Jeff Hall (footballer)

Jeff Hall (footballer)

Infobox Football biography
playername = Jeff Hall

fullname = Jeffrey James Hall
dateofbirth = birth date|1929|9|7|df=y
cityofbirth = Scunthorpe
countryofbirth = England
dateofdeath = death date and age|1959|4|4|1929|9|7|df=y
cityofdeath = Birmingham
countryofdeath = England
height =
position = Full back
youthyears =
youthclubs = Bradford Park Avenue
years = 1950–1959
clubs = Birmingham City
caps(goals) = 227 0(1)
nationalyears = 1955
nationalteam = England B
nationalcaps(goals) = 001 0(0)
017 0(0)

Jeffrey James "Jeff" Hall (7 September 1929 – 4 April 1959) was an English footballer who played as a right back for Birmingham City and England.

It was the death of Jeff Hall – a young, fit, international footballer – from polio which helped to kick-start widespread public acceptance in Britain of the need for vaccination. Though the disease was generally feared and the Salk vaccine was available, takeup had been slow. In the weeks following Hall's death emergency vaccination clinics had to be set up and supplies of the vaccine had to be flown in from the United States to cope with the demand. [cite web
author=Gould, Tony |title=I thought my polio was over, but not any longer |url= |format=reprint |work=The Independent |date=30 April 1995 |accessdate= 2007-07-09 |quote=In the same month and year that I contracted the disease in Hong Kong, the international footballer Jeff Hall died of it in England. Before the end of the Second World War polio had been a comparatively rare disease in Britain. But the late Forties and early Fifties were the polio years here as elsewhere, the time when parents grew anxious as the summer approached and kept their children away from swimming pools where the disease was thought to spread. Though polio was never a killer on the scale of cancer and heart disease, it was feared because of its capacity to maim young and healthy bodies. Despite this universal fear, take-up of the Salk vaccine when it became available in this country in the mid-Fifties was sluggish. Jeff Hall's death changed that. The message finally got through to teenagers on the terraces at football matches and in the Mecca dance-halls. Emergency clinics were set up, and there was such a run on the vaccine that further supplies had to be flown in from the United States.
] [cite web
url= |title=Dr Salk promotes polio vaccine in UK |accessdate=2007-07-09 |work=On This Day |publisher=BBC |quote=There has been a sharp rise in the demand for the vaccine following the death from the disease of Birmingham City full back Jeff Hall last month. Local health departments have been overwhelmed with applicants and have ordered an extra million doses. On 22 April daily inoculations at Manchester Town Hall were suspended because of a shortage of the vaccine.


Jeff Hall was born in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire and brought up in Keighley, West Yorkshire. After leaving school in 1945 he played for various junior clubs in the area before joining his local Football League club, Bradford Park Avenue, then in the Second Division, where he remained an amateur and never made a first team appearance. [cite book
author=Matthews, Tony |title=Birmingham City: A Complete Record |year=1995 |pages=p. 92 |publisher=Breedon Books |location=Derby |isbn=978-1-85983-010-9
] It was while playing at right half for the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers during his National Service that he was spotted by Birmingham City chief scout Walter Taylor, whose other successes included Gil Merrick, Trevor Smith and Ken Green. Hall signed on professional forms in May 1950. [Matthews, p. 24.]

He was converted to full back while playing for Birmingham's reserve team, and made his first-team debut in that position in January 1951, though did not become a regular for the first team until 1953. He was part of the Birmingham City side which won the Second Division Championship in 1954–55. The following season, 1955–56, he was part of the team which reached the club's highest ever finishing position, sixth in the First Division, and the Cup Final, losing 3–1 to Manchester City. He also played in Birmingham's Inter-Cities Fairs Cup campaign.

Also that season, he won his first representative honours, a cap for England B against West Germany B, [cite web
url= |title=England - International Results B-Team - Details |author=Courtney, Barrie |date=21 March 2004 |publisher=RSSSF |accessdate=2007-07-09
] soon followed by his first full cap for England, in a 5–1 victory in a friendly away to Denmark. He played every minute of this and England's next 16 international matches, until losing his place to West Bromwich Albion's Don Howe in October 1957. [cite web
url= |title=England - International Results 1950-1959 - Details |author=Courtney, Barrie |date=5 June 2005 |publisher=RSSSF |accessdate=2007-07-09
] He finished on the losing side only once for England, and formed a fine understanding with regular defensive partner Roger Byrne of Manchester United. [cite web
url= |title=England Postwar Lineups and Match Highlights Part 3: 1955-56 to 1959-60 |accessdate=2007-07-09 |author=Giller, Norman

Hall's last match for Birmingham was away to Portsmouth in March 1959. He became ill, was diagnosed with polio, and died in a Birmingham hospital just two weeks later, on 4 April 1959. A clock and scoreboard were erected in his memory in Birmingham City's ground, St Andrew's, later that year; they did not survive the ground redevelopments of the mid-1990s. In his home town of Keighley, a trophy was presented in his honour to the newly-formed Sunday League in the early 1960s for their cup competition which is still competed for today. [cite news
title=Soccer: Life's a beach for Maurice |url= |publisher=Bradford Telegraph and Argus |date=16 March 2001 | accessdate=2007-07-10
] [cite web
url= |title=Jeff Hall Cup |accessdate=2007-07-10 |publisher=Keighley & Aire Valley Sunday Alliance League

Birmingham City commissioned a second memorial clock to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Hall's death. Centrally sited above the main stand at St Andrew's, it was unveiled in September 2008 by Hall's teammates Alex Govan and Gil Merrick. [cite news |url= |title=Birmingham City legends unveil new Jeff Hall memorial clock |work=Birmingham Mail |publisher=Midland Newspapers Ltd |author=Cowan, Mark |date=15 September 2008 |accessdate=2008-09-23] However, adverse reaction to the clock's size and position provoked the club into ordering a larger replacement. [cite news |url= |title=Jeff Hall clock to be replaced by Birmingham City |work=Birmingham Mail |publisher=Midland Newspapers Ltd |author=Tattum, Colin |date=22 September 2008 |accessdate=2008-09-23]


with Birmingham City
* Football League Second Division champions: 1954–55
* FA Cup finalists: 1956


External links

* [ England profile]

NAME = Hall, Jeff
ALTERNATIVE NAMES = Hall, Jeffrey James
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Professional footballer
DATE OF BIRTH = 1929-09-07
PLACE OF BIRTH = Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, England
DATE OF DEATH = 1959-04-04
PLACE OF DEATH = Birmingham, England

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