This week I spoke with the confident, determined, and intriguing character that is Jack Robson. WRITES ADAM TONES.
Jack has played for all three of the North East’s biggest clubs, the football-mad striker has eyes on stardom as well as nailing down his starting spot for Whickham.
The boy with an eye for the big screen spoke about his route into football, his passions off the pitch, why he loves the club and his ambitions moving into next season.
Sit back and enjoy as the local lad tells you his story as he aims for celebrity status.
Jack decided to take up football and follow in his brother’s footsteps at the age of seven when he signed for Whickham Fellside Juniors.
Jack currently lives between Dunston and Birtley but grew up in Whickham where he attended Front Street Primary School.
The striker has played for a host of clubs including Newcastle City Juniors, Morpeth Town as well as a spell in America playing for Saginaw Valley State.
Robson is one of a few to have been scouted for all three of the North East’s biggest clubs.
Firstly, catching the eye of Middlesbrough before moving on to Sunderland and finally signing for boyhood club Newcastle United.
At just 11-years-old Robson signed for Middlesbrough after an impressive run of form. Jack has many fond memories of his time at the club.
He said: “I remember my first game for the club playing Liverpool away it was surreal, I was playing against Gerrard’s nephew, I was just a kid, so I was mesmerised by it all.”
It was not long after leaving Middlesbrough, Robson signed for their neighbours Sunderland.
However, the striker’s time on Wearside did not last long, Robson left after only two months due to not enjoying his time with the club.
After leaving Sunderland the speedy striker signed for Newcastle City Juniors before being signed by Newcastle United after an standout season.
The frontman scooped the Player of the Season award before signing on for four years with Newcastle.
Robson spoke of his time with the Premier League club adding: “Our age group a lot of the coaches said it was the golden age group.
“On my team, we had Matty Longstaff, Kell Watts who is on loan at Wigan and Lewis Gibson who joined Everton for about six million.
“There are a few other lads who are still in and around the club as well as Elliott (Anderson) and Elias Sorensen who is now playing in Denmark.”
Speaking about his experiences and success with the club, Robson added: “We competed in the international tournaments which we did quite well in.
“The memorable one for me was when I had just turned 17, I played in the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland.
“We got to the semi-finals, but I broke my ankle in the third game, I still finished top goalscorer for Newcastle with five goals in three games.
“I broke my ankle within the first ten minutes against a Japanese team, I played on through adrenaline and scored three goals in that game with a broken ankle.
“I remember waking up the following morning and I face planted the floor as I could not put any weight on my foot.”
Robson has showcased his skills at several professional grounds including St. James Park, Selhurst Park and Brighton’s Amex stadium.
Jack, who stands 5ft 10in tall, has had his fair share of injuries, the striker cut short his spell in America after injuring his ankle again.
On his return to England, he signed for Hebburn Town. The striker was in scintillating form winning both the Northern League and Hebburn Town’s Young Player of the Year awards.
Robson went on to join Morpeth Town before moving to Whickham on loan initially in 2019.
The striker has only just completed his first full season with the club after having his first two seasons cut short due to the ongoing pandemic.
After making his loan move to Whickham permanent in July 2020, Robson has enjoyed playing for his local club.
He said: “This will be the first season I’m going to finish in two and a half years, I love it here. I’ve got no real intention to ever want to leave I really enjoy it.”
Talking about his passion for the club, Robson went on to say: “To be honest although we have not done as well as the team sheet would suggest when I first joined, I still loved it.
“I had the feeling I was one of the main players where I could make a difference and I was doing well.
“It’s local and my mates come along and watch which I love. When my mates are there, I know I will perform well because I know they are watching.
“I like playing in front of people, some of my best games for Whickham have been the games where there have been a lot of people watching.
“I love playing in big games, I remember in the FA Cup at the start of the season we played Consett. I got two assists and man of the match in front of a massive crowd.”
Whickham have gone from strength to strength under the new management, one which Robson is enjoying playing under.
He said: “When you look at the structure of the club and how it’s run, it’s brilliant.
“The results we’ve had speak for themselves, there has been a massive turnaround. They’ve got the belief back in the players again.
“We’ve always had a good team on paper there is no doubt about that.
“I remember saying to Tony (Fawcett) and Simon (Moody) when they first came in, our team is up there with the best in the league.
“It didn’t click for some reason, but they have come in and put in a great structure. We are training more, and it is way more intense.
“Our fitness is good, at the start when they came in that was probably a problem within the squad.
“We now look like a very fit team; the results have been great and above all, they are lovely people.
“They are good people, it’s hard to find good people in football and I can’t speak highly enough of them.”
Robson reflected on his own personal performances throughout the season which has includes six goals and five assists in 21 starts for the club.
Robson said: “I want to get that consistency, when I’ve played, I know I’ve played well. I would like to get a few more goals but I’ve been in and out of the team all season.
“I’ve been annoyed with myself as I know the player I am, I hit the ground running but then get a knockback.
“In the games I’ve played I’ve done well, hopefully, next season I can kick on and show the player I’m capable of being.”
“I know I’m an exciting player and once I’m playing every week, I know I can be a fan favourite.
“You can see that with Nathan (Greenwood) and Scotty (Robson) the way they play it’s so exciting, with us three up top and Zak (Atkinson) it’s the best attack in the league.”
Robson has big ambitions going into next season with the aim of winning the league. The striker is confident Whickham now have the personnel capable of pushing for a league title.
He said: “I think this is the best team we’ve had at Whickham since I’ve been here.
“The lads that have come in look like they’ve played first division football all their life. They’ve been brilliant and a big asset to the dressing room as well.
“I feel like when you play Whickham now other teams know we are a tough team to beat especially at home.
“There is no reason why we can’t win the league and have a good Vase run and hopefully win it.”
Robson also has a passion for the big screen with the dream of being famous one day.
The 21-year-old has ambitions to be a regular on your TV screens with a presenting role high up the list of long-term goals.
Jack has recently appeared on E4’s ‘Celeb’s Go Dating’ and has a few more roles in the pipeline.
He said: “I’ve had a few things put in the pipeline, so we’ll see what happens in the near future.
“I like an Instagram post, there are casting companies that message me and that’s what happened with ‘Celeb’s’ when I went on that.
“I’ve had a good reaction from that. When I go out there are a few people that recognise me which is quite funny.
“I would love to be on TV, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do since I was a kid.
“I’m quite an outgoing person and it’s been something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m pretty close to it so hopefully, something big comes up.”
Talking about the role that interests him the most, he added: “As a kid, I’ve always wanted to do singing or acting. As I get on, I would also love to do presenting.
“I like the attention and I like being known that’s just the way I am, I can’t deny that.”
One thing is for sure Jack is a determined individual with a vision and passion to succeed both on and off the pitch.
Keep an eye out for this boy, he’s one that will achieve his aim and one that will be on your TV screens in the not to distance future.
The sky is the limit for Whickham’s local lad and it’s only a matter of time before his dreams turn into a reality.
Player Profile – Jack Robson
Age – 21
Occupation – Car Retail
Position – Striker
Favourite Team: Newcastle United
Favourite current player: Jack Grealish
Favourite past player: Sergio Aguero
Interests away from football: Music, Golf and Boxing
All-time 5-a-side team: Ederson, Van Dijk, Iniesta, Messi, Neymar.