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Luton – The Legends Series – Jack Bannister

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For the latest in our ongoing series covering those who have achieved legendary status among the support, we feature another former Luton figure who became a fans favourite.

Following on from those already covered – John Moore, David Preece, Mal Donaghy, Brian Lewis, Bruce Rioch, Fred Jardine, Brian Horton, Kevin Nicholls, Tony Read, Steve Foster, Mike Keen, Ian Buxton, Lars Elstrup, Peter Anderson, Graham French, Alan West, David Moss, Terry Branston, John Aston, Paul Futcher and John Ryan, Syd Owen, Marvin Johnson, Malcolm MacDonald, Bob Hatton, Steve Buckley, Chris Coyne, Ron Baynham and John Still

In the latest of our ongoing legends series, we’re taking a look at the career of Jack Bannister, as suggested by Trevor Bradley.

Bannister played for the Hatters in an era when, still a youngster, I had been introduced to Kenilworth Road by my late father.

Starting his career with West Bromwich Albion, Jack saw a slow start to his career making just nine appearances in four seasons. As a result, he signed for Scunthorpe United but still his career stalled with the defender/wing-back just making another nine appearances before once again moving to another club.

A move to Crystal Place, in 1965 and it was at Selhurst Park he made the breakthrough, making twenty-two appearances in his first season in South London and then missing only one game in two seasons as Palace stormed to promotion to the top-flight of English football for the first time.

But surprisingly, Palace let Bannister leave in the following season, in November, with Luton Town snapping up the player for a paltry £10,000.

Bannister became an instant hit with the Hatters, making 83 appearances in two seasons, establishing himself as a consistent performer in what were successful years for Luton Town.

A cultured defender always appeared to have an air of calmness about him and was one of the first names on the team sheet.

Unfortunately, Bannister was only to remain at Kenilworth Road until he was sold to Cambridge United, in 1971.

During his time with the Hatters he made 83 league appearances but never managed a goal in league football.

Jack Bannister – Mini Fact File

Name – Jack Bannister

Date of Birth – 26-January-1942

Place of Birth – Chesterfield, England

Position – Defender / Wing Half

Youth Career – West Bromwich Albion

Playing Career – West Bromwich Albion, Scunthorpe United, Crystal Palace, Luton Town, Cambridge United, Dunstable Town

If you feel able to share any of your thoughts or memories on the Hatters career of Jack Bannister, please feel free to do so in the comment facility beneath this article.

If you can think of anyone who deserves nominating for coverage in this ongoing series, please drop their name into the comment facility beneath this article.

My thanks go to those who have already nominated faces from the past, they will all be covered, in time.

Next up in the series will be – Ricky Hill suggested by Mad Hatter


Previous article by Mad Hatter

Luton – And So It Is Sunderland In The Play-Off Semi Final

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  • Andrew says:

    How about John ryan what fullback remember him as a solid player always gave his all loved to watch him as a kid . Coyh

  • Martin Dear says:

    Also quite possibly the only ex hatter to play for Whitwell fc

  • Vince says:

    I’ve been on here and said this before but I watched Jack in the late 60’s then played local Sunday football against him in the late 70’s A very humble man and for those who remember he played with George Best and Jeff Astle for Dunstable against Man Utd at Creasey Park. Then the icing on the cake I moved to Houghton Regis and While walking our dogs Jack has become a good friend. Top man 👌

  • Terry Emm says:

    I remember Terry Branston saying to Jack in a game ‘oop Jack’ for a header.

  • Craig Baxter says:

    I first played senior football in 1983, at the age of 17. The team I played for was Leaside Utd, in the South Beds Sunday League Premier. In those days, the standard of that league was very high.

    The left-back, was an “older” bloke Jack, and I couldn’t believe how good he was. Different class to anyone else in every game, I played in front of him, and he literally talked me through matches.

    My dad came along to watch a game just after Christmas, and asked me if the No.3 was called Jack. When I said yes, he filled me in, on the legend that was Mr Bannister.

    It summed up how humble he was, by never mentioning his “previous” career to me.

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