Career : 1925
Debut : Round 1, 1925 vs South Melbourne, aged 20 years, 5 days
Carlton Player No. 407
Games : 2
Goals : 0
Last Game : Round 3, 1925 vs Melbourne, aged 20 years, 19 days
Guernsey No. 35
DOB : April 27, 1905
It is certainly true that some football players are born to greatness, while others have greatness thrust upon them. Equally, there are some who are destined to play out their careers without even a hint of glory - like John James 'Jack' Vale, whose only two senior matches for Carlton in 1925 both ended in heavy defeats.
A local boy from North Carlton, Jack progressed from amateur side Carlton Juniors to wear guernsey number 35 on debut for the Blues in the first game of the 1925 season, against South Melbourne at the Lake Oval. Playing on a half-forward flank, he was rarely sighted as the Blues lost by 38 points.
A fortnight later, Jack was handed the big responsibility of leading Carlton’s rucks against Melbourne at the MCG in round 3, and for the first half, the Blues were at least competitive. But after the long break Melbourne took complete control, kicking nine goals to Carlton’s one, and careering away to win by 46 points. That loss ended Jack’s short stay at Princes Park, but not his VFL career.
Three years later, he made a comeback with Fitzroy, and played 29 matches over two seasons. Victories were scarce at Brunswick St. too, in those days. The Maroons won seven games in 1928 to finish eighth, and just three in 1929 to end up eleventh.
Vale passed away on the 12th April, 1970, aged 65.