern League Division Two and in the club’s first two seasons, under the guidance of Jack, the Blues won the division both times.
The club’s success lead them to the be elected into the First Division in 1908, but Jack only remained at Roots Hall two more years before returning to his beloved Plymouth Argyle for a second spell.
Jack would remain at Home Park for almost three decades before retiring, moving back to Southend where he would occasionally act as a scout for his son David who had followed in his dad’s footsteps by managing at Roots Hall.
Jack passed away in Southend on May 1943 at the age of 67 having managed over 1000 games for Plymouth Argyle, and whilst he may be most synonymous with the west-coast club he will always go down in history as Southend United’s first ever ‘gaffer.’
His ashes were spread across the pitch at Home Park and Jack’s legacy in football was continued in the form his three sons – David, Rollo and Donald – who all played professionally, with David being regarded as one of the best of his generation, captaining England as well as scoring the first ever goal at Wembley Stadium.
Date of Birth: 4th April 1876
Place of Birth: Alloa, Scotland
Managed Southend: 1906-1910
Honours: Southern League Div 2 Champions – 1906/07, 1907/08
Previous Clubs: Alloa Athletic, Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End, Glossop, Plymouth Argyle