Around Rovers

March 4, 2010

Jones the Full Back

The January Transfer Window is certainly a very busy and not least interesting period of the season at most Football League clubs. Player movements are well reported in the media on a daily basis and speculation and anticipation is rife.

In some cases players join clubs on a permanent basis following a successful loan period as is the case with Lewis Haldane’s move up the Potteries to join Port Vale. In others, players’ loan agreements are extended as in the case of Rovers loan deal with Reading for goalkeeper Mikkel Andersen. Altogether new loan deals can be struck in January as in the case of Wayne Brown who has joined us from Fulham to take the number 26 shirt and Paul Heffernan who joins from Doncaster, the only red and white Rovers, to pick up the often coveted number 9 shirt. Darryl Duffy has gone the other way to join Carlisle.

Observers are often surprised to see relatively few money transfers at this time. I have picked up that generally speaking football clubs are reluctant to pay out good money during the window because the situation in the close season changes so very much. During the summer a good number of players become available at the end of contracts and hence become free to negotiate new contracts and to join other clubs for pre season and a fresh start.

No sooner the window closes the loan system opens up again. After the period of just one week Football League clubs are free to take players from others clubs under the emergency loan agreement as in the case of Daniel Jones who has the joined the club from Wolverhampton Wanderers. Daniel went straight into the starting line up and in front of the Sky TV cameras for his debut game against Charlton Athletic.

Seeing a Jones in the left back position for Rovers once more, took me back and reminded me of former Rovers legends who, of the name, gave the club such good service and were firm favourites at different times in our post war history; over to the football section of my quite extensive collection of books to refer again to “Pirates in Profile”, a volume compiled by Mike Jay and Stephen Byrne. The book presents a who’s who of Rovers players 1920-94. Time for an update very soon I think with the likes of Jason Roberts MBE et all being added to the ranks.

The Second World War restricted the careers of many talented players of the time. Ralph Jones joined Leicester City immediately after the conflict and joined Rovers after a short sell with Newport County in 1947. Ralph made his League debut when he was already 25 years of age.  This particular “Jones the Full Back” played only 13 times for the club. Having been badly injured in March 1948 he found himself out of the team for two years returning to score in a 2-0 win over Torquay United. Ralph carried on playing to the ripe old age of 36 when he finally hung up his Trowbridge Town boots in 1957.

Glynfor (Glyn) Jones was a real favourite of mine and of many of my peer group teenage supporters of the time. Like Daniel, Glyn also joined the club from Wolverhampton having made his old first division debut in the local West Midlands derby game with West Brom in 1955. Glyn joined us in July 1962 for the princely sum of £5000 and missed only five games in his first three seasons with the club. Described as “Quiet and unassuming” this special “Jones the Full Back” went on to play 153 football matches for the club, including a League Cup tie against Manchester United at Old Trafford before moving back to his North Wales homeland in 1966 where he turned out for Porthmadog until the end of his career. A great player and a joy to watch, I can see him at Eastville as though it was last Saturday, gas works and all. At the time Glyn’s  fullback partnership with Doug Hillard was a bit special; 0happy days.

Jones the Fullback, promotion team captain, 370 plus 11 sub appearances, a strong tackler, motivator of team mates and efficient distributor of the ball. Vaughan Jones captained the club to the Third Division Championship in 1989-90 (93 points) and at Wembley in a Leyland Daf Trophy Final. Vaughan was an ever present in the 1987-88 season and missed only one league game in 1988-89. He then went on be an ever present in the promotion season itself. Our first game back in the old Second Division, now The Championship, took us up to Filbert Street for an away game at Leicester. We started vey nervously as I can recall, but Vaughan lifted the side with a well taken goal from the left.

Vaughan suffered a broken leg in September 1991 which kept him out of game until November 1992. He finally left the club in 1993 and played for a number of local non league clubs. Still living in the Bristol Area it was my real pleasure with a good number of Rovers supporters to run a Bristol Half Marathon with Vaughan just a few years ago.  Well done mate and many thanks indeed for your incredible service to Bristol Rovers Football Club. 


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