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Rover of the Day: Jackie Bestall

24 June 2020

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Jackie Bestall born June 24, 1900.

Jackie was born in Beighton and started his playing career at Rotherham United before moving to Grimsby Town in 1926. There he made over 450 appearances and helped the Mariners twice gain promotion to Division One. He also earned an England international cap.

In 1944 Jackie was appointed assistant manager at Rovers and in March 1946 he was promoted when Bill Marsden declined to take the manager’s job full-time.

Jackie led Rovers to a record-breaking season in 1946-47, winning the Division Three (North) Championship with 72 points. In April 1949 he was unfortunate to lose his job when Rovers brought in Peter Doherty as player-manager, but Jackie soon found employment with Blackburn Rovers.

In 1958 he returned to Belle Vue as Chief Scout and a year later he was appointed team manager. He was not particularly successful and reverted to his scouting role in August 1960 after Norman Curtis was appointed player-manager. In February 1966, following Bill Leivers’ sudden resignation, Jackie was placed in charge of team affairs and led the team to the Fourth Division Championship, continuing in post until December. He had two subsequent spells as caretaker-manager. A great servant of Rovers, Jackie died in Doncaster in 1985.


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