Greens on Screen’s first page was published in January 1999. Its early purpose was to bring Plymouth Argyle a little closer to those unable to see their team, and whilst it has changed a great deal over the years, its core themes - sites and sounds for Westcountry exiles - still stand. The site was very lucky to take on the content of Trevor Scallan’s Semper Viridis in the summer of 2007, and in 2009 launched GoS-DB, a wealth of facts and figures from PAFC’s history. A year later we embarked on a complete history of Argyle, with much-valued contributions from chapter authors.
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Full Name: John R Kirkham
Born: 16 June 1918
Came from: Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic Went to: Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic
First game: 20 October 1945 Last game: 20 October 1945
Appearances: 1 (1/0) Goals: 0
Although the Second World War was at an end, the Football League divided its competition into regional sections for the 1945-46 season because of the exceptional conditions at that time, with so many players still serving in the Armed Forces or employed on essential war work. Argyle played in the Football League South that season, against first-class opposition such as Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, Aston Villa and Wolves. It proved impossible for the Pilgrims to field a regular side; 72 players made an appearance and performances inevitably suffered. From week to week the club called on Armed Services players who were stationed in the area, guest players from other League clubs and local amateurs to supplement its registered playing staff.
Kirkham was one of 27 in the guest category. Born in Ellesmere Port, the forward started his career locally with Ellesmere Port Town and was with Everton as an amateur, before signing for Wolverhampton Wanderers in August 1937, where he scored five in 15 games. Unable to cement a regular first team place, he moved to the south coast in October 1938 to join Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic and stayed at the club throughout the war, as well as guesting for Clapton Orient and Notts County.
Kirkham continued his career at Dean Court for one more season after the war, as well as making his one guest appearance for Argyle in the Football League South. His most remarkable game came in April 1946 when Bournemouth played Queens Park Rangers in a semi-final replay of the Division 3 (South) Cup. There were no goals in the first 90 minutes and three 15-minute periods of extra-time failed to alter the score. With the season almost over and the final due to be played three days later, it was decided that the tie would be decided on the first goal scored, which fell to Kirkham immediately after the start of the fourth period. The game lasted a total of 136 minutes.
In his eight war-interrupted years at Bournemouth & Boscombe, Kirkham accumulated 51 appearances and an impressive 31 goals, after which he finished his footballing days with non-league Wellington Town.
Footnote: There were two Kirkhams who played for Wolves around the same time: Jack (or John) Kirkham, b.1918 in Ellesmere Port, signed for Wolves as a forward in 1937-38 and later made that single guest appearance for Argyle. The following season Reginald (or Reg) Kirkham b.1919 in Ormskirk, Lancashire, signed for Wolves as a full-back in 1938-39. Reg was not related to Jack and never guested for Argyle.
If you can add to this profile, perhaps with special memories, a favourite story or the results of your original research, please contribute here.
From Michael Rushton in Bogor, Indonesia on 17/01/2015 ...
I believe that I worked at the same company as the Jack Kirkham, featured on your website. The year was around 1976, I was employed as an apprentice at Chubb Lock & Safe Company, in Wolverhampton, where, as an apprentice one was assigned to a different department, each month, in order to obtain a range of different skills.
It was whilst working in the maintenance department, that I was put under the charge of a man named Jack Kirkham, who was around 60 years old. He, and others, claimed that, in his younger days, he had in fact played for Wolverhampton Wanderers. ... More
From Ann McCracken in Lincoln on 28/05/2015 ...
In reply to Michael Rushton's enquiry, I can confirm that it would have been this Jack Kirkham he worked with at Chubbs in Wolverhampton. Jack Kirkham was my Uncle and was indeed a modest man and a lovely Uncle. With his family he was full of fun and a bit of a joker. I have warm childhood memories of Uncle Jack. When he played football I wasn't born but I heard from members of my family all about his time playing the game.
Perhaps Mr Rushton might also have known George Lamsdale who was Jack Kirkham's brother in law who also worked at Chubbs for many years.
From Jayne Wade in Ellesmere Port on 11/12/2018 ...
Jack Kirkham was my Mum's brother, although he was 17 years older than her and he was away at war when she was born.
Mum is 87 (nee Lily Kirkham) and her sister (nee Agnes Kirkham) 89 are still with us and I have told them of this post this morning. They remember Uncle Jonny playing football ... they called him Jonny, I think his wife Winnie called him Jack and it stuck. I was even named after his daughter Jayne.
Mum said he was a lovely brother, very shy and modest. Although the rest of the family stayed in Ellesmere Port, Jack moved to the Black Country which is where their parents were ... More
From Pauline Alexander in Overton on Dee on 15/12/2018 ...
I believe he was a cousin of my father Bernard Kirkham his father and my grandfather came to Wolverhampton to settle in Ellesmere Port .
From John Kirkham in Wolverhampton on 03/09/2020 ...
In response to Michael Rushton, the Jack Kirkham you are referring to was my father. He did play for Wolverhampton Wanderers and worked in the Maintenance Department at Chubb Lock and Safe Company.
APPEARANCE DETAILS [reselect competitions]
The details below reflect appearances in all first-team competitions.
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