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William John (Jack) Edwards (born 6 July 1929, Risca) is a Welsh former professional footballer and football manager. In his playing career he was a full-back.

Playing career

Edwards began his career as an amateur with Cardiff City before moving on to Lovells Athletic from whom he joined Crystal Palace in September 1949. The previous year he had played in the Army Cup Final between The Royal Armoured Corps (Bovington) and No 121 Training Regiment of the Royal Artillery (Oswestry) in which two players died after being struck by lightning.

He made his league debut for Palace in a 3-2 win away to Millwall and in 1956 became Crystal Palace captain. In June 1959, after 239 appearances he left to join Rochdale, playing 69 times before joining Southern League side Ashford Town in the 1961 close-season.

Coaching and management career

The following summer he joined Exeter City as trainer, and in February 1963 stepped up to take the manager's job. At the end of his first full season in charge he guided Exeter to promotion from Division Four, but left in January 1965 as the Grecians struggled to establish themselves in the higher division, his resignation following the appointment of Ellis Stuttard as chief scout without his knowledge or consent.

Later that year he was appointed as a coach at Torquay United, working under new manager Frank O'Farrell. Although O'Farrell departed in 1968, Edwards remained at the club under new manager Allan Brown and in October 1971, after Brown was sacked, Edwards was appointed as Torquay's new manager. He is one of only two men to have managed both Torquay and Exeter, the other being John Cornforth.

Torquay were relegated back to the Fourth Division at the end of the season, after six seasons in Division Three, although they did reach the Third Round of the FA Cup, before losing away to Third Division rivals Bolton Wanderers. Edwards was sacked in January 1973 as Torquay struggled in Division Four instead of the expected challenge for promotion. Later that month he returned to Exeter City as trainer and later that year became assistant manager at Plymouth Argyle. He later spent many years as a scout for Leeds United.



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