OBITUARY: Jack Vitty (1923-2021)

The club is deeply saddened by the recent passing of fifties hero, Jack Vitty. He was 98 and the oldest surviving former Reds’ player to have represented the team in the Football League.

Although born in the north east, left full-back Jack’s League career started in the south of England with Charlton Athletic and then Brighton & Hove Albion after he had served local clubs Bolden and South Shields.

He was signed from Brighton in the summer of 1952 and made his Workington debut on 23rd August that year in a 2-0 home win over Halifax Town. His first league goal came a couple of months later in a 1-1 draw against Port Vale.

Jack would become the regular left back for the next five seasons, making 208 league and cup appearances and scoring three league goals in the process. He was an ever-present throughout the ’53-54, ‘54-55 and ‘55-56 seasons, playing 172 games consecutively, and was appointed team captain by Bill Shankly.

Towards the end of his Reds career during the ’56-57 campaign, Jack played for the Reserves in the North Eastern League and scored ten goals in as many matches. That encompassed a double hat-trick in a 7-3 win over Darlington Reserves when, instead of wearing his favoured number 3 shirt, he played at centre forward and his six goals included two from the penalty spot.

Jack was released at the end of the ’56-57 season and re-signed for South Shields.

Our condolences go to Jack’s immediate family and friends.

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