From a mining town in County Durham to Barcelona’s longest-serving manager, Jack Greenwell shaped the fortunes of clubs and countries far beyond these shores.

Born and bred in Crook, Jack initially followed in the footsteps of his father Thomas, working down the mines six days a week as a putter and a hewer.

At the age of 17, Jack joined his local side Crook Town. Greenwell turned out at Millfield for over a decade, establishing himself as a strong, no-nonsense wing-half. He also guested for West Auckland in 1909 in the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy, helping Crook’s neighbours lift the trophy against Swiss outfit FC Winterthur.

Three years on from that triumph, Greenwell accepted an invitation to play for FC Barcelona. He proved popular in Catalonia, fast assuming the role of player-coach, and was appointed full-time manager once he hung up his boots. As a player, Greenwell won two Campionats de Catalunya: as a manager, he won four more in four years, as well as the Copa del Rey.

Greenwell became renowned for his novel tactical approach, encouraging his teams to play out from the back and build through phases of passing. This style served him well at UE Sants and CD Castellón before moving to Barcelona rivals Español in 1928. Greenwell won another Catalan championship at the Estadi de Sarrià, as well as helping the club lift its first ever Copa del Rey.

A brief Baleares title-winning stint at Real Sociedad Alfonso XIII preceded a return to Barcelona, where Jack guided many of his former charges to another regional title, before one-season stints at Valencia CF and Sporting de Gijón respectively.

Leaving Spain prior to the outbreak of civil war, Greenwell went on to take charge of the Peruvian national side, as well as Universitario de Deportes. He was remarkably successful in both roles, winning the South American Championship with the former and the national championship with the latter.

Jack spent his final years in Colombia, ultimately taking up the reins at Independiente Santa Fe. Returning home from training, he suffered a heart attack and passed away at the age of just 58, leaving behind an enduring legacy on both sides of the Atlantic.

Principal clubs: Crook Town, FC Barcelona, Español, Real Sociedad Alfonso XIII, Peru, Universitario de Deportes

Inducted: 2024

Jack Greenwell

From a mining town in County Durham to Barcelona’s longest-serving manager.

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