John Jacob "Jackie" Merrick was a popular character in
Emmie jackie aug 1988

Jackie Merrick in August 1988.

Emmerdale Farm, first appearing briefly in Episode 12 (21 November 1972) then again from Episode 599 (9th September 1980) to Episode 1377 (16th August 1989). He was the son of Jack Sugden and Pat Harker, who later married Tom Merrick. Jackie appeared briefly in November 1972 with mum Ruth and "father" Tom. Ruth was later known as Pat. The Merrick family left Beckindale in 1972 and returned in 1980. Upon the return, Jackie was a rebellious teenager who torched a caravan and got into numerous fights. Jackie was a major character in Emmerdale Farm from September 1980 to August 1989 when he was killed in a shotgun accident. Jackie was played by an Unknown Child Actor in 1972 and by Ian Sharrock from 1980 to 1989.


Jackie Merrick


10 November 1964


16 August 1989


Jack Sugden


Pat Sugden


Robert Sugden (full), Sandie Merrick, Tommy Merrick (half


Kathy Bates (1988-1989)


Farm Labourer


John Jacob Merrick was born on the 2nd November 1964 in Beckindale to Ruth Merrick and Jack Sugden, who had left Beckindale in February that year to move to London. Ruth found out she was pregnant and married local farm labourer Tom Merrick in April that year and pretended the baby was premature to make him believe he was the father. Tom genuinely believed that he was the father until Jackie got older and he started to notice the resemblance between him and Jack Sugden and always wondered how healthy he looked when premature.


In 1972 Jackie was almost 8 years old and his "father" Tom noticed his resemblance to Jack Sugden who had just
Emmie jackie 1972

Jackie in 1972, played by an unidentified child.

returned to the village for his fathers funeral. Also Tom was suspicious as to why he shared the same first names as
Emmie jackie teddy fight pic 6

Jackie Merrick fighting in 1982 with Teddy Hooson.

Jack. John Jacob. Jackie left Beckindale with his parents shorlty afterwards.

In January 1974 Ruth Merrick returned to Beckindale for a few days and mentioned her two children Jackie and Sandie. She then returned to Tom.


In September 1980 Jackie Merrick returned to Beckindale for good with his mother Pat and sister Sandie. They got
Emmie jackie merrick with seth

Jackie Merrick in the 1980s with Seth Armstrong. Photo courtesy of Beckindale Bugle.

off the bus in Main Street and Richard Anstey allowed them to stay in a grotty caravan on Home Farm land. Jackie left school in 1981. In January 1982 he found out that Jack Sugden was his real father and not Tom Merrick. Jackie went off the rails and Tom blamed Jack Sugden. Later on in 1982, after being sacked from his gamekeepers job at Home Farm by Alan Turner, Jackie became more rebellious when he set fire to the caravan, almost trashed the vicarage with his sister and friend Andy and had a huge fight with Teddy Hooson on a remote country lane when Teddy insulted Pat. The arson put paid to Jackie's army career. In January 1983 he was charged with the fire and given community service.

In the spring of 1983 he was almost caught stealing chicken wire from Home Farm by Alan Turner. Jackie was doing a favour for Seth Armstrong, Turner's shifty employee. When Jackie found that sister Sandie had become a "fallen" woman by fellow teenager Andy Longthorn Jackie took the law into his own hands and assaulted Andy. Sandie went to live with her father Tom to have the baby and give it up for adoption. In late 1983 Archie Brooks moved to the village and became good friends with Jackie.

In 1985, Jackie dated Alison Caswell. That April, Jackie was seriously injured when his motorbike crashed into Alan Turner's Land Rover. He spent months in hospital. While there, he met nurse Sita Sharma. They were engaged to be married. Sita felt that Jackie was pushing her into marriage. In January 1986, Jackie saw Sita come home from a night out with another man. Jackie confronted Sita and called her a tart. She slapped him and they parted ways for good.

Jackie got compensation for his motorbike crash. A young girl, Kathy Bates started work at Emmerdale Farm. Jackie saw her as lazy and was quite nasty to her but they soon started dating. In February 1987, Jackie fell down a mine shaft and had to be rescued. He was later involved in a protest against a nuclear dump in Beckindale. The village was successful. In February 1988 Jackie and Kathy married. Jackie later diapproved of Sarah Connolly dating his father Jack.

In 1989, Kathy suffered a miscarriage. In August 1989, Jackie went to shoot a fox for a bet. However he tragically shot himself by accident. Jackie died, leaving Kathy a young widow. Jack Sugden returned to Beckindale for good after his son's death.


Jackie Merrick was mentioned again in 2001 when Kathy Glover, who was once married to Jackie, left the village.

In October 2005 Jack Sugden mentioned him when Tom King's son Max had died in a car accident. Jack referred to how his own son Jackie died in a shotgun accident and only called him Dad a few years after he found out he was Jack's son.

Memorable info

Birthday: 10 November 1964

Died: 16 August 1989 (Aged 24)

Full Name: John Jacob Merrick


Jackie Merrick, a Sugden by blood, but definitely a Merrick by name and nature, as he was lead astray by his dodgy dad Tom Merrick. While Tom was not Jackie's blood father, he was his father in every other way as he bought Jackie up. In 1980, when Pat and Jackie and Sandie left Tom and moved to a carvan in Beckindale, Jackie was never shy of getting into a fight or getting drunk.


Father Jack Sugden

Adoptive father Tom Merrick

Mother Pat Sugden

Siblings Robert Sugden (full), Sandie Merrick (half, same mother), Victoria Sugden (half, same father)

Grandfathers Jacob Sugden, David Harker

Grandmothers Annie Sugden, Dolly Harker

Spouse Kathy Bates (1988-1989)

See also