Jack Cowan Player Profile

Personal

  • Full Name: John Lawrence Cowan
  • Born: June 6th, 1927 (Vancouver)
  • Died: December 10th, 2000 (Surrey, British Columbia)

Career

  • Position: Left Back
  • Signed: July 20th, 1949
  • First Manager: George Anderson
  • Dundee Career Totals:
    149 first team competitive appearances
    1 first team competitive goals


Dundee Career Summary


Competitive Friendlies Other (War)
1949-50 23-2- - -
1950-51 33- - - - -
1951-52 32 1 1- - -
1952-53 36-4- - -
1953-54 25-1- - -
TOTAL 149 1 8- - -

NOTES:
Other Cups may include: Anglo-Scottish Cup, Challenge Cup, Cup Winners' Cup, Drybrough Cup, International Soccer League, League Cup, Summer Cup, Texaco Cup.


Biography


Jack Cowan was a Canadian left back who played for Dundee F.C. from 1949 until 1954 and was a member of George Anderson’s successful trophy-winning Dees in the early Fifties.

Born in Vancouver on June 6th 1927, Cowan became the first Canadian to play professional soccer in Europe when he signed for Dundee from the University of British Columbia in 1949. He also became the first Canadian to win a major football honour when he was part of the Dundee side which won the League Cup in 1951.

Cowan entered U.B.C. in Vancouver in 1945 to study electrical engineering and, as well as playing for the University soccer team, he also played for Pacific Coast League team Vancouver City between school terms.
At U.B.C., he was awarded with five Big Block Awards for excellence in varsity sports and in his first spell with Vancouver City he was awarded with the prestigious Rookie of the Year Award.

Upon finishing his degree, Cowan decided that there might be an opportunity to make a career out of playing soccer and to do so, he realised he would have to move to Europe to have a chance.

His opportunity came in 1949 when he was selected to play for the British Columbia All Star Team who were to travel to England to play two exhibition matches against Newcastle United and it was in these matches that he was spotted by ex-Dunfermline manager and ex-referee Bobby Calder, who was a friend of fellow Aberdonian, George Anderson. Calder recommended Cowan to the Dundee manager who then moved to bring him to Dens and he would turn out to be one of Anderson’s most astute signings, making 149 appearances in the next five years.

Cowan joined Dundee at a time when things were just starting to tick. He made his Dark Blue debut in the first league match of the 1949/50 season away to Stirling Albion in a 2-2 draw and it was against ‘The Binos’ that Cowan scored his only goal for Dundee in a 4-1 home win on December 22nd 1951 in front of 17,000 fans.

His home debut came the following week against Queen of the South and in both matches he would wear the number three shirt that he wore in every single match he played for Dundee.

At the end of his first season, Cowan picked up his first winner’s medal when Dundee beat Brechin City 3-2 in the final of the Forfarshire Cup but his greatest moment in a Dark Blue shirt came in an altogether bigger final eighteen months later.
On October 27th 1951, Dundee lined up to face Rangers in the Scottish League Cup Final and in a classic encounter Dundee edged out the Light Blues 3-2 with a last minute winner from skipper Alfie Boyd.

It was Dundee’s first trophy in forty-one years and for Jack Cowan the first professional medal won by a Canadian player and both Cowan and Dundee very nearly made it two six months later in the Scottish Cup. In April 1952, Cowan lined up for Dundee against Motherwell at Hampden and although the Dark Blues were favourites, it wasn’t to be as Motherwell scored four second half goals without reply to take the Scottish Cup back to Lanarkshire.
Before that Final however, Cowan was named as the North American Football Confederation (N.A.F.C.) Player of the Year for 1951 after his terrific displays for Dundee and his League Cup winning achievement.

In 1961, the N.A.F.C merged with the Football Confederation of Central America and the Caribbean (C.C.C.F.) to form the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (C.O.N.C.A.C.A.F.) and become the modern day governing body for football in the region. Cowan is now listed therefore as the C.O.N.C.A.C.A.F. Player of the Year for 1951 as the winners from both federations were absorbed into the list for the new Association. It was a tremendous accolade for Jack who became the first Dundee player to be awarded with any player of the year award outside of the club.

There was to be more final disappointment for Cowan however in October 1952 when he was unfit to play to in Dundee’s third appointment at the National Stadium in twelve months, when they successfully defended their League Cup trophy against ‘B’ Division Kilmarnock.

Cowan had played in all nine matches on the ‘Road to Hampden’ and so was bitterly disappointed to get injured the week before the Final in a league match against Hearts at Dens. He was originally picked to play when the team was announced on the Thursday but after a fitness test on Friday, declared himself not fit enough to play, fearing letting his teammates down. He was replaced in the side by South African Gordon Frew but there was some consolation for Jack as he watched his side retain the trophy with a 2-0 win.

Whilst at Dens, Cowan was selected to play for both the Scottish International team and the Irish International team but he was unable to qualify because he was not of direct Scottish or Irish descent.

In his final season at Dens, Cowan made the decision to return to his native Canada but The Dee were unwilling to let one of their stalwarts go and made him a very good offer to stay. When he turned down the offer, Dundee tried to prevent him from continuing his football career, but an appeal to F.I.F.A. allowed him to sign for Vancouver Halecos and return ‘home’ with his Dundonian wife.
In his first season back at the Halecos (they had changed their name from Vancouver City who Jack had played for before joining Dundee), he captained them to the 1955 Dominion Soccer Championships and would go on to represent the Canadian national side.

He also played many games for the British Columbian All Stars and played for a Canadian All Star team against Lokomotiv Moscow in Toronto in 1956 but when selected to play for Canada away to Mexico in a World Cup qualifier later that year, he turned down the invitation and decided to retire from football at the age of twenty-nine to concentrate on his engineering career.

In 1974, Cowan was inducted into the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame and in May 2000 he was honoured to be one of the first inductees in the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame and was listed in their Canadian Team of the Century.

Dundee Football Club followed suit when they inducted Jack in their Hall of Fame in 2013 with an international award.

Debut

September 10th, 1949
Stirling Albion 2 - 2 Dundee

League (A Division)


Playing Statistics - First Team Competitive matches (All Seasons)



Competition NPS Win % Draw % Loss %
League 1151- --
Scottish Cup 13-- --
League Cup 21-- --
Totals: 1491- --

 Recent Starting Appearances (First Team Competitive matches)
 27/02/54 3rd Round vs. Berwick (A) 0 - 3
 23/01/54 A Division vs. Hearts (H) 2 - 4
 16/01/54 A Division vs. Queen of South (A) 1 - 5
 09/01/54 A Division vs. Hamilton (H) 3 - 2
 02/01/54 A Division vs. Clyde (A) 0 - 2

 Recent Goals Scored (First Team Competitive matches)
 22/12/51 A Division vs. Stirling Albion (H) 4 - 1

 List of First Team Competitive matches played (click to expand)
 27/02/54 3rd Round vs. Berwick (A)  0 - 3
 23/01/54 A Division vs. Hearts (H)  2 - 4
 16/01/54 A Division vs. Queen of South (A)  1 - 5
 09/01/54 A Division vs. Hamilton (H)  3 - 2
 02/01/54 A Division vs. Clyde (A)  0 - 2
 01/01/54 A Division vs. Aberdeen (H)  4 - 2
 26/12/53 A Division vs. Raith Rovers (A)  2 - 1
 19/12/53 A Division vs. Falkirk (H)  1 - 0
 12/12/53 A Division vs. East Fife (H)  1 - 1
 28/11/53 A Division vs. Hibernian (H)  1 - 0
 21/11/53 A Division vs. Stirling Albion (H)  2 - 1
 14/11/53 A Division vs. Airdrie (1878) (A)  2 - 2
 07/11/53 A Division vs. Partick (A)  0 - 1
 31/10/53 A Division vs. Celtic (H)  1 - 1
 24/10/53 A Division vs. Rangers (H)  1 - 0
 17/10/53 A Division vs. Hearts (A)  1 - 2
 10/10/53 A Division vs. Queen of South (H)  4 - 1
 03/10/53 A Division vs. Hamilton (A)  3 - 2
 26/09/53 A Division vs. Clyde (H)  2 - 0
 19/09/53 A Division vs. Aberdeen (A)  1 - 1
 12/09/53 A Division vs. Raith Rovers (H)  0 - 0
 22/08/53 Group 4 vs. Stirling Albion (A)  2 - 0
 15/08/53 Group 4 vs. Partick (H)  1 - 1
 12/08/53 Group 4 vs. Clyde (A)  4 - 2
 08/08/53 Group 4 vs. Stirling Albion (H)  6 - 1
 02/05/53 A Division vs. Rangers (A)  1 - 3
 18/04/53 A Division vs. Queen of South (A)  0 - 1
 04/04/53 A Division vs. Celtic (H)  4 - 0
 21/03/53 A Division vs. Airdrie (1878) (A)  1 - 2
 18/03/53 A Division vs. Third Lanark (H)  3 - 0
 07/03/53 A Division vs. Hibernian (H)  2 - 0
 28/02/53 A Division vs. St Mirren (A)  0 - 0
 21/02/53 A Division vs. East Fife (H)  1 - 1
 14/02/53 A Division vs. Rangers (H)  1 - 1
 07/02/53 2nd Round vs. Rangers (H)  0 - 2
 31/01/53 A Division vs. Hearts (A)  1 - 1
 17/01/53 A Division vs. Raith Rovers (H)  2 - 3
 10/01/53 A Division vs. Falkirk (A)  1 - 2
 03/01/53 A Division vs. Clyde (H)  4 - 1
 01/01/53 A Division vs. Aberdeen (A)  2 - 2
 27/12/52 A Division vs. Queen of South (H)  0 - 0
 13/12/52 A Division vs. Celtic (A)  0 - 5
 06/12/52 A Division vs. Partick (H)  6 - 0
 29/11/52 A Division vs. Airdrie (1878) (H)  0 - 2
 22/11/52 A Division vs. Third Lanark (A)  0 - 0
 15/11/52 A Division vs. Hibernian (A)  0 - 3
 08/11/52 A Division vs. St Mirren (H)  0 - 0
 18/10/52 A Division vs. Hearts (H)  2 - 1
 11/10/52 A Division vs. Raith Rovers (A)  1 - 1
 04/10/52 Semi Final vs. Hibernian (N)  2 - 1
 27/09/52 A Division vs. Clyde (A)  1 - 1
 20/09/52 A Division vs. Aberdeen (H)  3 - 1
 17/09/52 Quarter Final 2nd Leg vs. Stirling Albion (H)  5 - 0
 13/09/52 Quarter Final 1st Leg vs. Stirling Albion (A)  1 - 3
 06/09/52 A Division vs. Motherwell (H)  0 - 0
 30/08/52 Group 4 vs. Clyde (A)  3 - 3
 27/08/52 Group 4 vs. Airdrie (1878) (H)  3 - 2
 23/08/52 Group 4 vs. Raith Rovers (A)  2 - 1
 16/08/52 Group 4 vs. Clyde (H)  2 - 2
 13/08/52 Group 4 vs. Airdrie (1878) (A)  3 - 1
 09/08/52 Group 4 vs. Raith Rovers (H)  2 - 1
 26/04/52 A Division vs. Third Lanark (H)  6 - 0
 19/04/52 Final vs. Motherwell (N)  0 - 4
 12/04/52 A Division vs. Partick (H)  0 - 2
 09/04/52 A Division vs. Hibernian (A)  1 - 3
 02/04/52 A Division vs. Morton (H)  2 - 2
 29/03/52 Semi Final vs. Third Lanark (N)  2 - 0
 22/03/52 A Division vs. Airdrie (1878) (H)  0 - 1
 15/03/52 A Division vs. East Fife (A)  1 - 3
 08/03/52 Quarter Final vs. Aberdeen (H)  4 - 0
 01/03/52 A Division vs. St Mirren (H)  3 - 0
 27/02/52 A Division vs. Queen of South (A)  0 - 1
 23/02/52 3rd Round vs. Berwick (H)  1 - 0
 16/02/52 A Division vs. Motherwell (H)  1 - 2
 13/02/52 A Division vs. Raith Rovers (A)  2 - 1
 09/02/52 2nd Round vs. Wigtown & B'noch (A)  7 - 1
 26/01/52 1st Round vs. Ayr Utd (H)  4 - 0
 05/01/52 A Division vs. Hearts (H)  3 - 3
 02/01/52 A Division vs. Rangers (A)  2 - 1
 01/01/52 A Division vs. Aberdeen (H)  3 - 2
 29/12/51 A Division vs. Third Lanark (A)  2 - 0
 25/12/51 A Division vs. Partick (A)  3 - 1
 22/12/51 A Division vs. Stirling Albion (H)  4 - 1
 15/12/51 A Division vs. Airdrie (1878) (A)  3 - 4
 08/12/51 A Division vs. East Fife (H)  3 - 4
 24/11/51 A Division vs. St Mirren (A)  1 - 1
 17/11/51 A Division vs. Queen of South (H)  0 - 0
 10/11/51 A Division vs. Motherwell (A)  1 - 2
 03/11/51 A Division vs. Raith Rovers (H)  2 - 0
 27/10/51 Final vs. Rangers (N)  3 - 2
 20/10/51 A Division vs. Celtic (H)  2 - 1
 13/10/51 Semi Final vs. Motherwell (N)  5 - 1
 15/08/51 Group 3 vs. Hearts (H)  2 - 1
 28/04/51 A Division vs. Partick (A)  1 - 1
 03/03/51 A Division vs. St Mirren (A)  2 - 2
 24/02/51 A Division vs. Third Lanark (H)  2 - 1
 17/02/51 A Division vs. Motherwell (A)  2 - 0
 10/02/51 2nd Round vs. St Johnstone (A)  3 - 1
 31/01/51 1st Round Replay vs. Dundee Utd (A)  1 - 0
 27/01/51 1st Round vs. Dundee Utd (H)  2 - 2
 20/01/51 A Division vs. Celtic (H)  3 - 1
 06/01/51 A Division vs. Falkirk (A)  1 - 2
 02/01/51 A Division vs. Morton (H)  2 - 1
 01/01/51 A Division vs. Aberdeen (A)  0 - 1
 30/12/50 A Division vs. Rangers (H)  2 - 0
 23/12/50 A Division vs. Hearts (A)  1 - 1
 16/12/50 A Division vs. Airdrie (1878) (H)  3 - 0
 09/12/50 A Division vs. East Fife (A)  3 - 1
 02/12/50 A Division vs. Hibernian (A)  0 - 2
 25/11/50 A Division vs. St Mirren (H)  5 - 0
 18/11/50 A Division vs. Third Lanark (A)  0 - 2
 11/11/50 A Division vs. Motherwell (H)  0 - 0
 04/11/50 A Division vs. Raith Rovers (A)  1 - 0
 28/10/50 A Division vs. Partick (H)  3 - 2
 21/10/50 A Division vs. Celtic (A)  0 - 0
 14/10/50 A Division vs. Clyde (A)  1 - 2
 07/10/50 A Division vs. Falkirk (H)  2 - 0
 30/09/50 A Division vs. Morton (A)  3 - 2
 23/09/50 A Division vs. Aberdeen (H)  2 - 0
 16/09/50 A Division vs. Rangers (A)  0 - 0
 09/09/50 A Division vs. Hearts (H)  1 - 0
 02/09/50 Group 2 vs. St Mirren (A)  1 - 3
 30/08/50 Group 2 vs. Falkirk (A)  2 - 1
 19/08/50 Group 2 vs. St Mirren (H)  3 - 1
 16/08/50 Group 2 vs. Falkirk (H)  1 - 2
 12/08/50 Group 2 vs. Hibernian (A)  0 - 2
 22/04/50 A Division vs. Hearts (A)  2 - 6
 17/04/50 A Division vs. Rangers (H)  0 - 1
 08/04/50 A Division vs. Raith Rovers (A)  1 - 4
 25/03/50 Division One vs. Third Lanark (H)  1 - 4
 18/03/50 A Division vs. East Fife (A)  0 - 1
 11/03/50 A Division vs. Hibernian (A)  2 - 4
 04/03/50 A Division vs. St Mirren (H)  2 - 0
 25/02/50 A Division vs. Falkirk (A)  2 - 2
 06/02/50 1st Round Replay vs. Hearts (H)  1 - 2
 04/02/50 A Division vs. Partick (H)  1 - 0
 28/01/50 1st Round vs. Hearts (A)  1 - 1
 21/01/50 A Division vs. Celtic (A)  0 - 2
 26/11/49 A Division vs. St Mirren (A)  1 - 1
 19/11/49 A Division vs. Falkirk (H)  2 - 0
 12/11/49 A Division vs. Queen of South (A)  1 - 1
 05/11/49 A Division vs. Raith Rovers (H)  2 - 1
 29/10/49 A Division vs. Partick (A)  3 - 2
 22/10/49 A Division vs. Celtic (H)  3 - 0
 15/10/49 A Division vs. Clyde (H)  2 - 3
 01/10/49 A Division vs. Motherwell (H)  3 - 1
 24/09/49 A Division vs. Aberdeen (A)  2 - 2
 17/09/49 A Division vs. Queen of South (H)  3 - 0
 10/09/49 A Division vs. Stirling Albion (A)  2 - 2

 List of First Team Competitive goals scored (click to expand)
 22/12/51 A Division vs. Stirling Albion (H)  4 - 1

  = Starting Appearances (Sub Appearances) | = Goals | NPS = Squad Appearances (as Non-Playing Sub) | GtGR = Goals to Games Ratio
 Yel = Yellow Cards/Cautions | Red = Red Cards/Dismissals | W/D/L - Games won, drawn or lost as percentage of games played in


Timeline


Timeline currently available.