John Deacon began his career at Cockfield in the Northern League as a teenager. The youngest of three footballing brothers, his eldest brother played for Wolves, Southend and Hartlepool, whilst the middle brother Dickie also played for Wolves, as well as Chelsea and West Ham.
John moved to Redcar Borough in the 1930s, which was under the stewardship of Liverpool and Manchester United legend Fred Hopkin. Hopkin’s strong connections to Merseyside resulted in many Redcar Borough players earning a trial at Anfield. Deacon was one such player, and he did enough to earn himself a professional contract in 1933.
Injuries didn’t help his time in the North West, and he was transfer listed the following season, eventually joining West Ham just as his brother Dickie was leaving. He later joined Durham City.