|Clifton Rugby Football Club History||
John Arthur Gregory
John (Jack) Arthur Gregory selected for England (Wing) in 1949 while playing for Blackheath. Born 22nd June 1923, Sea Mills, Bristol. Not sure of his Clifton playing dates.
INTERNATIONAL RECORD: England Appearances 1949
Career Record: P1, W0, D0, L1, Tries 0, Cons 0, Pen 0, DropG 0
15th Jan 1949 v Wales (Cardiff Arms Park)(FN) L 3-9
OTHER RECORD: Barbarians Appearances 1952-53
Career Record: P2, W2, D0, L0, Tries 1, Cons 0, Pen 0, DropG 0
6th March l952 v East Midlands (Northampton) W 9-3
3rd April 1953 v Penarth (Penarth) W 13-3
He was educated at St. Andrew's College , Dublin and Rydal School. He was banned for 1 year from playing rugby union after having played rugby league for Huddersfield in 1947. He was All-Ireland 100 yards and 220 yards champion from 1947 to 1949.
|Back Row (L-R): Verney, Marsh, Watt, Rees, Rowlands, Richmond, Kirk, Houghton, Smart, Forshaw, Godsell. Seated: Kindon, Goulden, Gregory, FM The Viscount Montgomery, Matthews, Glyn-Hughes, Mackie, Robbins, Costello. On Ground: Scott, Davies, Pearce, Dewsnip.|
Above the 1947 British Army side with Jack Gregory. Winners Training Establishment RAMC.
Jack played twice for the British Army. In 1946 against the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.
A silver medalist in the 4x100m relay team at the 1948 Olympics in London. The medals were briefly upgraded to gold when the American team were disqualified but on appeal the winners were reinstated. He also appeared for the Great Britain relay team in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics but they came 4th. He raced for the Dublin athletic club Crusaders.
Above the 4x100m relay team at the 1948 Olympics in London. Jack Gregory standing 2nd right.
Above left the opening ceremony of the 1948 Olympics in Lonon. Above right a poster from those games.
Above the facilities for the 1948 Olympics in London.
Above British Athletic team for XIVth Olympiad.
Above Athletics programme for August 7th 1948, the day Jack Gregory won a Silver Medal.
He joined Clifton from the Dublin club Wanderers but quickly moved to Blackheath where he won his only England cap. In 1949 he joined Bristol where he became captain in 1952. He appeared twice for the Barbarians. His only try for the Barbarians was scored against the East Midlands. He retired in 1954.
|Inset (L-R): H.B.Neeley, J.A.Gregory, M.F.Turner, A.C.Burcher. Back Row: F.H.Lacy,G.L.Spear. Standing: R.J.Jenkins, R.A.Bradley, J.I.Metcalf, A.A.Craigen, G.N.Wood, R.B.McEwan, W.A.Gray, D.Parsons, N.Christopherson. Sitting: D.C.Parker, E.C.C.Wynter, P.B.C.Moore (Captain), J.P.Stephens, B.P.Edwards. Front: M.Regan, B.Gale.|
Blackheath 1st XV 1948-49 with Jack Gregory inset.
Above Jack Gregory comes out for his first match for Blackheath v Guys Hospital.
Above Jack Gregory makes a tackle during his debut for Blackheath.
Above Jack Gregory leaves the field after his debut for Blackheath in which he scored a try after 2 minutes.
The Picture Post on the 9th October 1948 said
RETURN OF THE BANNED
Rugby football was in John Gregory's blood. He went to Rydal School with Wilfred Wooller, and played in the school team with Bleddyn Williams, Welsh giants in the game. His great ambition was to become an International. Claimed by the Army, he made a reputation in Service's Rugby. In the Forces, both professionals and amateurs played together as equals.
Gregory was a sergeant-instructor in the Physical Training Corps stationed at Newcastle. One Saturday afternoon in January, 1945, he went to watch a match between two professional teams. On the invitation of colleagues, he agreed to play for Huddersfield.
News that he had done so reached the ears of the officials of the Rugby Football Union. They banned him from ever playing the maateur game again. His Rugby career appeared to be ended.
And so it might have been, but for Brigadier Huges of the RT.A.M.C., to which Gregory was transferred in the later war years. He regared a life's ban as too harsh a punishment for one infringement of the rule against playing with professionals, and took up Gregory's case. The Army Rugby Union backed the Brigadier. The sentance for life was commuted to three years.
During these three years, John Gregory turned to the running track. He was working with the Imperial Tobacco Company in Dublin, and he became the Irish chapion for 100 yeards and 220 yeards. He was selected for the British relay team for the 400-metres race in the Olympic Games. It was he who took over the baton from McCorquodale and passed it on to Ken Jones, in the disputed second leg which the Americans were at first held to have lost.
In September, the three years' ban on John Gregory's Rugby career ended. He played for Blackheath against Guy's Hospital. His return was sensational. Within two minutes he scored one of the most dazzling tries ever seen on the Rugby field. He ran through half the opposing team at lightening speed, side-stepping man after man. Clearly he had lost none of his Rugby skill.
Now Gregory is returning to Ireland and will play for the Dublin Wanderers. There is little doubt that before the end of the season he will realise his ambition of gaining an international cap. Will it be for England or Ireland? He is eligible for both, and has no preference. But many Rugby enthusiats would regard it as poetic justice if the English Rugby Union, after banning him from the game, were to select him for the England team.
Above Jack Gregory as he appeared on the front cover of the December 1948 issue of Rugger magazine just after his selection for England.
Above official England v Wales match on January 15th 1949. Jack Gregorys one and only England cap.
Above unofficial souvenir programme cover
from the England v Wales match on January 15th 1949. Jack Gregory’s one
Above unofficial souvenir programme team
sheet from the
Above the England team that played Wales on
Above programme cover and teamsheet from the Middlesex v Gloucestershire match played at Twickenham on the 5th February 1949. The County Championship Semi-final. It ended a draw 3-3.
Above programme for the Gloucestershire v Middlesex match re-played on February 19th 1949 with ex Clifton player and newly capped England International Jack Gregory on the Gloucestershire side. Gloucestershire won 10-0 and went on to play Lancashire in the final on the 12th March 1949 at Blundelisands and lost 9-3.
Above programme cover and team sheet for the Bristol v Leicester match played on April 8th 1950 with ex Clifton RFC Jack Gregory on the Bristol side.
Above programme cover and teamsheet for the Bristol v Coventry match played on April 29th 1950 with ex Clifton RFC Jack Gregory on the Bristol side.
Standing (L-R): T.A.B.Mahoney, A.R.Northover (Treasurer), J.E.Woodward, D.W.Woodward, J.A.Scott, M.J.Howell, K.C.Smith, A.R.Sheppard, R.T.Moule, P.J.Williams (Secretary), P.J.Down (Chairman). Sitting: G.F.Cripps, A.M.Bain, T.U.Wells, J.A.Gregory (Captain), J.Tucker (President), P.L.E.Storkey, D.G.Pratten, G.Davies, G.Lovell.
For 2 seasons ex Clifton player Jack Gregory was captain of Bristol. Above Bristol squad in 1952-53
Above the programme cover and team sheet
E.J.Parfitt (Touch Judge) (Glos Ref. Soc.), A.MacDonald (Bristol), M.J.P.Baker
(Gloucester), T.S.Halls (Gloucester), G.Cripps (Bristol), R.A.M.Whyte
(Harlequins), C.G.Woodruff (Cheltenham), A.Barter (RAF and Cardiff), J.H.Darville
(Referee) (Middlesex Ref. Soc). Seated: G.W.Hastings (
Above the Gloucestershire team that lost the County Semi-Final to Middlesex in 1953, with ex Clifton RFC player Jack Gregory. For some reason Cliftons R.Whyte is down as playing for Harlequins.
He died on 15th December 2003 at Laurel Court Residential Home, Nailsea, near Bristol.
His obituary appeared in the Bristol Evening Post on the 18th December 2003 and said
Farewell to a superstar
THE family of Bristol sporting legend Jack Gregory have paid tribute to the former athlete and rugby player, who has died aged 80.
John Arthur Gregory, known as Jack, not only represented his country at rugby but was also a member of the Great Britain sprint relay quartet, who won a silver medal in the 1948 Olympics.
Above Christchurch, Nailsea.
On December 24th 2003 the Bristol Evening Post wrote
The life of John Arthur Gregory
BORN: June 22, 1923
DIED: December 15, 2003