Nottingham Rugby legend, David 'Jacko' Jackson, has
announced his retirement from the game with immediate effect
following medical advice.
Jackson, a stalwart of the club for over 13 years, suffered a
head injury in training during pre-season which has kept him on the
sidelines for the entire 2013/14 season to date. Following
further tests last week, he was advised that it would not be in his
best interest to continue playing.
'Jacko', as he is affectionately known, joined Nottingham Rugby
as a junior aged six years old and has been with the club ever
since. He worked his way up through age group rugby, the
colts and the second team, before linking up with the first team
squad aged 18.
Originally a fly-half, Jackson was moved into the back three on
occasion due to his speed and his uncanny knack of beating
defenders. He rotated between fly-half, full back and winger
for a period before Glenn Delaney decided to give him a run on the
wing to allow him to cement his position.
In total, Jackson made 316 appearances, scoring 102 tries and
971 points for Nottingham and is one of the few players who made
the transition from the semi-professional to the professional era
with the club. Jackson holds the record for the most league
appearances for the club and the most league tries scored.
Speaking about the decision, Jackson said, "I never thought that
the pre-season game against London Irish would be the last time I
pulled on the Green and White of Nottingham - I am
"I am retiring from a sport that I love and a club that I have
given my all to for the last 13 years and it has been difficult to
come to terms with at the age of 31.
"During the last few months there has been a lot of uncertainty.
I have tried on numerous occasions to get back into training
but it just hasn't been possible and I knew deep down that
something wasn't quite right this time around.
"Nottingham Rugby Club has been a huge part of my life for the
last 13 years and I have been fortunate to be part of an amazing
journey, from the depths of National League 2 to the heights of the
Championship and a play-off semi
final - I have loved every minute.
"From Ireland Avenue to Meadow Lane we have been supported by
some of the most passionate and knowledgeable fans in the country
and I will be forever grateful for their support - particularly in
the last few months.
"It is hard knowing that I won't ever run out in Green and White
at Meadow Lane again but I have been one of the privileged few
- I will never forget that feeling."
Throughout his time at Nottingham, Jackson has been a firm fan's
favourite both on the pitch and off it. He was well known for
his infamous mullet hair-do which he sported for two years.
He eventually had this cut off in aid of charity. He was also
a keen supporter of Movember, with memorable facial do's including
'The Cat's Tail', 'The Batman' and this year's 'Question Mark'.
He also pioneered the creation of 'The Fairytale of Nottingham
Rugby' Christmas song, based on the Pogues' Fairytale of New
Nottingham Head Coach Martin Haag, who has worked with Jackson
for 18 months, said, "Jacko's retirement is a big loss to the squad
and it's always very disappointing to lose a player of his calibre,
"He has been a tremendous ambassador for the club, on and off
the field, who prides himself on the very highest of
standards. He is able to communicate these standards to the
rest of the squad and he has always been there to give advice to
the younger players, who hold him in very high regard.
"I really can't speak highly enough of him. I imagine that
he has green and white veins as he's Nottingham through and
through. He'll be sorely missed and I just hope that his
future pans out the way he would like it to. Nobody deserves
Nottingham Rugby Chief Executive, Simon Beatham, coached Jackson
for eight years and he commented, "David Jackson has been a member
of this club since he was six years old and I remember when I was
coaching him, he was a 17 year old lad running rings around the
"All through our recent history, in all the key games and the
key moments, the one person you could absolutely rely on was David
Jackson. He's had a fantastic career as a professional. He's
shown and demonstrated standards that everyone tries to follow and
meet. I'm desperately disappointed for him but he's had a fantastic
career here at Nottingham Rugby and to only be at one club is an
amazing feat in this professional age."