27 January

On this day in 1876 William James jackson was born in Flint – but who on earth was WJ Jackson?

William Jackson is not one of Wales’ most famous footballing sons, and it’s highly unlikely he was a household name even when, at the height of his career, he was playing for Newton Heath.

In fact, Jackson only managed to win one international cap for Wales, but the circumstances surrounding his one and only cap were charectaristic of the difficulties faced by Wales, Scotland and Ireland at the time.

Football League clubs were well within their rights to refuse to release players called up by the Celtic nations and it became a common occurence for Wales to be scrabbling around the lower leagues looking for replacements.

And that is exactly what happened when Wales travelled to Belfast to face the Irish in 1899.

Five members of Wales’ original squad, including the famous Billy Meredith, were refused permission to travel by their clubs, which meant seven players, including Jackson, made their international debut.

Jackson was playing for St Helens Recreational in the Lancashire League at the time and was called up when Leicester Fosse refused to release Ernie Watkins.

Unfortunately for Jackson Wales lost the match 1-0 and he never got another chance to represent his country.