Jack Bruton

Jack Bruton
Personal information
Full name John Bruton
Date of birth (1903-11-21)21 November 1903
Place of birth Westhoughton, England
Date of death 13 March 1986(1986-03-13) (aged 82)
Playing position Winger
Youth career
Hindley Green
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1922–1923 Wigan Borough 0 (0)
1923–1924 Bolton Wanderers 0 (0)
1924–1925 Horwich RMI
1925–1929 Burnley 167 (42)
1929–1939 Blackburn Rovers 324 (108)
1939 Preston North End 0 (0)
National team
1928–1929 England 3 (0)
Teams managed
1947–1949 Blackburn Rovers
1950–1956 Bournemouth

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Jack Bruton (21 November 1903[1] – 13 March 1986) was a professional footballer and manager who spent the major part of his career in both capacities with Blackburn Rovers.

Playing career

Born in Westhoughton,[1] near Bolton, he initially played as an amateur with Wigan Borough, Bolton Wanderers and Horwich RMI while working in the coal mines before signing for Burnley as a professional in 1925 - it was reported that he came up from the pit and signed professional forms on an overturned tub at the pit head. At Turf Moor he established himself as one of the best wingers in the country and won representative honours with the Football League team. He also made three appearances for England.[1]

He scored 44 times in 176 games for Burnley before becoming Blackburn Rovers' record £6,500 signing in December 1929. A maker of goals as well as a scorer, Bruton proved to be remarkably consistent during his playing career with Rovers. In the 1930–31 season, Bruton was Rovers' top-scorer with 19 league goals, closely followed by his unrelated namesake Les Bruton on 18.[2]

He scored 115 times in 344 appearances for Blackburn before moving on to Preston North End in 1939, although he was prevented from making any first team appearances for Preston as a result of the outbreak of World War II.

He was awarded a benefit match in 1935 when Blackburn Rovers beat Celtic 1-0 on Monday, 22 April at Ewood Park.

Management career

After the war he returned to Ewood Park as assistant trainer and assistant secretary. During manager Will Scott's absence through illness, Bruton took over the running of the club and on Scott's return was appointed assistant manager. He was the natural successor when Rovers' lack of consistency led to Scott finally vacating the manager's chair in December 1947. On taking control Bruton's immediate aim was to avoid the team's relegation from Division 1, but nine defeats in the last ten games sealed the club's fate.

In an attempt to regain First Division status, Bruton signed Dennis Westcott, a proven goal-scorer from Wolves, and also unearthed an exciting prospect at left-back in the shape of Bill Eckersley. However, success proved just as elusive and after the club finished in fourteenth place in the Second Division, Bruton was summoned to a board meeting and dismissed in May 1949.

In 1950 he was appointed manager at Bournemouth, who played in the Third Division South. He remained at Dean Court for six years until 1956.[3]

After retiring as a manager he continued as a scout for both Blackburn Rovers and Bournemouth and also for Portsmouth.


  1. 1 2 3 Joyce, Michael (2004). Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939. Soccerdata. p. 40. ISBN 1-899468-67-6.
  2. Blackburn Rovers goalscorers: 1930–31
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