In the era of Jackie Hudson’s signing, most new arrivals from non-League teams would have been given a few months in the stiffs to acclimatise; such was Hudson's promise that he arrived from West Stanley in October 1946 and went straight into the first team. The Spireites had lost Billy Linacre to a broken leg and Albert Collins to a transfer request, but Hudson kept his place on merit after Linacre recovered, until breaking an ankle against West Bromwich Albion in April 1947.

 

Hudson was denied a maiden Chesterfield goal in the club’s famous 1947 FA Cup win over Sunderland when the referee blew the final whistle when the ball was in flight between player and goal.

 

Although a no-nonsense right-winger by instinct, with fearsome pace, the Spireites tried him in a number of forward roles: he top-scored in '48-9, which says much about Jackie's adaptability, but also speaks eloquently of the club's forward strength at the time.

 

A good club man, Jackie served the Spireites well, without ever quite getting as much back from the club as he gave.  Had they allowed him to keep his natural place on the wing they would have got a better return from him, but team selection policy at the time seemed to require tinkering with positions, with the effect, in Hudson's case, that neither his true position nor the one he was asked to fill was occupied to best effect. 

 

Like many of his contemporaries, Jackie fell into dispute with the club over terms, and he saw the 1952-3 season out in non-league football, with Bangor City. Shrewsbury paid Chesterfield £500 for his services in 1953 and he helped them stabilise as a Football League side, contributing 20 goals from 48 appearances in two seasons. Jackie saw out his playing days with Buxton and Burton Albion before taking up work at a rolling mill in Sheepbridge. He retired in 1988 after sixteen years at the Lamp Caps factory, on Sheffield Road - there is some argument, then, for saying that Jackie was among the first Chesterfield players to go to work at the club’s new ground!

 

For Chesterfield: 169 appearances, 33 goals.

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