THE Examiner's continuing search for Huddersfield Town's football legends has sparked memories for Edgerton woman Pauline Crowther.

A special panel will select 100 of the club's top stars from readers' nominations, to list in a book being written to mark Town's centenary in 2008.

But as far as former nurse Mrs Crowther is concerned, one player rises high above the rest.

Her meeting with Alex Jackson, the talented winger who was one of Scotland's famous ``Wembley Wizards" of 1928, was brief but memorable - for a tragic reason.

"During the Second World War and in the aftermath, I was a member of the Queen Alexandra's Royal Nursing Service in the Middle East," said Mrs Crowther, who was brought up in Huddersfield and trained at Halifax.

"As a theatre sister, I could be posted to various hospitals to replace staff who were ill.

"One day in November, 1946, I was sent to a large hospital near the Bitter Lake at Fayed, near Cairo.

"The first person I ran into was the Army sports officer, who introduced himself as Alex Jackson.

"He asked what part of the country I came from and I replied: `You've probably never heard of it, a northern town called Huddersfield.'

"He laughed immediately and said he had played football for Huddersfield Town."

Mrs Crowther, who also served in Iraq and Persia before returning to work in Bradford, then as a school nurse at Salendine Nook, added: "As sports officer, he was responsible for arranging a weekly football match at the main stadium in Cairo and that involved a lot of travelling.

"Sadly, the next day I was asked to get the theatre ready to treat a severe head injury. It was Alex Jackson, who had been involved in a road accident on his way back from Suez.

"He never got to the operating theatre, for he died as they were getting him out of the ambulance.

"The following Saturday there was a very emotional two minute's silence at the football ground. He had been a very popular officer."

Jackson, who died at the age of just 41, was equally admired during a playing career in which he emerged as one of the game's early superstars.

He commanded a British record £8,750 fee when he left Town for Chelsea in 1930.

He was playing first-team football for his home town club, Dumbarton, by the age of 17.

And during the first attempt to establish a professional soccer league in the USA, the ambitious Pennsylvanian club Bethlehem Steel signed up Jackson and his brother Walter, who played for Kilmarnock, in 1922.

While Walter remained across the Atlantic, Alex returned after a season to join Aberdeen, winning the first three of his 17 Scottish caps.

At this time, Town were the most successful club in England. Having won two successive League titles, they splashed out a club record £5,000 to sign Jackson.

He promptly helped them clinch the celebrated hat-trick of championships in 1925-26.

The speedy and skilful Jackson, playing at outside-right, scored 16 goals and helped make many of George Brown's 35 in that history-making campaign.

He appeared in two Wembley FA Cup Finals for Town. They were beaten by Blackburn in 1928 and Arsenal in 1930. In all, he made 203 appearances for the club, scoring 89 goals.

Also at Wembley in 1928, Jackson scored a hat-trick of headers as Scotland thrashed England 5-1, to earn the Wizards nickname.

Like many Scots, Jackson enjoyed socialising as well as playing.

He was blessed with film star looks and was said to be at ease in any kind of company - and it was an alleged drinking incident which ended his career prematurely.

Fellow Wembley Wizard Hughie Gallacher was reputed to be Chelsea's greatest carouser. The one-time Newcastle hero was known to be found stretched out on a local pavement on the Friday night, but in gloriously elusive form the following afternoon.

But it was Jackson who was said to be the ringleader of a boisterous session in a Manchester hotel the night before a match during the 1931-32 season.

While hardly a sobering influence on the notoriously wayward Gallacher, there was a strong case that Jackson, a keen trade unionist, had upset the Chelsea board by demanding better pay and greater freedom of contract.

Whatever the real reason, Chelsea caused a sensation by not re-engaging Jackson and putting him on the transfer list at £4,500 - more than any club was willing to pay.

He became a pub landlord and was forced to play for non-League clubs.

At first he played across the Pennines at Ashton National, then he went to Margate in Kent, before going to France.

The war then took him to the Middle East, where his life - just like his football career - was to end all too early.