Jesse Pennington was Captain of The Albion in the early part of the 20th century. He was nicknamed “Peerless Pennington”. Born in West Bromwich (1883), Pennington was a left-back for West Bromwich Albion for 19 years, from March 1903 to May 1922.
Although his career was interrupted by World War I, Pennington made 455 league appearances for the club, captaining them to the league title in 1919-1920.
He had also been a part of the team promoted from the Second Division in 1911 and had received an FA Cup runners-up medal in 1912.
On the international front, Pennington earned 25 caps for England between 18 March 1907 and 10 April 1920, captaining the side on one occasion.
After retiring, he worked as a scout for West Bromwich Albion from 1950 to 1960 and was made a life member of the club in 1969, a year before he died in Kidderminster.
Pennington was named as one of West Bromwich Albion’s 16 greatest players in a poll organised as part of the club’s 125th anniversary celebrations in 2004.
The Bioletti scandal in 1913
Pennington was approached by Pascoe Bioletti who offered £5 per player for Albion corruptly to endeavour not to win their forthcoming game against Everton F.C. on 29th November. Pascoe’s son, William Alfred Bioletti, was operator of a football betting business in Geneva.
Pennington alerted the police and after the game, which ended in a draw, he met Bioletti, ostensibly for the pay-off, at which point the police moved in to arrest Bioletti. Bioletti was sentenced to 5 months’ imprisonment in 1914.