James Jackson and his younger brother William showed promise with Fullarton in the City and Suburban competition before graduating to Norwood and quite likely playing one senior match together.
James kicked a goal on debut for Norwood when it defeated North Adelaide 11.7 to 4.4 at the opening of the 1896 season. ‘Goalpost’ in the Adelaide Observer ranked James with Hermann Kruss and Charles Field as players who “should be given a fair trial”.
James played six more games that season, all at Adelaide Oval against senior teams South Adelaide and Port Adelaide. He was useful in attack and defence. He may have been joined by his brother William against South Adelaide on Tuesday 1 September, though newspaper reports differ on whether both Jacksons were in the Norwood team that day. Norwood went down 4.5 to 6.4 after a keen contest.
William moved to South Adelaide in 1897 and James slipped back at Norwood, playing three of his four games against lowly teams West Torrens and West Adelaide at Kensington Oval and kicking a goal against each of them. His last senior game at Norwood was against West Adelaide at the start of the 1898 season. He capped his football career in 1899 with a productive season at North Adelaide, where he kicked four goals in 13 games.
James Frederick Jackson was born in Adelaide on 2 August 1875, the second son of John James Jackson, builder, of Parkside, and his wife Cordelia Elizabeth (Bessie), née Stone. James had nine siblings, Harriet, Rosina, Ellen, Amelia, John, William, Albert, Matilda and George. James married Ellen McDonough in 1897. After her premature death, he married Alice Kennedy in Victoria, where he was working as a carpenter at Richmond. Their son Frederick Thomas was born in 1916. James was living at Carrington Street, Adelaide, when he died on 7 March 1928 at the age of 52.
P. Robins, G. Adams, D. Cox January 2023